Final Exam: Discourses of “Development”

Your final exam will take the form of an essay project that is a case study in the discourses of “development.”  You will choose a development topic and present the different discourses that frame this topic.  You will then analyze these discourses by demonstrating specifically how it is that they frame the topic or issue at hand.  Finally, you will locate yourself within these discourses, and explain why you think a particular discourse is more persuasive than the others.

Here are the steps:

  1. Choose a development topic: you will need to demonstrate your familiarity with the topic and how it relates to what we have discussed this semester.  Choose a topic that interests you and that you want to learn more about. Email me your topic by Monday, 5pm, briefly explaining why the topic interests you and what you hope to learn about it.
  2. Print out three articles that demonstrate the different discourses that frame this topic.  Bring these into class with you on Tuesday.
  3. Turn in a hard copy of the essay in class on Thursday along with the three articles that you used in class on Tuesday.

Choosing a topic: pick a current event/issue that is unfolding at the local, national, or global level.

Examples: these are just suggestions, there are many more possibilities.

  • Local: commercial tourist developments on the north shore; Honolulu rail; homelessness
  • National: Occupy Wall Street vs. the Tea Party Movement; Obama’s re-election and the economy; poverty/inequality in the US
  • Global: the rise of China; globalization and the financial crisis; development aid to Africa

Requirements:

  1. Essay must be 5 pages long, must include at least 5 citations from our course readings (from 5 different readings).
  2. Essay must be typed in 12-point font, standard margins, and double-spaced.
  3. Cite anything you use to substantiate your argument, including internet websites, books, articles, and class readings (bibliographic info for the readings in on the syllabus).

You will be graded on the following criteria:

  1. Your demonstrated understanding of the topic you have chosen and its relevance to our course materials.
  2. Your ability to identity and analyze the different discourses that frame the topic.
  3. Your ability to integrate our course readings into your analysis.
  4. Your ability to locate yourself within these discourses, arguing why it is that you think one particular discourse is more persuasive than the others.
  5. Language and timeliness will also factor into your grade.  Excessive spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will cost you.  I will deduct an entire letter grade for each day that the assignment is late (including if you turn it in after our class period on Thursday, December 8).

I will have special office hours on Monday and Wednesday from 10 am – 12 pm, and Tuesday from 1-2:30 pm, if you need help or want to discuss the exam.  If you want me to look over a rough draft, come see me during my office hours rather than emailing me.  I will most likely not be able to send you comments over email until it is too late.

Suggestions:

  • Be very clear in your language.  Define the terms and concepts that you use.  Clearly explain the connections that you make in your argument.
  • When you explain your own views or opinions regarding the topic you choose, be sure to explain on what basis your view is formed.  Is it a moral view?  Is it a rational view?  Is it an ethical one?
  • If you want me to look over a rough draft, come see me during my office hours rather than emailing me.  I will most likely not be able to send you comments over email until it is too late.

 

 

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