The Great Wildebeest Migration Literature & Language Essay (Essay Sample)
Instructions for the fact paper
In this paper, you will describe a person, object, or event using only empirically verifiable facts. The objective of the paper is to invite your reader to see the person, object, or event in an unusual light while ensuring that your paper remains completely free of any evaluative language. Your final draft should be 1000 words in length not including and bibliography/works cited/references page.
Choose a topic that you are very interested in writing about. Choose a person, object, or event that you find interesting and that you can readily research. You will incorporate research, while refraining from evaluation and editorializing.
After you choose a topic, begin to compile facts that allow you to show your topic in an unusual light. By "unusual" I mean in a way different from how most people would think about that person or object or event. Your essay should NOT be a report. You are not writing an encyclopedia entry. You are making an argument by presenting an artful, carefully-crafted perspective. If you think this is near impossible consider that journalists do it all the time.
Though you are being artful, you want in every case to use only empirically verifiable statements. At no point should you use language that discloses your opinions or use evaluative language of any kind. Your essay should only contain carefully collected and composed empirical statements that you have strategically organized.
1) Your opening paragraph must be a vivid, detailed description of your topic.
2) The introduction of your essay must include a thesis statement and a preview of your main points in terms of where you are headed. Your preview should give your reader a sense of what you will talk about and why. Remember: all statements must be empirically verifiable.
3) The body of your paper should deliver on the promises made in your preview. For instance, if you promise in your introduction that the first section of your paper will discuss deaths that have occurred on Disneyland rides, then the first section of your paper should provide information about the number of deaths that have occurred on Disneyland rides. Do not suddenly start talking about the history of amusement parks.
To make the body of your essay interesting, you want to think about how you present information. Where do you place each sentence? Can you put two sentences together that suggest things that you cannot come right out and say? When do you introduce certain details? Which details do you leave out? We will talk in class about different kinds of empirically verifiable statements. The body of your essay should be a combination of different kinds of statements. Think, too, about how you compose each sentence. It is better to be detailed than vague. It is good to have a combination of specific and general information. Consider how best to get your reader to see the topic from a certain angle. It is a matter of selection, arrangement, and presentation.
4) Your essay should feature a conclusion that briefly summarizes the course of the paper. Without drawing conclusions or stating your opinion, end the paper in such a way that your reader will know they are taking away an unusual perspective. You cannot, of course, say as much. So you have to show your reader that somehow.
5) The essay includes a works cited or references page and the author uses citations strategically to create a “second narrative." Use at least seven well-researched, reliable sources that establish credibility. This should comprise of two scholarly and five non-scholarly sources. All in-text citations must be complete and correct for ALL your sources and facts.
6) The writing has been carefully proofread. This include grammar and spelling in your introduction, body, and conclusion.
7) The essay has five examples of the five fact types labeled (bolded or in parenthesis), which comprise of (a) granular detail, (b) auto-biographical detail, (c) aggregated data, (d) passive voice fact, and (e) active voice fact. In other words, one of each fact type statement needs to be strategically placed throughout your essay and labeled. The purpose of this to think about which kind of empirically verifiable statements you will use the most and why. Your choices should be guided by what you want your readers to see and why.
Granular detail is about a specific communication practice or the precise wording of an interpersonal conversational or public speech within a time, place, or location. For example: “When the doctor entered, the digital clock over the door read 2:17 AM.”
Auto-biographical detail is about the self-narrative (e.g., someone's story or performance).For example: “Art Quake was my first ever trip to an art museum.”
Aggregated data is about using statistics (e.g., ratios, fractions, percentages, averages, correlations, regressions, etc. For example: “In a 2016 study conducted by the Brook Institute, 9 out of 10 college students reported experiencing ‘phantom’ cell phone vibrations.”
Passive voice fact is the opposite of the subject doing the action. For example: “The Governor’s speech was delayed an additional month while further policy details were finalized.”
First person fact: active voice is the subject doing the action. For example: “I conducted a total of five interviews over four weeks.”
This assignment also requires that you peer review fact papers. I will provide detailed review guidelines for you to complete. If you do not have copies of your drafted paper ready for peer review, you will lose credit for this portion of the assignment. Your draft must be very nearly completed so that your peers have something to review.
The final draft is to be submitted here. Be sure that it is double-spaced with one-inch margins. Use 12 pt. font, preferably Times New Roman. Please do not include a title page or my name. Simply include your name, the semester, and the assignment (single-spaced) at the top of the first page. Citations should be formatted in accordance with either MLA or APA guidelines. Those guidelines can be found in The Pocket Wadsworth Handbook and the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): http://owl(dot)english(dot)purdue(dot)edu/ (Links to an external site.)
Your Fact Paper requires at least seven sources, which include scholarly sources (i.e., Peer Reviewed journal articles). For more information, please read: https://libguides(dot)sjsu(dot)edu/c.php?g=230326&p=1528242 (Links to an external site.)
Fact Paper Rubric
Opening includes vivid details. You also have a thesis statement and you have a preview of your main points: _______/20 points
Essay is completely free of an evaluative language and every single sentence is empirically verifiable: ______/40 points
The composition of facts (the selection and arrangement of facts) presents the topic in an unusual perspective. The essay shows evidence of thoughtful selection and arrangement: _____/20 points
The essay is well organized into sections that make sense. Your essay should also feature a conclusion that briefly summarizes the course of the paper. Without drawing conclusions or stating your opinion, end the paper in such a way that your reader will know they are taking away an unusual perspective: ______/15 points
The essay includes a works cited or references page and the author uses citations strategically to create a “second narrative." Use at least seven well-researched, reliable sources that establish credibility. This should comprise of two scholarly (i.e., peer reviewed journal articles) and five non-scholarly sources (i.e., any other credible sources). All in-text citations must be complete and correct for ALL your sources and facts. : ______/15 points
Writing has been carefully proofread: ______/5 points
The essay has five examples of the five fact types labeled in parenthesis, which comprise of (1) granular detail, (2) auto-biographical detail, (3) aggregated data, (4) passive voice fact, and (5) first person fact: active voice: __________/10 points
THE GREAT WILDEBEEST MIGRATION
Wildebeests in the Serengeti and Maasai Mara tend to migrate all year long. Some migrations are within the private reserves, while other movements are across the Mara River from one to the other. These migrations, however, are epic and outstanding in their unique way. The migration is among the seven wonders of the world. In this essay, I'm breaking down the movement and trying to explain in the most delicate details possible what happens, when it happens, why it happens, how often it happens, what makes it epic and unique. Also, in the essay, I will explain what animals apart from the wildebeests take part in the migration process.[granular detail] It is only by interpreting and understanding the whole process extensively that we will learn to appreciate the uniqueness of the entire migration and the value it adds to enrich the environment and coexistence in their respective ecosystem.
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