At this point, you have identified a topic, collected iterations to analyze, and begun answering your guiding question for each of those iterations. As you answer that question--what does this product/iteration tell us/ reveal to us about America's values and beliefs?--you are also gathering support for your answer/claim/argument. This means analyzing details from the iteration and interpreting/explaining how those details support your argument.
As you go through this process of constructing an argument / answering a guiding question, marshaling relevant details, and interpreting those details, you should remember that our course readings provide an invaluable resource. In them you can find terms, concepts, examples, and quotes that can help you frame your answer, provide supporting details, or enhance an interpretation or explanation.
So let's break down some of the key points to consider about integrating sources. Not surprisingly, the rubric offers a good starting point. So let's break down what the rubric has to say:
A satisfactory use of sources has two major festures:
1. The essay integrates correctly documented, brief quotes and paraphrases from a range of popular and academic sources into its analysis
2. The works cited page has some minor formatting errors
So a solid essay integrates and documents. You can see the basics of this in Nicci's sample essay. Read a few paragraph and note how she works with small chunks of text--rather than long quotes--works them into her own language, and then correctly documents them with parenthetical citations (note the punctuation).
Now let's consider the criteria for an excellent use of sources:1. The essay subordinates research sources to the writer’s own analytical argument—the research should support you not supplant you!
2. The essay presents particularly apt and well-integrated quotes and paragraph from a range of the academic and popular sources.
3. The essay provides a correctly formatted works cited page.
Here the qualitative standards are higher. Does the research replace your thinking or support it? Are the quotes and paraphrases particularly helpful/insightful, are they smoothly worked into the text, and do they reflect a range of sources and a significant investment in the research process?
Again, Nicci's sample is a good model But even her masterpiece leaves some room for discussion. You might, for example, want to think about Nicci's practice of integrating quotes from the reading into her topic sentences? Does that work for you? Do you feel that crowds out Nicci's voice or might crowd out yours in your paper?
Those are good questions. In Nicci's essay, I think her approach worked because she is using terms from the reading as part of her argument. But I think a case can be made for the value of topic sentences that simply use the product/iteration + active verb(s) + value(s) / belief(s) formula without including a reading.
As you consider your own approach to working with sources, you may want to check out this handout presenting some of the basic technical aspects and approaches for integrating sources: Download Documentation(2)
The library also offers some excellent resources for MLA documentation methods.
Check these resources out as you work on your drafts.
See you in class!