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ENGL 015: Rhetoric and Composition (Sachsenmeier)

Researched Position Paper

Assignment 4 is a Researched Position Paper, based upon the research done in Assignment 3. For this assignment, you will present evidence in support of an argument of your choosing. In her article, Pratt presents the concept of a contact zone, in which two different groups encounter one another and interact. She discusses the contact zone between the colonizing Spanish and the indigenous Andeans. She touches upon the collision of the two different languages spoken between the two groups, the different cultures and forms of literacy, and the conflict arising from the inequality of power between colonizer and colonized. As discussed in class, the concept of a contact zone can be applied to many other situations and relationships, in terms of culture, authority, language, and still other factors.

Your task is to identify a contact zone between two groups. You will research and examine the different sides, their backgrounds, and what happened when they came into contact. Was there conflict? Was there cooperation? How did that contact change the two groups? Did any new developments or changes emerge from the contact zone? Your task is to explore and discuss this contact zone and its consequences, and then generate an argument out of that discussion.

For this paper, you are allowed to draw upon your own experiences to support your argument, but outside research must also be used as evidence. In other words, you need research to corroborate and support your own knowledge. This discussion and argument must also incorporate at least one of the texts we have read during the semester. You cannot simply repeat the arguments of the authors we have covered in class; you MUST present your own claim.

In addition to the class text and all necessary background research to describe your chosen contact zone, your will need to incorporate one naysayer, a source to illustrate an opposite point of view which you will argue against. The perspective of this naysayer will be described, but then disproved through what is called a rebuttal. We will go over this in class. This paper will requires extensive research and planning, which will be completed as Assignment 3. The work you do for that assignment will then provide the foundation for your Assignment 4 Paper.

Both your Rough and Final Drafts must be 7-8 pages. You must take into account all of the guidelines, styles, and formats of Academic Writing covered throughout this class. Please follow the MLA format, both as dictated in the syllabus, and as discussed in class. Due to the large amount of research, your citations, both in-text and Works Cited page, must be properly formatted.