Country Music

In this essay, you will define a genre, or category of music, film, literature, television, art or other form of creative expression. For instance, in music we have such genres as country, bluegrass, rock, heavy metal, pop, jazz, rap, hip-hop, reggae, blues, classical, etc. Or in movies, we have horror, comedy, action, sci-fi, etc. Each genre may have sub-genres, or smaller divisions, which may overlap; for instance, Christian rock is a sub-genre of both rock and gospel music. You may select either a genre or sub-genre to define, but explain very carefully and clearly what makes your category a different genre or sub-genre from other genres or sub-genres.
What creates the boundaries? And do they have any real meaning – is there actually a distinction between genres, or does the belief that there are differences constitute the defining factor? Use such supporting arguments as the way your chosen genre is produced, its history, its context, its typical  message, and its audience.  Remember any item, category or idea can be defined both by what it is – its characteristics – and what it is not – its differences from other categories or ideas.
Trap to avoid: Don’t only describe the history of a genre – directly examine the genre itself and compare it with your own observation of other genres, and draw your own conclusions.
Related project: An audio-visual presentation will be assigned in connection with this paper.  Requirements for your presentation will be described in a separate handout.
Length: At least four full pages (continuing onto a fifth page, in other words), plus a “works cited” page.  The “works cited” does not count as one of your four full pages, in other words.
Sources: You should cite at least four sources for your paper. One should be a book about the genre you’re defining, one should be a Web page, one should be a scholarly (peer-reviewed) journal article, and one should be an example of your chosen genre, such as a CD, video, book, or movie. 
Format: Per the syllabus, your papers should be 1.) double-spaced 2.) in 12 point Times New Roman font and 3.) in MLA style.
Key organizational elements in your paper should include:
an attention-getting introduction stating your thesis regarding your definition of a genre;
transitions throughout your paper from paragraph to paragraph;

a persuasive conclusion demonstrating that you have proved your thesis;  

thorough documentation, including both in-text citation and an MLA-style “works cited” page;
basic competence in grammar, spelling, style, paragraph structure, and sentence structure.

Deadlines for Paper One:
Topic proposals due in D2L at the beginning of class Monday, Jan. 31  
Web source evaluations due in D2L at the beginning of class Monday, Feb. 14
Rough drafts due in D2L for writing conferences Monday-Friday, Feb. 14-25
Presentations made in class Wednesday-Monday, Feb. 16-28
Revised rough drafts due in D2L at the beginning of class for peer review Wednesday, Mar. 2
Final drafts due in D2L at the beginning of class Monday, Mar. 14
Grading: Your paper will be assessed for its overall effect and insight, for its successful development through your writing process (including your presentation), and for the degree to which it follows the instructions given in this assignment. Be sure to include the key organizational elements

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