There are many student organizations active at Queens College, including ethnic and cultural associations, several religious groups and several mixed cultural groups. While most students agree that these organizations add to the life of the college, no one is sure exactly how. As a result of budget pressures, the administration is considering reducing funding to student organizations and has asked the student government to evaluate what these groups contribute to the educational experience at the college. The student government has announced that there will be a forum where students can present their views on the groups in order to help inform their decision-making process. Your task in this assignment is to offer a convincing argument regarding maintaining, decreasing, or increasing funding for a specific student organization based on your evolving understanding of cultural identity.
Your work on the assignment will proceed in stages: first, you identify the student organization you will evaluate and draft a preliminary research plan; next you will use library resources to inform your understanding of the effects of cultural organizations on student achievement; then you will conduct in-person observations of the organization and complete interviews with members; and finally you will plan and draft a 5-6 page essay summarizing your findings and recommending that the organization’s funding level be maintained, decreased or increased.
Audience: Panel of Queens College students, faculty and administrators
Format: 1500 words (5-6 pages); MLA style, including in-text citations and Works Cited page
Advice: The best essays will combine rich descriptions of the organization’s activities based on direct observation and interviews with members, as well as a clear and compelling argument for why their funding should be maintained, decreased or increased.
(FOR INSTRUCTORS ONLY)
Type: Develop an analytical argument using original research that includes both primary and secondary sources
Rationale: The purpose of this assignment is to engage students in significant library and in-person research and to encourage them to practice synthesizing information gathered from various sources. Students apply their emerging understanding of cultural identity in a real-world context: learning about student organizations on the QC campus.
- Practice “making room in a debate” using Mark Gaipa’s strategies
- Developing and reinforcing thesis statements through structure, analysis and reflection
- Identifying and accessing library research sources (in a library session and in class)
- Practice taking notes during in-person observations and interviews and transforming notes into rich descriptions
- Practicing in-text citations and formatting entries for a Works Cited page
- Outlining/Planning a comparative analysis