Community in Fort McMurray. Social Sciences Essay (Essay Sample)
Objectives of the Assignment
1. To begin the process of learning to read an “academic” article
2. To improve your skills in picking out important points and
• And to summarize and convey this information concisely
3. To improve your skills in evaluating evidence
What are NOT part of this SPECIFIC
1. Develop your skills in writing a classical “essay”.
2. Footnoting and attribution
--- But if you use other sources, they must be attributed correctly
What your essay should cover
1. What argument was the authors making?
2. How did their discussion of other people’s work tie into the argument
they were making?
3. What evidence did they present to you?
• How did they collect it?
• Was the evidence appropriate to their argument?
• How valid and reliable was the evidence?
4. What was the author’s conclusion?
5. Did the article focus more on outcomes or processes? Why do you make
6. Did the article “make sense” to you based on your experience living in
Fort McMurray. Why or why not?
Argument Statement must be be specific, example:
Descriptive topic statement
“This paper is about the incomes of people in Fort McMurray.”
“The authors of this paper argue that incomes in Fort McMurray
are higher than in the rest of Canada because of a combination
of skill requirements in the oil industry and the need to attract
people to an isolated area.”
Use of Secondary Literature
Near the beginning of almost all academic articles, there will be a
“review of the literature”.
• You can identify this section visually because there will be a bunch of
This secondary literature can be used for a number of purposes:
• Defining and exploring concepts
• Reporting what has been found in other places
• Reporting what has been found in Fort McMurray
• And what still needs to be filled in (or what needs to be confirmed)
Evaluation of Evidence
• What “facts” did the authors point to in support of the Author’s conclusion
• Should flow from the argument
• Was what they expected to find what they found?
• Was what they expected to find different than what they found?
• Did they stumble upon something completely different (“serendipity”)
Outcomes or Processes?
Review the characteristics of the two main approaches to sociology.
Which one was the most important in the article?
• There will often be “some of both”.
• Which approach drove their conclusions?
Where there is “some of both”, the most important part of your answer
is the justification (or even when it is just one).
• Why is it more of one?
• Why is not the other?
• Point to specific evidence.
Relationship to personal experience
You all have experience of Fort McMurray. Does the article “smell right”
• Does it “seem true” – confirm your own understandings
• Does it jar you – argue something than what you expected
• If so, does the evidence they present convince you that your original opinion might have
been wrong in some way?
• If so, does the evidence they present simply seem wrong or unconvincing?
• Point to something specific in your own experience as evidence.
Grading of your paper
• The paper is worth 25% of your final mark. It will be graded out of 25.
• Each of the six components will be worth 3 marks (18 marks total).
The grading for each section is simple:
• 3 marks = you were on topic and clearly presented the information.
• 2 marks = I could follow what you were saying and it showed some
• 1 mark = I could tell you’d read the paper.
• 0 mark = nuff said.
• 5 marks will be awarded for spelling, grammar and coherence.
• 2 marks will be awarded for overall impression (artistic impression).
Technical Details for the Essay
• Assignment is due by March 11 (midnight).
• Three to five pages long, double spaced, 12 point time (preferably Times New Roman).
• The nature of the assignment is such that you probably don’t need to cite any outside sources. If you do, use one of the major citation styles consistently.
• You can make my job much easier by using sub-heads to identify your
six sections. This is to your advantage as well for two reasons:
• It helps you organize your paper,
• It helps me find your wisdom.
• The assignment is difficult for anyone to plagiarize – however –
“looking too much like a classmates work” can be plagiarism.
• Talking over the article with a classmate is helpful, but
• When you write, do it separately.
A final, final point
• Proof read your paper.
• Proof read your paper again, this time carefully.
• Proof read your paper again, this time by reading it aloud.
• Do not rely on spell check, but
• Any misspelled word that has been identified by spell check and not corrected will result in the loss of a mark.
And a final, final, final point
• I am interested in seeing how well you can understand and convey
information in your own words.
• I am not interested in seeing how well you can cut and paste pieces of
the article as quotes.
• If you have a quote from the article, there needs to be a clear reason
• i.e. to frame the subsequent discussion.
• If you use quotes simply to convey information from the article, you will be
• If you cut and paste pieces of the article without identifying them as quotes,
you will get a zero
Community in Fort McMurray
In "Community By Necessity: Security, Insecurity, And The Flattening Of Class In Fort McMurray “Community”, Claire Major, and Tracy Winters argue that the university educated immigrants and high school educated laborers from Newfoundland are part of the community because of the circumstances they find themselves working side by side in the boomtown of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
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