The last couple of weeks, we’ve been reading Michael Bennett’s book, Things that Make White People Uncomfortable. We’ve learned about his personal life, and how his personal experiences have shaped him into a critical thinker–someone who questions everything. For Bennett he largely questions racial and economic inequality, but he also looks beyond himself as he takes issue with the oppression that women face. He even takes up issues with the food we eat. As you’ve read this text, I’ve asked that you too question everything, and then turn those questions into topics to research and learn more about. Hopefully you’ve learned something new, and are now looking at the world with a more critical lens.
For this essay, you will choose ONE of the following tasks for your essay:
- Write a review of Things that Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett. Consider the following questions for your review: Does Bennett successfully persuade his audience of his points? If so, how does he do this? If not, where does he fall short? Analyze how he makes his argument (or fails in his argument) through word choice, personal narrative, credible research, logic and reason, and emotional appeals. Consider an argumentative scale with “successful book” at one end and “unsuccessful book” at the other end. Choose an argumentative position on that scale and then explore that position (remember that strong arguments are often in the middle of the scale somewhere, or tipped a bit to one side or the other).
- Identify and articulate ONE of Bennett’s arguments, and then join in by agreeing with a difference, disagreeing with reasons, or both agreeing and disagreeing. To make your argument strong, you will need to support your argument with credible outside texts that you found in your research. You should also address counter-arguments or naysayers to make your essay persuasive. As you agree, disagree, or agree and disagree, be specific about what parts of his argument you agree/disagree with and why. Articulate if you mostly agree, mostly disagree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or simultaneously agree and disagree. The strongest academic arguments will not 100% agree or disagree, but take up a position somewhere in the middle of the argumentative scale. Decide where you stand and clearly articulate that position with reasons.
- Write an essay about how Bennet’s book moved your thinking along on one or more issues. This option is more than just a “what did you learn” essay. It’s asking that you explain your thinking on one or more of these issues (i.e. police brutality, inequality in sports, intersectionality, food insecurity, etc.) before reading the book, and then analyze how Bennett’s words changed or developed or pushed your thinking since reading it. If you feel more aware, explain. How so? What is our responsibility as citizens after reading a book like this? How does this book change the way you now view sports? How does it change the way you view your community? In what ways did your rabbit hole research for this book also expand your thinking? Strong essays will be deeply reflective, honest, and analytical.
To receive credit for this assignment, this paper must:
- Be handed in on time (no late papers unless arranged prior to the date the paper is due). This essay is due on June 1 by 11:59pm on Canvas.
- Be 3 FULL pages, double spaced (2 and a half pages does not count as 3 pages).
- Include at least 3 quotes from Bennett’s book. Additional quotes can come from outside sources you found in research.
- Follow MLA formatting guidelines. You must include a works cited page.
- Cite properly and use your own words. Essays with evidence of plagiarism will be given 0 points.
Tips for Success:
- Create a connected thesis by using the “thesis generating worksheet” that you used for essay 1.
- Review the introductions and conclusions slideshows to create an engaging opener and closer.
- Practice PIE or TEA paragraph structure (see week 3 for information on this paragraph structure)
- Include 2 quotes/supporting details per body paragraph. (See “The Art of Quoting” for more information on integrating quotes).
- Include a naysayer paragraph in which you concede and rebuttal. (See “Planting a Naysayer” for more information).
- You can use “I” but avoid using the second person pronoun, “you” or “we.” These words are too informal for academic writing.
- Be specific about what exactly Bennett is arguing. Racism is too broad. What about racism is he writing about?
- Proofread for errors.
- Use terminology that shows your awareness of and sensitivity to language (i.e. “person of color” “people of color” “communities of color” “African American” “socio-economic class”).
Please follow the instructions above, I will check by lines to make sure.
The book can be read online through kindle, I will provide the account for reading. Please make sure you read the book before you start. Quotes are crucial for this essay.
Please feel free to ask me anything question, one thing I need to address is that I am an international student from China, please avoid writing from an American perspective.