“This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie
“This Is Not Who We Are: Arab Americans in a Post 9/11 World” by Naomi Shihab Nye
For this essay you will need to use the texts above, as well as 1-2 outside sources of your choice to address the following prompt:
We have discussed the idea of “othering” in this class and watched Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s TED Talk entitled “The Dangers of a Single Story.” Synthesize Nye’s essay and Alexie’s short story in order to compare/contrast how both texts approach the ideas in Adichie’s TED Talk. You want to first explain Adichie’s argument, then look at how Nye and the characters in Alexie’s short story are perceived in their respective texts. Are they othered, and if so, how? Think about the stories being told about them, and the stories they tell each other. Also, do these texts reference issues such as social class, sexual orientation, immigration, race, or cultural norms? Find 1-2 outside texts that address the issues you discuss in your essay.
The outside source(s) you use should meet the standards for academic writing. Keep in mind some basic questions as you search: what is the basic publication info (author, date, venue, etc.)? Does the author verify, or give readers the means to verify, the info provided? What was the publication process (Did it need to be approved by an editor? Was it peer-reviewed? Was it fact-checked?) We will be going over this in more detail in class.
Also keep in mind that the goal of the outside source(s) is to support the overall argument you are making about the texts. Focus first on determining what you plan to say about your chosen essay and story and build at least a tentative sense of your overall argument before you begin exploring outside sources. Your outside source(s) does not need to be utilized in every body paragraph of your essay—it/they may work to support just one of your specific claims, for instance. The expectation is that the outside source contributes meaningfully to your overall argument as a whole, whether that be through a single paragraph or multiple.
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