F1 Final essay: Hip Hop Definition The final paper asks you to define hip hop based on the readings and films we’ve studied in class.  Hip Hop Definit

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F1 Final essay: Hip Hop Definition

The final paper asks you to define hip hop based on the readings and films we’ve studied in class. 

Hip Hop Definition

This may seem like an easy assignment at first glance, but I’m looking for a solid, claim-driven perspective. Your definition should be focused and supported with specific evidence from course materials. In other words, please position yourself somewhere within the critical “conversation” about hip hop and use the readings/films from our class to support your argument. In other words, I don’t need you to tell me EVERYTHING about hip hop. What I’d like to see is a “way in” to a larger discussion about hip hop or an aspect of hip hop.
I’d like you to “stretch” your papers beyond simply reciting and defining the elements of hip hop and instead find a way into the conversation from a particular topic or viewpoint. For example, you might want to focus on one element (like the art of rap or the concept of the “5th element” as knowledge or visual art).
We’ve read a lot of material this quarter about the relationship between history, structural inequality and cultural politics. We’ve also watched several documentaries about how people have challenged institutionalized oppression and fought for a more democratic society. One way to organize your paper could be to think about how previous movements inform (or might inform) hip hop culture and/or a particular artist (ex: Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and the Black Lives Matter movement).
These are just a few examples, but the possibilities are endless. It’s totally up to you how you want to organize your paper (I’m open to creativity), but it’s important that you have a claim and that you support it with evidence from our class materials.

Logistics

· Your paper should have a main claim (claims take a position and are arguable)
· The paper should be at least 4 pages in length (please don’t go over 5 pages) and incorporate quotations from a range of course readings and films. You must use at least three readings from our class (you may use films after you’ve met this requirement)
· Please use at least 2-3 quotations per page (minimum).
· The paper should be double-spaced, use MLA citation format and include a descriptive title (take inspiration from other academic articles we’ve read this quarter)
· Make sure to include name, page numbers, etc.
· You do not need a works cited page when using course material, but be sure to include page numbers for your in-text citations
· If you have any questions or would like feedback on your claim, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Things to avoid

· It’s ok to use “I,” but please use it sparingly.
· This isn’t a paper about how you feel about hip hop. Your perspective will certainly drive topic choice, but I’d like you to rely on the scholars/artists we’re studying as much as possible.
· Please refrain from using sources like Wikipedia or the dictionary’s definition of hip hop (use our class texts!)
· Please avoid general phrases like “hip hop is hard to define.” Again, if you’re stuck, I would suggest outlining (even making a chart) of how the readings and films we’ve watched have defined hip hop.

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