Essay 4: Propose and create a compelling evidence-based web-essay

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Objectives: For our final major assignment, students must create a compelling, evidence-based web-essay, on any topic related to our cities, suburbs, and schools seminar, in the Hartford region or beyond. Students must draw upon their skills from the semester to integrate a narrative text (of at least 1,500 words or longer) and appropriate digital elements (such as photos, videos, charts, maps, links to online sources, etc.), to be shared with and evaluated by a broad audience on the web. Students may work solo or with one partner on this assignment.

Brainstorm with seminar on possible web-essay topics and resources on our Ideas page

Exercise 7: Proposal consists of three parts:

Your 1-page proposal must answer these questions: Why have you selected this topic, and what is its significance to cities, suburbs & schools? If selecting a topic that you have previously written about in the seminar, how will you expand it for this assignment? What types of writing and digital elements do you plan to integrate, and how will this combination help you to create a more compelling and persuasive story? (Provide sources & links wherever appropriate.) Worth 2 points.

Exercise 8: Web-essay draft on WordPress (category=essay2012) due before seminar on Wednesday, November 28th. Be prepared to present and receive constructive criticism from the class. Worth 2 points.

Web-essay final draft on WordPress (category=essay2012), due by the end of Friday, Nov 30th; instructor will circulate for commentary by guest evaluators and public on Dec 1st. Worth 25 points, based on the following criteria:

  1. Does the web-essay present a compelling argument or story about a significant aspect of cities, suburbs, and schools? Does it inspire the reader to think about the topic in a new way?
  2. Are the claims supported with appropriate evidence and is the reasoning well developed? Is counter-evidence fully considered?
  3. Does it make effective use of web-essay format by integrating narrative text with appropriate digital elements (such as maps, charts, photos, videos, links to online sources, etc.)?
  4. Is the web-essay organized and well written?
  5. Does it include sufficient background for audiences unfamiliar with the topic?
  6. Does it cite all sources in an appropriate format so that readers may easily locate them? (For documents, use Chicago-style footnotes, or MLA/APA in-line citations with a bibliography; for images, provide source credit & link.)

Guest evaluators selected by the instructor will write public comments, but send private scores.

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