Students will write two short, thoughtful, clear, and original essays on the readings, films, and ideas discussed in Weeks 1, 2, and 3. The assignment is worth 20% of your overall grade in the course.
Answer Question 1 and either Question 2 or 3.
1. According to Anthony Giddens’ descriptions and analysis of modernity, is the UAE a modern society?
2. To what extent do the personalities, struggles, and behavior of the characters in The Devil Wears Prada match those of modern urbanites described by Georg Simmel in “The Metropolis and Mental Life”? What do we learn about modernity and the self from The Devil Wears Prada that Simmel omits or mistakes?
3. To what extent do Daniel and Katie’s interactions with the state and state officials in I, Daniel Blake match the descriptions of modern bureaucracy by Max Weber and Hannah Arendt? What do we learn about bureaucracy in I, Daniel Blake that Weber and Arendt omit or mistake?
Explain your answers using specific examples. Guidelines
Response papers are very short. You do not have space to include vague or general points, or unnecessary background information.
Your introduction should be one short paragraph: a brief summary or definition of the film, work, or idea you are exploring in the essay, and a clear answer to the question. Mention the examples you will be using in the paper to make your argument.
For the body of the paper, discuss two or three precise and original examples only to explain your answer – from the reading, film, or real life. Relate these examples to specific ideas from the texts.
Do not summarize whole readings or films. It is best to discuss a small number of specific ideas, quotations, concepts, or scenes from the readings or films in detail. Don’t try to cover every part of a complex text or film in a single short essay.
Cite quotations and sources correctly within your paper and in a bibliography using a standard referencing method (such as APA or MLA).
Length: Approx. 3 pages per essay, double-spaced, excluding bibliography.
Written work will be graded on four criteria: understanding of readings and materials; analysis and argument; information literacy (citations, bibliography, and use of sources); organization and accuracy of English. Consult the assignment’s grading rubric for more information.
All written work should:
• Follow instructions and requirements closely
• Respond to the assigned questions through specific and meaningful analysis of the assigned
• Reason thoughtfully and coherently with evidence
• Contain a logical and engaging beginning, middle, and ending
• Provide intelligent readers with explanation and background information where necessary
• Address readers respectfully in a graceful, conversational style
• Express thoughts in clear, economical prose using the conventions of English grammar, spelling,
Essays should be typed and double-spaced. Print on both sides of paper. Use a plain 12-point font with a 1-inch margin. Number all pages. Do not include cover or contents pages. All papers should have appropriate titles.
Two recommended websites to consult for information on referencing and formatting styles:
• Harvard Guide to Using Sources, Harvard College Writing Program, Harvard University: http://usingsources.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do
• The Purdue Online Writing Lab, Purdue University: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
You do not need to include any additional sources in this assignment in addition to those mentioned
in the question.
However, if you choose to include additional sources, all sources must be reliable. This usually means you should only use peer-reviewed scholarly books and journal articles distributed by reputable academic publishers. Websites and other publications (e.g. government reports, self-published books, online articles) may be helpful to learn about a topic, but these are very rarely considered reliable sources – so it is best to avoid using them in assignments. To evaluate a source’s reliability, you should inquire as to the credentials of the author, the purpose, scope, and currency of the source, and the reputation of the publisher. It is important not to select sources at random (e.g. because they are the first sources you find).