The Historical Conversations Project The HCP asks you tosummarize and critically evaluate various conversations and debates made by credible scholars and organizations about your topic; and describe and decipher the historical contexts of the problem at hand by locating at least 8 pieces of evidence, that tie the problem as we see it today to its past. Over the next few weeks you will work on this project. One of the main purposes of this assignment is to expose you to various arguments, histories, and background knowledge relating to your selected topic. Another purpose of the HCP is to begin the process of teaching you how to locate, evaluate, select, arrange, and integrate sources into a multi-modal composition. As a genre of communication—and in the case of this assignment, one that frames a problem, delivers arguments, uses evidence, and speaks to a broad audience—a multi-modal composition can be a synthesis of various rhetorical positions—visual and written for example—that work together to deepen argumentative positions and claims. Your composition’s multi-modality will come from your use of these two modes together. You may be asking yourself (and you should ask your teacher), “What is a composition and what does it mean if it’s multi-modal?” In your case, you will locate at least five pieces of evidence that decipher this problem’s historical context. And then you will use credible sources to describe for your readers how these distinct pieces of evidence work together to explain the viability of the contemporary problem. You will need to ask a number of questions in order to understand how your key pieces of evidence speak to each to each other: What arguments do scholars make about the problem’s past and its present? What are scholars and credible people and organizations debating about the problem and its past? As you explain how and why certain historical changes tie your central pieces of evidence together, you will have to think creatively to arrange your arguments and your evidence, both your key pieces of evidence and scholarly sources, to persuade your audience that the historical foundation you have located is meaningful to our understanding of the problem in the present. Avoid the temptation to create a “Since the Dawn of Time” essay. These types of essays take the problem further back than necessary. For example, marijuana usage has been around for thousands of years, but for the purposes of this class, you would more likely locate a historical starting position such as the drug’s classification as a Schedule 1 Drug in the 1970s. However, whenever you choose to start your historical analysis (think of it as the beginning of a timeline), realize that you are making an argument, as someone else may argue that the problem really begins at an earlier or later time. Requirements: 6-7 pages (not including Work Cited page or graphic/image), Times New Roman 12, double-spaced. MLA format A rhetorical thesis statement 8 sources minimum Rough Draft due: Wednesday, July 10 (minimum of 5 pages) (upload to Canvas for peer review) Final Draft due: Saturday, July 13 (upload to Canvas) *Portions of this prompt were created by faculty at UC Irvine.
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