Select a public figure, event/movement, issue, or object in popular culture that you believe characterizes an ideal unique to American culture and write a critical essay of at least 1500 words (12pt font, Times New Roman, double-spaced). It can be something from everyday life that seems to affect the American consciousness. For example, many people associate the image and words of Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Civil Rights Movement, which in turn reflects America’s ideal of freedom for all. Many Americans see the American flag as a symbol of all that is great about America; others Americans may see the right to burn the flag in protest as an act that also symbolizes the best in America.
It will be up to you to select a topic that you believe personifies a certain American belief. You do not have to agree with the idea or agree with how your selection has been used in American culture. However, you will have to use research to give proof of how your topic has affected American culture – how it is a part of American culture. Thus your research should be two-fold: first, you need to find out as much as possible about your topic. You will be required to secure at least six (6) sources – sources being books, journals, magazines, newspapers, video/audio, and selected web sites. It is strongly recommended that you use GALILEO (the search tool is here in GAVIEW to find most of your written sources. Video/Audio sources are available online, but you want to be very selective. You may use an interview, but it can only count for one (1) source; the other five (5) must be in the category of those just listed. You may use sources from the Internet (i.e., sites that are not a part of an academic data base) but I would caution you to be very selective and aim for sources that come from credible sites. You may not use any general encyclopedias (Wikipedia, for example) as one of your final sources (You may use general encyclopedias for initial research while exploring the topic).
Second, you must convince your reader that your selection from American popular culture symbolizes an American ideal. That means that you will have to write critically and use your skills in analysis to get your point across.
The documentation in this essay will be in MLA format (i.e., parenthetical) with a Works Cited page. Also, an annotated bibliography will be turned in as a part of the research process.