Glendale Community College Historical Overview of Skid Row Essay

The Assignment

For this assignment, you will conduct your own study of a neighborhood in Los Angeles. You will research in order to write an essay that analyzes the effects of the geographical environment (built or natural) on the residents or visitors, focusing on one major tension in the neighborhood.

Getting Started

Start by choosing a neighborhood (other than your own) that you find interesting or that you want to learn more about. Remember that your goal is to add original insights to a conversation about this place by examining the geographical environment.

  • Geographical environment may involve the landscape, architecture, types of stores or restaurants, language spoken and/or on signs, presence of freeways or public transportation, or other elements that give us a sense of “place.”
  • Your analysis of this geographical environment may be focused through a specific lens; for instance, you may want to analyze the neighborhood through the lens of economics, architecture, psychology, social justice, etc.
  • You may want to examine a significant tension in the neighborhood.
  • Since your goal is to add an original perspective, this assignment will be more difficult if you choose a very famous neighborhood such as Hollywood or Beverly Hills.

Getting a Visual

Because this essay will analyze visual elements of a place, it is essential to capture your visual text for the reader. This may be in the form of photographs of the location, a map, graphs or other forms of visual data, etc. The visual should be relevant and serve to enhance the reader’s understanding.

Insert your visual into the relevant area of the essay and be sure to directly reference your visual in the writing. For the sake of space, limit yourself to no more than 3 images.

The Research

For this essay, you will conduct in-depth independent research. Your research will likely take a variety of forms, which may include primary and/or secondary sources:

  • Primary Sources include direct first-hand accounts, observations, and evidence about an event, object, person, place, or work of art, as well as interviews, surveys, and demographics data.
  • Secondary Sources include scholarly books and articles discussing information originally presented elsewhere, information about events that were not directly experienced, or analysis of works created by others.
  • Keep in mind that your essay is not a summary of facts about a place or an historical overview. Instead, you will use the ideas that you find in your research to develop your original analysis of the neighborhood. Wikipedia may not be used as a source.

Assignment Requirements:

  • Your essay should be 7-8 full double-spaced pages with 1” side margins, 1” header and footer margins, Times New Roman, 12 pt font.
  • Your essay should attempt to engage in analysis that goes beyond a superficial understanding of your neighborhood. While stereotypes may be discussed, your essay should not rely on stereotypes in place of analysis, and your thesis must go beyond stereotypical or obvious statements.
  • Your essay must integrate and cite at least five credible sources from your research. Integrating sources includes summarizing key terms, claims, or concepts, and quoting important details.
  • Use your sources as a springboard for your own claims, questions and analysis. You should not just incorporate sources to add “facts” to your essay. For this assignment, you must add to and help develop the ideas from the source to offer your own thinking about the neighborhood.
  • Cite all sources in MLA format (in text), in addition to a Works Cited page. Use Purdue OWL (linked on Canvas) to look up proper MLA in-text citations and Works Cited formatting.
  • Proofread for mistakes and edit for clarity. Consider paragraph organization and appropriate transitions to lead your reader through your discussion.

Rubric

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThesis

5 pts

Meets Expectations

Writer’s thesis is lucid, focused, and goes beyond common knowledge to explore an idea/issue/question/theory that is complex and interesting to readers. The thesis gives the essay a clear and meaningful purpose, which is clarified early on and develops throughout the essay.

3 pts

Minimal Expectations

Writer’s thesis is limited in establishing common knowledge to explore an idea/issue/question/theory that is complex and interesting to readers. The thesis gives the essay a partially clear purpose, which is clarified early on and develops throughout the essay.

0 pts

Does Not Meet Expectations

Writer’s thesis is missing.

5 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSelection & Integration of Evidence

10 pts

Meets Expectations

Writer selects powerful, relevant evidence from sources, such as summary, quotation, or paraphrase, and uses them to support his or her own ideas or questions. Writer summarizes ideas/concepts from sources to offer context for readers not familiar with the sources. Writer demonstrates effective use of signal phrases and end citations with each quotation, paraphrase, or summary of sources.

5 pts

Minimal Expectations

Writer selects some evidence from sources, such as summary, quotation, or paraphrase, and uses them to support his or her own ideas or questions. Writer provides limited summaries of ideas/concepts from sources to offer some context for readers not familiar with the sources. Writer demonstrates minimal use of signal phrases and end citations with each quotation, paraphrase, or summary of sources.

0 pts

Does Not Meet Expectations

Writer provides no relevant evidence from sources to support his or her own ideas or questions. Summaries of sources are missing. Writing no information to readers not familiar with the sources. Writer provides ineffective use of signal phrases and end citations with each quotation, paraphrase, or summary of sources.

10 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnalyses & Critical Thinking

10 pts

Meets Expectations

Writer explores central idea through thoughtful analysis and reflection. Analysis might include one or more of the following: exploring a significant tension, considering multiple perspectives, considering implications and/or assumptions in a text or idea, applying a text or theory as a lens, and/or asking questions that help the writer understand his or her topic more fully. Writer uses evidence to set up his/her own ideas/claims/questions and maintains a conversation with the sources, instead of just dropping quotes, facts, or expert opinions without commentary or analysis. Writer demonstrates willingness to consider and engage alternate viewpoints (if appropriate).

5 pts

Minimal Expectations

Writer provides minimal exploration of the central idea through limited analysis and reflection. Analysis might include one or more of the following: exploring a significant tension, considering multiple perspectives, considering implications and/or assumptions in a text or idea, applying a text or theory as a lens, and/or asking questions that help the writer understand his or her topic more fully. Writer uses limited evidence to set up his/her own ideas/claims/questions and maintains minimal conversation with the sources, instead of just dropping quotes, facts, or expert opinions without commentary or analysis. Writer demonstrates willingness to consider and engage alternate viewpoints (if appropriate).

0 pts

Does Not Meet Expectations

Writer’s exploration of the central idea through analysis and reflection is missing. Missing analysis of one or more of the following: exploring a significant tension, considering multiple perspectives, considering implications and/or assumptions in a text or idea, applying a text or theory as a lens, and/or asking questions that help the writer understand his or her topic more fully. Writer provides no evidence to set up his/her own ideas/claims/questions. Writer provides no conversation with the sources, drops in quotes, facts, or expert opinions without commentary or analysis. Writer no willingness to consider and engage alternate viewpoints (if appropriate).

10 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDevelopment & Complexity

5 pts

Meets Expectations

Writer engages in sustained analysis (answering questions like “how,” “why,” and “so what?”) as claims and evidence are discussed. Writer clarifies what is at stake in the discussion or why an issue/idea matters (the implications and consequences of the essay’s main claim or question). Writer shows awareness of, and anticipates, audience response. Writer’s argument develops and evolves as the essay progresses.

3 pts

Minimal Expectations

Writer engages in limited analysis (answering questions like “how,” “why,” and “so what?”) as claims and evidence are discussed. Writer provides minimal clarification for what is at stake in the discussion or why an issue/idea matters (the implications and consequences of the essay’s main claim or question). Writer shows awareness of, and anticipates, audience response. Writer’s argument has limited development as the essay progresses.

0 pts

Does Not Meet Expectations

Writer has missing analysis (answering questions like “how,” “why,” and “so what?”) as claims and evidence are discussed. Missing clarification of what is at stake in the discussion or why an issue/idea matters (the implications and consequences of the essay’s main claim or question). Writer little or no awareness of, and anticipates, audience response. Writer’s argument has no development as the essay progresses.

5 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization & Progression

10 pts

Meets Expectations

Writer’s introduction effectively leads readers into the complex claim or question the paper will examine. Writer’s organization moves back and forth between evidence and claims that connect to each other and to the main claim or question guiding the paper. Writer’s conclusion culminates the discussion appropriately by pursuing implications or answers to “so what?” The ending avoids unnecessary repetition and/or summary of the paper, and leaves readers still thinking.

5 pts

Minimal Expectations

Writer’s introduction minimally leads readers into the complex claim or question the paper will examine. Writer’s organization partially moves back and forth between evidence and claims that connect to each other and to the main claim or question guiding the paper. Writer’s conclusion culminates the discussion minimally by pursuing implications or answers to “so what?” The ending avoids unnecessary repetition and/or summary of the paper, and leaves readers still thinking.

0 pts

Does Not Meet Expectations

Writer’s introduction fails to leads readers into the complex claim or question the paper will examine. Writer’s organization fails to move back and forth between evidence and claims that connect to each other and to the main claim or question guiding the paper. Writer’s conclusion fails to culminate the discussion appropriately by pursuing implications or answers to “so what?” The ending has unnecessary repetition and/or summary of the paper.

10 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeExpression & Conventions

10 pts

Meets Expectations

Writer’s essay shows strong command of the conventions of Standard Written English. Care is shown with spelling, sentences, and punctuation (evidence of proofreading and editing). Writer edits and crafts for clarity, coherence, and/or emphasis. Clear transitions connect paragraphs and sentences. Writer shows an awareness of audience and establishes a tone that is consistent with the writing’s rhetorical context and purpose. Writer shows care in formatting, including in-text citations and other requirements of the specified documentation style (e.g., works cited page).

5 pts

Minimal Expectations

Writer’s essay shows minimal command of the conventions of Standard Written English. Care is shown with spelling, sentences, and punctuation (evidence of proofreading and editing). Writer partially edits and crafts for clarity, coherence, and/or emphasis. transitions partially connect paragraphs and sentences. Writer shows some awareness of audience and establishes a tone that is consistent with the writing’s rhetorical context and purpose. Writer shows limited care in formatting, including in-text citations and other requirements of the specified documentation style (e.g., works cited page).

0 pts

Does Not Meet Expectations

Writer’s essay shows no command of the conventions of Standard Written English. No care is shown with spelling, sentences, and punctuation (evidence of proofreading and editing). Writer does not edit for clarity, coherence, and/or emphasis. No transitions connect paragraphs and sentences. Writer shows no awareness of audience and a tone that is not consistent with the writing’s rhetorical context and purpose. Writer shows minimal care in formatting, including in-text citations and other requirements of the specified documentation style (e.g., works cited page).

10 pts

Total Points: 50

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