James Scott Argues

POLB 91 Term Essay Q&A

 

Q: How do I write an effective thesis statement?

 

A: Here’s an example of a thesis statement from a top-scoring essay.  You should NOT replicate it (or paraphrase it), as this would constitute plagiarism.

 

In this essay, I will argue that James Scott’s “weapons of the weak” do, in fact, constitute social movements because although they are single episodes, they are part of a set of collective action and are components of longer-lasting action. Those involved are linked to other individuals through ties of solidarity with the intent of achieving a specific goal. Further, beneath their symbolic complacency, there is a propensity of ideological resistance, which frames their resistance.

 

Q: How many references minimum?

 

A: Minimum of 5 academic references.  The top essay last year had 10 academic references.  More important than the number is how you used the reference to support your thesis statement.

 

Q: Do I have to cite other chapters in Scott’s book?

 

A: No, you don’t have to.  However, you may find it helpful to read other chapters to get a clearer idea of what he means by “weapons of the weak”.

Scott’s book is a E-book: http://search.library.utoronto.ca/details?6689188

 

Q: What’s the format for in-text citations?

 

A: (Scott 1985: pg).

 

Q: What’s the format for bibliography?

 

[book]:

Staggenborg, Suzanne. 2012. Social Movements. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

[article]:

Thomson, Susan. 2011. “Whispering Truth to Power: The Everyday Resistance of Rwandan Peasants to Post-Genocide Reconciliation.” African Affairs 110 (440): 439-456.

 

Q: How can I jump-start my library research?

 

A: First, review the readings assigned for wk 2 Social Movements.  Next, you may find the following references to be helpful:

 

Bayat, A. 2010. Life as politics. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

 

Staggenborg, Suzanne. 2012. Social Movements. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Mcadam, D., Mccarthy, J. D., & Zald, M. 1996. Comparative perspectives on social

movements. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Porta , D. D., & Diani, M. 2006. Social Movements: An Introduction. Malden:Blackwell

Publishing .

 

Tarrow, S. G. 1998. Power in movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Tilly, C. 2004. Social movements, 1768-2004. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.

 

 

Bianco, Lucien. 2001. “Weak Weapons.” In Peasants Without the Party: Grass-roots Movements in Twentieth-Century China, 257-273. New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.

 

Branford, Sue, and Jan Rocha. 2002. Cutting the Wire: The Story of the Landless Movement in Brazil. London: Latin America Bureau.

 

Giuliano, M. 2013. Food Sovereignty as a Weapon of the Weak? Rethinking the Food Question in Uganda. Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue. 41. International Conference Yale University.

 

Goodwin, J., & Jasper, J. M. 2004. Rethinking socialmovements. Lanham: Rowman &

Littlefield Publishers.

 

Kurzman, C. 2008. Introduction: Mean-making in social movements. Anthropological

Quarterly , 81 (1), 5-15.

 

Kellner, Douglas. 2013. “Media Spectacle, Insurrection and the Crisis of Neoliberalism from the Arab Uprisings to Occupy Everywhere!” International Studies in Sociology of Education 23 (3): 251-272.

 

Ockney, James. 1997. “Weapons of the Urban Weak: Democracy and Resistance to Eviction in Bangkok Slum Communities.” Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 12 (1): 1-25.

 

Thomson, Susan. 2011. “Whispering Truth to Power: The Everyday Resistance of Rwandan Peasants to Post-Genocide Reconciliation.” African Affairs 110 (440): 439-456.

 

 

 

 

POLB 91 Evaluation Criteria for Term Essays

 

Points Definition
A+/A Strong and clear thesis statement

Addresses all three parts of the essay question accurately and logically, demonstrating extensive knowledge of the topic beyond points covered in lectures.

Cited more than 5 additional sources, all of which clearly advance a well argued the thesis.

Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation is flawless.

A-/B+ Strong and clear thesis statement

Answers all three part of the essay question accurately and logically, demonstrating knowledge of the topic beyond points covered in lecture.

Cited 5 additional sources, most of which provide robust support for the thesis.

Minor Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation mistakes.

B/B- Clear thesis statement

Answers most parts of the essay question accurately and logically but does not sufficiently demonstrate knowledge of the topic beyond the points covered in lecture

Cited 5 additional sources, some of which clearly support the thesis but others are not well connected to argument.

Some Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation mistakes.

C+/C Unclear thesis statement

Answers half of the question accurately and logically.

Does not demonstrate knowledge of the topic

Gives less than 5 additional sources to support the argument.

Some of Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation mistakes.

C-D+/D Unclear thesis statement

Answers less than half of the question accurately and logically.

Fails to demonstrate knowledge of the topic

Gives few additional citations and the citations do not support the thesis.

Lots of Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation mistakes.

D-/F Lack of thesis statement altogether

Answers less than half of the question accurately and logically.

Fails to demonstrate knowledge of the topic

Gives few additional citations and the citations do not support the thesis.

Lots of Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation mistakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade Percentage Equivalent Definition
A+

A

A-

90-100

85-89

80-84

Excellent
B+

B

B-

77-79

73-76

70-72

Good
C+

C

C-

67-69

63-66

60-62

Adequate
D+

D

D-

57-59

53-56

50-52

Marginal
F 0-49 Wholly Inadequate

 

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