music songs essay

I’m studying for my Writing class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?

This is an opportunity for you to take a critical look at the any artist, genre, club/festival scene, or other musical entity that captivates your interest. Your essay research may include fieldwork, interviews with musicians and their fans, as well as written (academic and journalistic) – though given the short-term nature of this course, you are only required to gather written sources.

In this essay you are writing a research paper within the context of the history and the issues that we have covered in this course. Those issues include appropriation, politics of identity (race, class, gender, age, etc.), globalization, and technology. Therefore, a significant portion of your research can come from the course lectures and readings themselves. You must cite at least one source from the course reading and two additional outside academic sources. I also encourage you to use additional online media such as YouTube, Rolling Stone, and any other source of popular culture you can think of. You may cite information presented in lectures and discussion sections if you find it pertinent to your paper. In total, you should cite at least six sources. You must include a References Cited list (bibliography) at the end of your essay.

Your paper must have a clear topic and thesis statement. Your paper must contain descriptive, cultural, historical detail. Your paper must also contain analysis and interpretation of this cultural and historical content. If you choose to write about music or musicians that are covered specifically in the lectures, readings or sections, you must be sure to go beyond the details presented in the course.

Some questions you might address include: Does this music or artist(s) repeat any trend(s) we have covered in this course? What issues addressed in this course apply to this music or artist(s) in some way and how? What does it have in common with other genres of music we have studied—Tin Pan Alley, minstrelsy, rhythm & blues, rock ‘n’ roll, protest music, subculture or subcultural scenes, punk, etc.?

My suggestion would be to focus in on a specific genre that you find interesting, and pick one or two songs or artists that you think best exemplify the argument you’re trying to make. We want you to be able to engage in specific, detailed analysis of musical examples in this paper, so if you can select a few case studies that’ll really help narrow in the paper.

Make sure to give your essay a sensible title, keep your writing focused, support yourself with examples, and communicate your ideas clearly and effectively. You will be assessed for strength of your thesis, the focus and structure of your explanation, and the technical aspects of your writing (spelling, grammar, organization).

Length: 1200 words (not including the title or the bibliography), double-spaced (e.g., three double-spaced pages in 12-point Times).

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