- Follow the instructions.
- Make your ideas concise. Use as few words as you can to make your statements. This will allow you more room to develop your great ideas!
- Avoid repetition and redundancy of both ideas and words. This is the issue that I usually subtract the most points for, so take care.
- For example, when you edit your papers, make sure that you don’t say “Cool Herc is widely accepted as the originator of hip hop”, and then two sentences later, “As Cool Herc is the originator of hip hop…”. See how these two are the same idea? If the reader already has the information, repeating it just takes up space. Another thing to avoid is using the same word multiple times in quick succession. For example: “I found it exciting to listen to the this music. Eri B. has an exciting tone to his voice. When I hear how he flows when he strings words together, I feel excited.” See how ‘excitement’ occurs three times in three sentences? Here’s another more subtle example: “He used the turntable as a way to switch songs seamlessly, using the scratch method to cover up the different beats that were used in each song.” In this example, the word ‘use’ occurs three times in the same sentence! Because it’s a less emotional word, it might be harder to catch, but it’s just as problematic.
- I like to see ‘I’ statements. I find that turning the focus on yourself (especially when we are dealing with sensitive issues and incorporating personal experience, as I encourage) is a great way to avoid generalizing groups and ideas. If your statement is clearly from your perspective, then I as a reader can empathize with your position. If you use lots of ‘we as a generalized group of people act and feel this specific way’, it makes me wonder what research you’ve done, what data points you have, and how many people you have interviewed in order to have that knowledge.
- Going off of the previous expectation: BE SPECIFIC! If you do make a generalized statement about a situation, back it up with details. Show the research. Reference or quote the authors who initially made the observations and put their work into context. If you tell me that Cool Herc is largely agreed to be the originator of hip hop, tell me why and give examples.
- For example, something with detail and context would be: “Although Jamaican soundsystem culture is at the roots of hip hop, Cool Herc was the first to create tracks sourced from James Brown, using the funkier, harder beats that we’ve come to associate with hip hop today.” See how this gives specific details and context on either end of the statement that Cool Herc was the first person to make hip hop?
- Make sure you include proper internal references, and construct your bibliography following MLA format. In your paper, I like to see at least (Author, Date of Publication). For example: “Cool Herc is widely agreed to be the originator of hip hop(Babin 2020).” This tells me you got the information from the course modules recorded by Tommy Babin this year. You can also put a page number if you like, it’s not required by me, but do be consistent with whatever version you choose.
- Plagiarism – as you saw in the syllabus, we take plagiarism seriously. The turnitin grading tool is very good at spotting this. I have unfortunately had to deal with plagiarism issues in this class before. It’s never fun for anyone. I will catch you. It goes on your record forever. Don’t do it.
Two songs that are covered during the first four lectures will be compared and contrasted. The songs must be chosen from the provided lists – one from list one and one from list 2 -and the paper should be no shorter than 3 pages (excluding bibliography). A bibliography must be included with proper citations for the songs themselves and at least 2 proper references.
One of the references should be “Stinging Like Tabasco” by Imani Perry
Be sure to listen to all of the songs and choose ones that you feel that you may have a lot to say about, and remember, you’re comparing the songs not how you feel about the songs.
You do what’s asked –2 songs from the lists, 3 pages long, bibliography, both compare and contrast the songs, offer equal opinion and insight into both songs, offer proper support for info=15 pts before deductions.
Miss major elements –only one song, songs are from the same list or are not on the list, no bibliography, 1.5 pages or less. –7.5 points before deductions.
Deductions at the discretion of the TA, but examples include unsupported/wrong information, incorrect citations, obviously poor effort, didn’t compare songs but wrote about how one feels about the songs, skate.
Cheat = 0 and a report to AI
Song lists for the assignment
De La Soul –Me, Myself and I
Roxanne Shante – Roxanne’s Revenge
Grandmaster Flash –The Message
Public Enemy –Don’t Believe the Hype
Kurtis Blow –The Breaks
Snoop Dogg –Who Am I ?
ODB – Brooklyn Zoo
2 Live Crew – Me So Horny
Some content ideas:
Use Imani Perry’s “Stinging Like Tabasco” to compare the types of flow.
Compare the way that the beat is created
Compare the use of “Signifyin” in the lyrics.
Compare the environments that the songs came from and how we hear them.
Compare the intention of the lyrics.
Compare anything else that you hear and that you feel is important to understanding the songs !