Putting Ideas in Play
With a growing critical, anecdotal, and philosophical vocabulary for thinking about play and its meaning, you should now be in a position to theorize about festive gestures in discussion with other writers. For this assignment, select a play-related topic and find 4-5 sources to analyze and discuss in conversation with your own theoretical ideas. This is not, strictly speaking, a compare/contrast paper, nor is it a for/against paper. You must think beyond binaries of this kind; thus the conversation analogy.
The first step in doing this work is to come up with a play-related topic of significant interest to you. You may write about something you’ve already considered this semester, or a new topic entirely. The subject of your focus should be directly or indirectly related to play, and represent a question or problem that you genuinely wish to explore. We will discuss in class how to narrow your ideas to a manageable project.
Next, you will need to find four or five different sources that speak directly or indirectly to your topic. Three of the sources must be scholarly ones, and the remaining can be from popular sources (we will discuss the difference between the two, and also the use of websites for information and perspectives). We will spend time in class reviewing database searching techniques.
As you compose your essay, you will need to develop a way of discussing your research and the original ideas that this research prompts. You want to briefly summarize the main arguments of the source materials; hone in on aspects of the discussions that speak to your own topical interests; and then situate your analytical voice in the conversation that, again, is deeper than agree/disagree or pro/con discussions. The goal here is to advance your and your reader’s thinking and understanding of play-related themes.
Your essay should be no fewer than five (5) pages long, double-spaced, with no more than 1 inch margins along all sides. You must use only a standard, readable font (Times, Arial, Helvetica, or Courier), in either 10- or 12-point size. Your paper must have your name, the course and section, and the assignment number at the top left- or right-hand side. Your paper must have an original, interesting title that is relevant to what you are writing. Please number all the pages of your work.
Proper citations will be emphasized for this assignment. The style format you need to follow for both in-text (parenthetical) and works used citation is MLA (Modern Language Association).
Submissions of your rough draft and final draft will be made electronically via Blackboard; the final will also need to be submitted in paper format. Expect process-related assignments—bibliography, paraphrases, essay outlines, etc.—along the way.
1) What is the topic?
2) Why is it useful to examine?
1) Could deliver a hypothesis, too
2) (Body of essay):
3) (Discussion of implications):
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