Bring In Noise: The Devolution of Rap or Hip Hop

Bring In Noise: The Devolution of Rap or Hip Hop

ENG
The

Commentary

1

0

2

0

Major Essay Project 1

Overview

WARNING!You must write on the approved topic (see separate instruction sheet). I will not accept an essay that is off-topic.

According to Writing Today, people write commentaries “to express opinions on current issues and events, offering new and interesting

perspectives that help readers understand the world” (161). In everyday life, you’ll often find commentaries in the editorial section of the

daily newspaper, and on manytelevision news showsfeaturing hosts like Bill Mahler, Bill O’Reilly,the late Andy Rooney, Rachel Maddow, etc.

For our assignment, write a three-to-five page, double-spaced MLAstyle essay that presents your viewpoint on an approved topic(see

separateinstruction sheet).To organize your essay, you should follow the outline shown in this instruction sheet or in the textbook (162).

Tone & Style

While college argumentative writing tends to be verystraightforward, objective, formal, and unemotional, commentary writing can be lively,

passionate, and even highly personal (think of Rush Limbaugh at his most extreme, ugh!).As the textbook notes, writers often create a persona or

character to convey their point-of-view. Stephen Colbert, for example, pretends to be a hard-winged conservative to make fun of his opponents

and to present his obviously liberal agenda. Conversely, if you feel more comfortable adopting an impersonal voice that is perfectly acceptable.

A warning though, you must be considerate of other’s feelings and beliefs! I will accept nothing offensive or hate-driven. For more information,

see “Choosing an Appropriate Style” on pages169-170.

Audience

Before writing, it is essential to think about your audience’s values and expectations, so you can effectively persuade them to support your

viewpoint. Consider your opposition’s basic needs, wants, beliefs, and attitudes. Also, try to identifyyour average reader’s sex, race,

religion, age, economic status, educational background, etc.

For this assignment, you are writing to an educated, adult audience.

Research & Citation

WARNING! No personal or made up stories!Unless otherwise instructed, both are a waste of space and a clear signal that the essay has been thrown

together at the last minute with no real forethought or research involved.

Your commentary should be based on fact, not hasty generalizations or suppositions. Hence you must use research to support your claims.For this

assignment only, you do not have to follow MLA conventions when citing outside sources; however, I want to see all borrowed material informally

credited within the body of your text:

Website: According to Huffington Post,Coach Nick Saban proclaimed his team’s victory over Clemson as “Huuge.” “It was a landslide,” he added.

“We really schlonged them!”

News Source: According to a February 2013 Plain Dealer article, it is estimated thatapproximately 15,000 homesin Cleveland are vacant.

Study: In a 2016 study published in Science, researchers theorize that the transportation of European honeybeesto aid in crop pollination is

whythe Deformed Wing Virus has spread across the world.

Survey: A 2012 Pew Research Center survey reveals that ninety-percent of all teens use the Internet, and of that number, ninety-four percent

have accessed Facebook.

Article: As described in “Why Even Top Tier Students Should Consider Community Colleges,” an article published by PBS NewsHour, first attaining

an associate degree from a community college and then transferring to a four-year institution is a wise financial choice even for high-achieving

students.

Commentary: As Alva Noë notes “Legalize It: An Argument for ‘Doping’ in Sports,” athletes will do anything to win; therefore, marathon runners

should be allowed to use PEDs, thus adding a whole new level of excitement to the already heated competition.

Don’t use verbal tags like “says,” or “said” when introducing a written quotation (The book talks about the recent rise of forest fires due to

global warming.). Some common introductory verbs include write, support, suggest, admit, claim, theorize, announce, boast, etc. A more complete

list appears on page 465.

Format

Format your commentary using MLA page layout guidelines (see page 4 of this handout). A sample student essay appears on pages 486-492.

Basic Structure

Your title should indicate the topic and your position in the debate.

Descriptive Title

Your introductory paragraph “should immediately engage the audience by clearly announcing the issue under examination.” End with a well-defined

thesis statement that presents your opinion on the subject.

Introduction

One paragraph

Thesis statement

 

Optional: In thisparagraph or section (a group of paragraphs), present background information necessary for your audience to understand your

viewpoint.

Background Info

Optional: One to two paragraphs

After background information, present your argument. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that

1) indicates what the paragraph is about and

2) develops your argument.

Progressive pattern of organization: weakest point to strongest.

Support your argument with factual evidence and expert opinion.

The actual number of body paragraphs will vary.

Argument

A series of paragraphs (Actual number will vary, depending on your argument.)

Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence

Before concluding,acknowledge the complexities of the issue, state that the problem is ongoing, admit that things may change,or confess that

other viewpoints exist.

Clarify Your Position

One or more paragraphs

Toconclude, present “an overall assessment of the issue,” stress the importance of your position, pointtoward the future, and/or call the reader

to action. Don’t be mechanical!

Conclusion

One paragraph

MLA Page Layout(Some of the text in the diagram below has been shamefully stolen from Purdue OWL.)

1 inch

1 inch

Smith 1

1 inch

John Smith

Dr. Richards

Center Your Title

When typing your essay, MLA guidelines require that you double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font, for example Times New Roman

or Calibri. The font size should be 12 pt.

In regards to page layout, set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides. Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the

left margin. MLA recommends that you use the Tab key as opposed to pushing the Space Bar five times.Create a header in the upper right-hand

corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4,

etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit last name/page

number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)

For the first page, do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested.In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list

your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.Double space again and center the title.

Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital

letters.Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text:The Loss of Innocence in

Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay”;Nick Carraway’s Moral Growth in The Great Gatsby.Double-space between the title and the first line of the

text.

Of course, there are other rules which affect the look of your page, but for our first assignment these basic requirements should be sufficient.

If you have a question, always ask your professor for clarification.

Also note that for our class the proposal and report projects will follow a different format than the one described in this handout. Learn to

adapt!

1 inch

1 inch

ENG
Spring 2018

Bring the Noise

1

0

2

0

Commentary Option 3

Overview

While the origin of rap and hiphop can be traced back to the early 1970s, both genres really rose in prominence during the 1980s. While many

emerging artists like Public Enemy, NWA, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five addressed social and political topics, some feel that as rap

and hip-hop grew in popularity, the music began to decline due to commercialism, widening fan base, greed, and various forms of immorality.

If you choose this option, write a three-to-five-page essay that comments on the current state of rap or hip-hop.

While you can focus on the effects of commercialism, you could also analyze how one of the following problemshas negatively influenced the

industry and/or contemporary society:

Drugs
Sex (misogyny)
Violence (gangsta rap)
Greed

Another strategy would be to argue that despite negative criticism, rap and hiphop are still concerned with social, racial, and political

inequality.

You must conduct research and back up your claims with lyrical content, expert opinion, and statistical support.

Organization

For this option, you can use comparison and contrast to organize your commentary.

Your title should indicate the topic and your position in the debate.

Descriptive Title

Your introductory paragraph “should immediately engage the audience by clearly announcing the issue under examination.” End with a well-defined

thesis statement that presents your opinion on the subject.

Introduction

One paragraph

Thesis statement

 

First, you need to prove that many early rappers were concerned about social and political problems.

Second, argue that with increasing popularity, many rap artists became more concerned with ___________ .

Third, comment on the current state of rap.

Fourth, look to the future and how things could be changed.

Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that 1) indicates what the paragraph is about and 2) develops your argument.

Support your argument with factual evidence and expert opinion.

The actual number of body paragraphs will vary.

Argument

A series of paragraphs (Actual number will vary, depending on your argument.)

Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence

ETC.

ETC.

ETC.

To conclude, present “an overall assessment of the issue,” stress the importance of your position, point toward the future, and/or call the

reader to action. Don’t be mechanical!

Conclusion

One paragraph

Research

To get you started, I have conducted some preliminary research; however, this list is not exhaustive, and it has not been evaluated:

The Journal of HipHop Studies:

NOTE: This scholarly publication focuses on rap and hip hop. All issues are free to download.

Front Page

Harvard Political Review, “The Politics of Rap”:

The Politics of Race in Rap

Nielson (The ratings organization), “Hip-Hop Nation: How the Genre Is Turning It Up in 2015”:

NOTE: This article contains statistical support.

http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/hip-hop-nation-how-the-genre-is-turning-up-in-2015.html

CBSNews story,“Rap Criticism Grows Within Own Community”:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rap-criticism-grows-within-own-community/

Wikipedia, “Misogyny in Rap Music”:

NOTE: Never cite or admit to using Wikipedia. There is probably a historical overview of rap and similar entries for common problems associated

with the music.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogyny_in_rap_music

Scholarly commentary, “The Social Significance of Rap & Hip-Hop Culture”:

https://web.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/mediarace/socialsignificance.htm

The Harvard Political Review, “The Evolution of Rap”:

The Evolution of Rap

WE ACCEPT