POPULAR CULTURE AND SOCIETY IN LATIN AMERICA
RESEARCH ESSAY (DRAFT AND FINAL VERSION)
1. The partial draft of your research essay
2. The draft must be submitted BY EMAIL AS A WORD DOCUMENT.
3. You have eighty-six (86) days to design your
research project, locate and analyze secondary and primary sources, and write the
partial draft. From today to the due day of your final essay, December, you have one
twenty-four (24) more days to continue working on your research and complete the
final paper. In total, you dispose of more than one hundred days (100) to work in this
4. The partial draft must be submitted by email, but the final essay due on December 17
must turn in personally or through a fellow student. I am not responsible for essays and
drafts delivered in a manner other than those set in these instruction –i.e, sliding the paper
under the door, dropping in the department’s main office, giving it to another professor or
to a Department’s staff, etc-.
5. The partial draft should be at least ten (10) pages long, having in mind that the final
research essay must be at least fifteen (15) pages long and no more than twenty (20).
Bibliography and notes do not count towards the minimum page requirement.
6. The draft should be double-spaced, typed in a 12-size font, printed on one of the sheet
sides only, and paginated. All sheets of paper should be stapled together. Students who,
for financial and economic hardship, disability or preference, submit a handwritten draft
must comply with the same rules as close as possible.
7. The draft must include citations with the pertinent page or pages where your quotations
or paraphrases can be located and verified. Any citation style is acceptable provided that
you use it consistently.
8. The draft should contain an introduction with a clear statement of your topic, main
research question, secondary research questions of you so choose, and your argument.
The argument must spell out your claims.
9. You must provide definitions for the most critical categories in your paper. For example,
if you are writing about popular music and revolutionary mobilization, you should define
popular music, revolution, and revolutionary mobilization in your own words or rely on
other scholars’ notions.
10. The draft should be organized in epigraphs or subsections in a manner coherent with the
logical order of the claims contained in your argument.
11. Your claims and overall argument must be supported by evidence drawn from primary
and secondary sources.
12. Rather than listing or relaying information collected from primary and secondary sources,
your draft and final essay should (1) analyze and critically judge the findings of the
scholarship relevant to your topic, (2) articulate your argument, (3) present and discuss
your evidence, and (4) formulate conclusions.
13. Your essay must contain at least a page of conclusions. The conclusions must provide a
balance of your final answers to the research question or questions that you asked at the
beginning of the essay. Your partial draft may or may not contain the conclusions but the
final essay must have some.
14. Except for the introduction and statement of the argument and claims which must be in
the draft, you are free to determine what subsections of your essay you include in the text
and which ones you reserve for the final version.
15. Regarding secondary sources, in your partial draft you must demonstrate knowledge and
use of at least (5) five books or book chapters directly relevant to your topic, or of at
least (3) three books or book chapters and (3) three peer-reviewed journal articles.
For your final research essay, you must demonstrate knowledge and use of at least (7)
seven books or book chapters directly relevant to your topic, or of at least (5) five
books or book chapters and (4) four peer-reviewed journal articles.
16. Although you are encouraged, and to some extent expected to use the readings discussed
during the semester as they might be pertinent to your project, the readings listed in the
syllabus and used during the course will not count towards the required number of
secondary sources of your partial draft and final essay.
17. Regarding primary sources, you are free to collect and use as many as you see fit to
support your claims.
18. You have the opportunity to come to my office for questions and comments during office
hours before submitting your draft. You will have a second opportunity to review your
draft after I grade it and comment on it. You will have a third opportunity to get feedback
from your colleagues and me during oral presentations. You will have a fourth
opportunity to review your draft after oral presentations and to ask me questions by email
or in person during office hours.
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