Music Autobiography Assignment
From the course outline (with minor corrections and updates):
You don’t have to write in support of music actually, you can write against it.
Toronto is one of the world’s most vibrant music cities, being home to some of the biggest artists like Drake, the Weeknd, Deadmau5 and Justin Bieber as well as a host of smaller independent music communities and scenes (like the Arts and Crafts record label and Broken Social Scene’s myriad of offshoots and collaborators) and alternative and country institutions like The Sadies and Blue Rodeo, to punk and hard-core mainstays like F’ed Up and Alexisonfire. While not everyone is a music person the way that I am, almost everyone has at least one artist, one album, one song or one concert experience that has had left a mark.
For this assignment, you are tasked with creating and writing your musical autobiography, showing how you have become a ‘mediatized being’. You will write a critical analysis of how music (or if you’re not a music person, how ignoring music) has shaped who you are and your particular worldviews. I encourage you to actually go to a concert/show/gig (any size, any venue, any genre) to help you explore the differences in how you experience music alone vs. how you experience music as a part of a scene or community.Music Autobiography Assignment
This paper is designed to be a bit more informal than traditional research papers but that doesn’t mean you can skip traditional academic expectations. When you draw from a text, it needs to be cited properly in whatever citation style you’re most comfortable using. (I don’t demand ASA style, but I do expect a consistent use of something.) You are expected to blend personal reflection with an understanding of/grounding in the texts. That means you will need to be able to demonstrate that you have synthesized what you have read (or watched) and connect your own experiences to the course content. If you use personal experiences to either back up or critique something from the course materials and then make a specific textual reference to ground that experiential knowledge, you’re on the right track.
Your autobiography must make substantial use of 3 sources from the class readings (for example this could be 2 chapters from the Pop Culture reader & The Sociological Imagination or 1 chapter, 1 additional article and 1 film). That does not mean 1 reference per page is sufficient (see above).
**TEXTBOOK: Popular Culture: A User’s Guide Third Edition by Susie O-Brien and Imre Szeman
Length: 4 pages + bibliography with standard margins, 12-point font, and please use Times New Roman ONLY. Title pages aren’t necessary, but please include your name and student ID number at the top of your first page. Print & electronic submissions required. Lecture notes are not valid sources for this assignment. Electronic submissions must be .doc or .docx files, no PDFs please.
The assignment is out of 20 and then will be converted to a percentage. Here is the breakdown of points.
/15 Argumentation: Is the paper convincing? Does the paper have a purpose? How well does the author connect their own experiences to course materials and the sociological imagination? (Remember – the key to strong writing is to tell me what the paper is going to be about, show me how you intend to do what you set out to do, and then execute that task).Music Autobiography Assignment
/3 Flow and structure: Is it well written? Does the paper do what it says it will do in the introduction? Is the sentence structure and syntax strong? What about the organization of the paper? Is it coherent or messy?
/2 Formatting: I have given explicit instructions about formatting, the number of sources and page limits. A lack of a bibliography is an automatic loss of 15% Music Autobiography Assignment