This is a compare and contrast essay. You will choose one theme in one of the 6 categories of themes discussed in the Lectures and two related topics of your choice that you will critically discuss, compare, contrast.
Note: This essay goes beyond comparing two topics from an aesthetic or biographical perspective. It needs to discuss critical ideas addressed in the Lecture materials. Research in depth the chosen topics and provide examples that you illustrate and describe to support your points.
Typed, 1.5 spaced document in .pdf format.
A main essay document in the APA referencing style with images.
An annotated bibliography in the APA referencing style.
A separate List of Figures in the APA referencing style.
Research and Referencing
Your Essay should be supported by quality resources throughout the discussion. Where main ideas or concepts are being introduced, these should be supported with references. Your essay should include an annotated bibliography, images, a figure list and in-text citations. You should be using a minimum of 7 sources that are consulted and cited to support your essay.
These 7 sources should be specific to the chosen theme, thesis and topics rather than broad history survey books or books of an encyclopaedic nature. The use of quality online resources is acceptable as part of your research, but you should focus on other forms of literature that are regarded as credible. No more than 2 websites should be referenced as academic sources (online journals are not considered websites).
However, you can use websites as additional resources, for example to source visuals. The essay should be in the APA Style for referencing. Please include colour images and captions of all works discussed.
Your Essay must also include an Annotated Bibliography for at least 7 of the sources. The annotated bibliography must include two paragraphs: a summary of the academic source, and a reflection on its applicability to your own research/thesis, respectively. Furthermore, of these sources that you annotate 1 of these sources must be of other media, for instance: video games, TV series (or Netflix, Stan, etc.), virtual tours, exhibitions or videos/films. These annotations and inclusion of this other media source is for you to understand the larger socio-cultural context of spatial history and how it is represented and manifested spatially in other media in order to provide further context for your essay argument/thesis. Please Note: if you have more than 7 sources/references, please choose the top 6+1 other media (total 7) and only annotate these. You do not need to annotate all of your sources, only 7 of them).
There are a number of resources and readings recommended on Blackboard (under Unit Details) and that you may use these, in addition to other sources identified on your own, to support your essay.
If you are not familiar with how to find adequate resources and how to reference these resources properly, or if you simply need a refresher, please take a look at these short online modules:
Framing/Outlining/Organising your Essay
Your essay should be framed in a clear and coherent manner. Use headings, sub-headings and paragraphs to organise the information presented. Good essays always start with an argument or thesis, make sure you have a strong argument for your essay.
Your essay must include:
• Clearly state the theme and topics of your essay.
• Introduce and contextualise the two topics that you have chosen to compare & contrast.
• Grounds for comparison: explain the reason(s) why you have chosen to compare these two topics, based on research (as opposed to personal opinions) to support the rationale for your essay.
• Thesis/main argument: the thesis of your essay depends on the two topics that you have chosen to compare, how these topics relate to each other and why it is relevant to compare them: Are they similar? Different? Complementary? Contradictory? What do the topics tell us about spatial histories, then and now? Defining your thesis is a key aspect of writing this essay. It will help you create a focused argument and an outline/framework that gives your essay a clear direction. Remember that the reader of your essay wants to understand why you have decided to compare and contrast these particular topics and their relevance in the context of this unit.
• Outline the main sections of your essay (what you will be talking about and in what order).
The Body of your Essay:
There are different frameworks/outlines to a Compare & Contrast Essay:
• Topic by Topic: You may talk about one topic, then the other topic, then discuss how they relate to each other and to your thesis/main argument in a third section.
• Point by Point: Rather than discussing one topic after the other, this option allows you to identify the main points of comparison/contrast and build up from them, one by one.
• Similarities and Differences: This structure invites you to talk about each similarity between the chosen topics in a first section, and then each difference in a second section.
Remember that how you organise your essay will depend on your thesis/main argument. You will need to make sure that the body of your essay connects back to your thesis, expands upon it and supports it.
Your main points will need to be supported using research (academic sources). Researching the chosen topics and creating the framework/outline of your essay are parallel processes which should inform each other at the start of the writing process. However, once you have chosen the most appropriate framework/outline, stick with it to ensure coherence.
It is expected that your ideas will be illustrated using a minimum of 2 relevant examples of projects/designers/buildings (or similar) related to your topics that are described and analysed in relation to your thesis/argument. To ensure that the readers understand the connections between the chosen examples and your thesis, you can ask yourself: what am I trying to show through this example that relates back to my
thesis/argument? Why is this important?
As this assignment is a history Essay, it is expected that the examples that you use to explain your topics draw from different periods of time (as opposed to discussing the topics in one time period only, for example contemporary only).
Ensure to use clear transition sentences from one section to the other.
Illustrate your main points using visuals, these may include images from resources but also visuals created by you such as timelines, diagrams etc.