This assignment is comprised of two parts: an essay proposal and an annotated bibliography. Be sure to include a title page with your assignment that includes the working title of your essay, the course name and number, your name and the date. Be sure that the title page is not numbered, as per the Chicago author-date citation style. The title page is not included in the approximately 3 page length requirement.
A. Essay Proposal
An essay proposal is a synopsis of the main elements that will comprise your final essay. It should be brief, concise and specific. This means that you will need to engage in some preliminary thinking and research before you write the proposal.
Your Proposal should contain the following: (you can use sub-headings if you like for each of these items):
1. Introductory Paragraph – include an introductory paragraph on your essay topic. The introductory paragraph should introduce the subject matter of your essay, and the research question you are seeking to answer. This should be a general, “big picture” overview of your topic, which can form the introductory paragraph of your final essay. For example, if you want to address the research question of “why is the number of alt-right groups increasing in Canada,” you might want to begin by briefly defining the term “alt-right,” noting how many groups there are in Canada today compared to a few years ago, and describing why the increase in alt-right groups is a problem by linking it to the rise in hate crimes and attacks on marginalized populations.
2. Thesis Statement – in one sentence, clearly outline your working argument. Political Science essays are argumentative essays. A thesis is one sentence that captures the central, core argument of your paper. Your thesis should therefore explicitly express your position or stand on the subject. A simple and explicit way of framing your thesis statement is by starting with “this essay will argue that …” Thesis statements are like the final destination on a roadmap. By reading your thesis, the reader should be able to clearly see where you plan on ending up in the essay.
A strong thesis should involve the following:
• Unity – argue a single point
• Scope – argue a narrow point
• Precision – argue a specific point
• Contestability – answer a “why” or “how” question
Pretty much every research question in political science can have multiple answers. You don’t need to provide all of the possible answers in your essay! Pick one and run with that. Keeping our research question in mind, an example of a good thesis would be “this essay will argue that the rise in alt-right groups is due to resistance against the increased number of refugees that have entered Canada over the past decade.”
3. Supporting Arguments – What are the two or three sub-arguments or areas that you will focus on in the essay to support your thesis statement? In order to convince me of your thesis statement, you will need to back it up with evidence and good argumentation. In a few sentences, provide a brief description of each argument or issue/area/subject that you plan on using to prove your thesis.
For example, if you want to prove that resistance to refugees is a reason for the rise of alt-right groups in Canada, here are some areas you might want to consider:
• The increased number of refugees in Canada today compared to, say 20 years ago (look at Government of Canada reports for data)
• The rise of irregular border crossers due to the changes brought in by former President Trump, and the strains this puts on public services in small towns and cities along the border (newspaper reports)
• Opinion Polls on Canadian views on refugees, and how the support for refugees has changed over time (polling data)
• Statements made by leaders and supporters of alt-right groups that speak to their views on refugees and immigration (look for newspaper articles)
• Academic literature – remember that your essay needs to have a minimum of five scholarly sources. Look for peer-reviewed articles on topics related to the alt-right in Canada and elsewhere, right-wing extremism, changing Canadian views on refugees, etc.
B. Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography provides details on some of the sources that you have consulted in the process of researching your essay topic. It provides both the bibliographic details necessary to identify and locate the sources you used as well as a brief assessment of the content and relevance of these sources.
For this assignment, you must provide the following information on 3-5 scholarly, academic articles, books, or government reports. Newspaper articles and newsmagazines are not considered academic! If you are not sure if a source you have located is academic or not, send me the link and I can check it out for you:
a. Bibliographic Information on the source, including the author’s name, year published, title of journal article, title of journal, volume/number/issue, and page range.
b. Author(s)’ thesis – identify the main argument in the article (1-3 sentences)
c. Relevance – explain how you will use this source to support your thesis argument (3-5 sentences)
You must use the Chicago author-date citation style in this assignment. Each entry should be about a paragraph long.
Sample Annotated Bibliographic Entry in Chicago Author-Date Style:
Perry, B. and R. Scrivens. 2018. “A Climate for Hate? An Exploration of the RightWing Extremist Landscape in Canada.” Critical Criminology 26(2): 169-187.
The authors argue that in order to understand the rise of right-wing extremism in Canada, we must look beyond individual motives to unpack the “cultures of racism” of heterosexism, ableism, and white privilege that allow these groups to flourish. The article maintains that hate groups are nourished by diets of public and political sentiments that resist change, and seek to counter the advancement of typically Canadian values of inclusivity, equity and multiculturalism.
This article provides insight into the ways in which hate is allowed to grow in democracies, giving rise to alt-right groups and right-wing extremism. By promoting a culture that reinforces the status quo, governments, the media, and the general public have inadvertently legitimized right-wing extremism and given space for these groups to spread their message. This article is useful to my essay because it considers the larger context within which racism against particular groups, for example refugees, is enabled by our unwillingness to deconstruct the cultures of racism that continue to exist in Canada
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