Explain the significance of your keyword. What is important about it? Why should people care about this idea, issue, or event? How does it connect to larger social, political, cultural, and historical issues? This assignment is written for an educated but general audience. The language should be accessible. The writing should be clean and clear, and free of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. The keyword must include the following sections: Definition (150-250 words): This is a quick and pithy definition of the keyword. It will allow readers to instantly understand, on a basic level, what the keyword is about. This definition should be carefully worded within 2-3 sentences. Here you want to take cues from sources that you’ve researched (i.e., dictionary, Wikipedia, academic books/articles, etc.) and put it into your own words. This is harder to do than it sounds!! One strategy we use to formulate a good definition is to practice explaining your keyword to family, friends, and others – say it out loud! Explain what you think the word means, how it relates to social change, and answer any questions that the person you are practicing with might have. You could even record it! Your definition here is giving a brief overview of what the word means and how it is used in relation to movements for social change. Context (250-350 words): Situate the keyword in social, political, cultural, and historical contexts. How does the keyword relate to specific social movements? Is it rooted in a particular history? Here you are trying to get the reader to understand how the word came to be an important keyword in social change movements today. Who uses this word and why? You should also be able to give a brief trajectory of the different ways people have used this word in the past. Are there any particular social movement groups or individual activists who are known for using this particular keyword? How do they use it and why? You might think about using relevant statistics and other quantitative information here to help strengthen your response. This is a good place to draw from your annotated bibliography. Background (350-400 words): How have other people (academics, journalists, activists, etc.) described and defined your keyword? Here you are trying to explain how the word is used today, perhaps there are contested meanings and definitions. You should be able to explain why the word is being debated. This is also a good place to draw from your annotated bibliography, but you may also want to pull out references and citations from news articles on topics related to your keyword and activist websites. You are trying here to give the reader a sense of how the word is used in different arenas. Is this word controversial? Is it commonly accepted? Do people disagree on the meaning? These are all really useful questions that you would explore. It would be here, as well, that you might speak to your own relationship to this keyword. This would draw on your activities in weeks 3-4 where you situated your own political perspectives and relationships to structures of power! Significance (250-350 words): Explain the significance or importance of the keyword. Why is your word important? Are there relevant historical or current social events that really make your keyword stand out? Describe these in relation to your word! Think about why people who use this word do so – why do they believe it is important? This is a good place to think about qualitative research since you are talking about going deeper into the meaning of the word! Perhaps you can find interviews, oral histories, academic research where an activist, group, artist, or writer speaks more deeply about the meaning of the word to them and to their community! You might use academic articles, blog posts, interviews online, etc. Further Reading (150-200 words): Provide a list of 3-5 books or academic journal articles that you believe would help your reader learn more about your keyword. Explain why you have chosen each source. You should only draw on full length books or peer reviewed academic articles here. You want to give the reader a clear idea why this particular selection for further reading is relevant to the keyword.
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