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ENG205 San Diego Mass Incarceration Race and War on Drugs Paper

ENG205 San Diego Mass Incarceration Race and War on Drugs Paper

Question Description

ENG 205


Essay # 2 Prompt: Analyzing and Evaluating

A text in the Context of Outside Sources

Min 5 pages pgs, typed, double-spaced, MLA format

Film Summary from The House I Live In Official Website

As America remains embroiled in conflict overseas, a less visible war is taking place at

home, costing countless lives, destroying families, and inflicting untold damage on future

generations of Americans. Over forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than

45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor

communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more

available today than ever before. Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In

captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs.

From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to

the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war, offering a

definitive portrait and revealing its profound human rights implications.

Description of 13th from Wikipedia:

13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the

“intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States;”

[3] it is titled after

the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which freed the slaves and

prohibited slavery, with the exception of slavery as punishment for a crime.

DuVernay contends that slavery has been perpetuated in practices since the end of the

American Civil War through such actions as criminalizing behavior and enabling police to

arrest poor freedmen and force them to work for the state under convict leasing;

suppression of African Americans by disenfranchisement, lynchings and Jim Crow;

politicians declaring a war on drugs that weigh more heavily on minority communities

and, by the late 20th century, mass incarceration of people of color in the United States.

She examines the prison-industrial complex and the emerging detention-industrial

complex, demonstrating how much money is being made by corporations from such


For this paper, you will be comparing the documentary The House I Live In OR 13th with

at least 3 outside texts (scholarly articles, newspaper articles, books, periodicals, or films).

Your primary text is, the documentary, and you will be looking at how the other

argument(s) either illustrates and underscores the argument made, extends beyond the

existent argument (advances, develops) or whether it complicates and perhaps weakens the

argument. You will be doing research to find these three credible and scholarly outside

sources to analyze and compare with Postman. The purpose of this paper is to investigate

what happens when you bring different voices together. Your thesis for this paper is how

your outside sources affect this central text.

—-àIf you like, you are more than welcome to use any of the articles we have discussed

in class (listed above), but you have to find TWO on your own

Successful papers will:

• Identify the claims each text makes about mass incarceration, race, and the war

on drugs.

• Explain where these arguments contradict /challenge the primary text and

where they seem to be in agreement.

• Make genuine connections as to how your outside sources affect your primary

source and what this means overall. What do these sources add to the overall


1.Illustrate or Qualify: to provide examples, additional evidence, cases or arguments that help

explain a position; to present material that illuminates or supports what an author argues

(but may not be explicitly mentioned by that author).

2. Clarify: to bring into focus, to help explain, illuminate, or elucidate. Providing evidence,

examples, stories, cases or support that make something easier to understand or that

sharpen the point made.

3. Extend: to advance, develop, expand or take further some element of an existing argument.

Extending an argument involves presenting additional evidence or reasons that are in line

with the original argument but go beyond it.

4. Complicate: to present evidence, arguments or information that is at odds with an author’s

position, and which suggests the position needs to be revised or qualified (i.e. that its scope

or degree of certainty needs revision, or that exceptions have not been considered.)

Complicating an author’s argument is not quite the same as disagreeing with it, although

disagreement may be involved. It usually involves suggesting that an author has not dealt

with the full complexity of an issue, has failed to consider relevant evidence, or that there is

a gap, shortcoming or limitation in an author’s account. Complicating an argument may

involve exposing problems, contradictions, or presenting counterexamples and

counterarguments that challenge some part of the argument.

Ideas for Thesis Statements

*Note- these are just templates for ideas

Example 1:

All three of these authors examine issues similar to the ones discussed in The

House I Live In. ________________ addresses the issue of ________________, and

(clarifies, illustrates, etc) the documentary’s argument by

__________________________. _________________ discusses the idea of

_______________________, and (underscores) his analysis of _______________ by

showing __________________________. The third author claims

and this really complicates the documentary’s main claim, but it doesn’t

necessarily weaken it because doesn’t back up his/her argument with

enough evidence. Ultimately, the documentary makes a strong case for why we

need to change our drug policies in this country.

Example 2:

The three authors address issues related to the documentary’s argument, but in

different ways. __________________ offers an alternate viewpoint of

the______________ portion of Eugene Jarecki’s argument (cause of the problem,

solution, etc). He/she (illustrates, complicates, etc) his idea by

________________________. In contrast, _________________ addresses the portion

of Jarecki’s argument that deals with ____________________ (effects, solutions, etc).

He/she (clarifies, illustrates, etc) her idea by _____________________________ and

ultimately, this strengthens Jarecki’s argument. Ultimately, I believe that Jarecki

effectively supports his argument that , but I simply don’t see

enough logical evidence to support his argument of .

Example 3:

Author 1, in his article, “….” Addresses how . Author 2, who wrote “…”,

pays attention to two factors: and . The 3rd author,

author of “…..”, claims that . While all three authors examine

the issue of success, Author 1 and Author 2 support and strengthen Eugene Jarecki’s

claims. However, Author 3 complicates his argument. Overall, Jarecki’s argument

does not provide enough solid evidence and could have been strengthened by



Introduction: Introduce the topic and the documentary. Accurately and

effectively introduce and contextualize the 3 articles, their projects, and

arguments. Also, clearly signal your reader with what you plan to discuss in your

paper (How the 3 outside texts affect Jeracki’s argument. And overall, whether or

not he has a logically sound and effective argument) This is your thesis statement

and should be the last 1-4 sentences in your introduction.)


Body Paragraphs: Analyze Jeracki’s argument through the comparison of other

texts in order to demonstrate and describe how Jeracki’s documentary is being

extended, clarified, or complicated. Make genuine connections in how this

affects Jeracki’s overall argument (does the sources strengthen or weaken Jeracki’s

claim? Why or why not?). The essay will investigate whether or not Jeracki has

made a convincing and rhetorically sound argument based upon the connections

made to the other texts. You can do this in your body paragraphs, or in a separate

paragraph at the end of your paper before your conclusion.

Effectively use textual evidence to support your analysis of the arguments. Your

ability to adequately introduce, correctly cite, and effectively comment on your

quotes will be considered here. You should also have at least three credible

outside sources for this paper.


Organization: Use an effective structure that smoothly guides the reader from one

idea to the next. Your careful attention to transitioning and topic sentences will

be considered here. I shouldn’t get lost or confused reading your paper.


Grammar: Have thoroughly edited your paper so that sentences are readable and

appropriate for an academic audience. Grammar and sentence level issues are

considered here. PROOFREAD!


Conclusion: Comment on the overall effectiveness of Jeracki’s argument and how

this text has influenced you (or other readers). Why is this topic important? You

can bring in your opinion here as well. What happens to a primary text’s

argument when other arguments are introduced? Essentially, what happens when

texts “collide”?

10 Page Length/ MLA / works cited: Needs to be at least 5 full pages, in