Craft a five-page, MLA-formatted argumentative synthesis that integrates at least six of the following twelve sources and your own observations to defend, to challenge, and/or to qualify the statement that America still provides access to the American Dream. This assignment requires that you seamlessly incorporate a variety of disparate sources into a coherent, well-written argumentative essay. Your argument should be central; your sources and your observations should support this argument.
– Billy Corben – Broke (2012)
– Barbara Ehrenreich – “The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream” (2006)
– Thomas L. Friedman – “Globalization: The Super-Story” (2002)
– Thomas L. Friedman – “The World Is Flat 3.0″ (2007)
– Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – Delusions of Grandeur” (1991)
– Alex Gibney – Park Avenue: Money, Power & The American Dream (2012)
– John Gray – “The World Is Round” (2005)
– Paul Krugman – “The Death of Horatio Alger” (2004)
– David Romero – We The Owners: Employees Expanding the America Dream (2012)
– Mark Steyn – “Prologue” from America Alone (2006)
– Andrew Sullivan – “My America” (1996)
– Pablo S Torre – “How [and why] Athletes Go Broke” (2009)
Assessment Criteria: Your grade will depend, in large part, on how clearly you define your thesis and how skillfully you utilize the above sources to support your contentions.
Your argumentative synthesis should follow the guidelines established by the Modern Language Association (MLA). When writing an MLA paper based on sources, you face three main challenges: (1) supporting a thesis, (2) citing your sources and avoiding plagiarism, and (3) integrating quotations and other source material (Hacker 104-162).
Furthermore, your argumentative thesis must posses the following attributes:
Divided Thesis Statement
The divided thesis should connect a claim to specific evidence. The divided thesis should be located high in the essay – if not in the opening paragraph, at least on the first page – so that the reader knows the central contention from the beginning.
– Paragraphs should focus on one respective topic (remember, one paragraph equals one idea).
– Paragraphs should appear in the logical order.
– Paragraphs should be linked via transitions.
– Most paragraphs should include a topic sentence that connects the topic of the paragraph to the overall thesis. This sentence should appear at the of each paragraph and act as a signpost for the reader.
– Paragraphs should be developed using examples and specific quotes from at least six of out twelves sources. Think of each paragraph as a “sandwich” in which your guiding ideas surround examples or information drawn from elsewhere.
Be sure to introduce material, incorporate material, and – most importantly – analyze that material. Your analysis should significantly exceed the quantity of cited material. Use summary, but do not allow more than one paragraph for your discussion to be wholly summary.
Along with an MLA-formatted works cited page, MLA style requires in-text citations after every “idea” (not just direct quotes) belonging to someone else. Proper paraphrasing requires no more than three words in a row from the original and significant revision of original sentence structure. Otherwise, you must quote the original wording exactly as it appears.
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