landscape or location in the United States, and an issue associated with this landscape or location.

landscape or location in the United States, and an issue associated with this landscape or location.

This paper has three substantive components.  First, I want you to choose a particular landscape or location in the United States, and an issue associated with this landscape or location.  Second, I want you to choose at least two texts that provide a depiction or narrative of this location and the issue you’ve chosen – its composition, structure, history or geography. Your texts may be drawn from any media format – a book (fiction or nonfiction), magazine article, graphic novel, film (feature or documentary), website, podcast, etc.  You are to place these two texts into dialogue with one another.  In other words, you should compare and contrast the narratives they present, the evidence they draw on, the interpretive scheme or conclusions they use to attach meaning to the sites they depict.  In other words, I want you to think about not only the arguments advanced in these two texts, but how these arguments are put together.  What sorts of truths are constructed, asserted or suggested by these two texts about the landscape or location you’ve chosen?  How do these truths differ, and why?  Your paper should include at least one paragraph summarizing this issue for each text you choose.
Third, to help you make sense of and unpack these texts, you should draw on at least four readings, films or other assignments you’ve completed in this class.  These should be clearly referenced, including a full citation for the readings you choose (lecture notes are not acceptable as a reference for this assignment).  You can use this class material to reference concepts, facts or provide additional contrasting perspective on the location and issue you’ve selected for your paper.  You may also draw on additional outside readings and sources if these are helpful for the purposes of completing this assignment.  Finally, if you have personal experience with this issue, location or landscape, you are free to draw on this to inform your discussion.
The paper should be 8-10 pages, standard APA format.  Your paper should include a clear introduction and conclusion in which you summarize the content of the paper, including the location and issue chosen, the texts used to narrate this location, and a summary of your comparison of these texts and the conclusion each suggests.  You may also (but are not required to) include your own perspective on the location or the texts themselves, as informed by individual experience, class readings, independent literature review or research.
To summarize: Most of you are undoubtedly familiar with a ‘book report’ format.  You might approach this final paper assignment as through you were completing two ‘book reports’ on the same location and topic, and asked to compare and contrast the arguments or perspectives of each text, using the concepts, ideas and topics we’ve discussed in this class to guide you.

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