23 Sep Prompt For this assignment, you are required to write about
Prompt For this assignment, you are required to write about one Smithsonian museum. It must be the same museum that you wrote about in your review. You will write a 7-8 page appraisal in which you cite (quote or paraphrase) at least 4 scholarly sources, as well as at least 4 popular sources. The focus of your research should be to identify and respond to the arguments of other authors, as well as to present evidence about the museum that supports your appraisal. This assignment focuses on the following skills: Choosing and narrowing a topic Researching outside sources for arguments and evidenceCiting and responding to arguments from outside sourcesWriting and defending a thesis statement Note that this project involves outside research, including finding popular and scholarly sources. You will present arguments from outside sources and respond with your own views and ideas. The purpose of the paper is to write an analysis, or recommendation for the museum on how they can improve their exhibition(s). To be successful, it will be very important to choose only one specific component of the museum to write about for the entirety of your appraisal. Your Research Question (RQ) will influence the research you do, the sources you read, and how you cite and respond to those sources. In order to guide your research, your RQ needs to be quite specific. Here’s a chart that provides examples that show how you can transform general questions into more specific ones. This chart should help you think about what makes for a successful RQ: Too general Specific Is the museum’s use of technology effective? Is the museum’s use of mobile technology in its exhibitions helpful to visitors, or are there ways in which they impede visitors who choose to use them? Does the exhibition have enough text? In its use of text, does the exhibition focus too much on reaching children and not enough on engaging adults? Should the exhibition be more entertaining for visitors? How can the museum incorporate strategies that are entertaining without diminishing learning opportunities? Is the exhibition’s narrative successful? How can history museums balance opposing narratives in their exhibitions; do museum’s have an obligation to be objective, or are there times when it’s appropriate for museums to convey political messages? Is the museum accessible? Does the museum do a good job of attracting and engaging young people? You can see why it’s important to develop a specific Research Question early in the writing process. It will help you to not only evaluate the specific museum but also to discuss larger questions about what makes for good museum exhibitions in general. Writing an Appraisal Because you are writing about the same museum again, the topic of your appraisal will be similar to the topic of your review. However, as the chart below illustrates, there are many important differences between writing a review and writing an appraisal: Review Appraisal Audience Other museumgoers like you. These are potential visitors who may not know anything about the museum. The museum director. This is someone who already knows what the museum contains but who always wants to know how they can improve their exhibitions. Purpose Inform other visitors of what the exhibition contains and evaluate the exhibition. To do this, it is necessary to provide lots of descriptions of the exhibition. Evaluate exhibition(s) and give advice to the museum director. To do this, it is necessary to inform the director of your visiting experience. It is also necessary to show an understanding of current debates in the field of museum studies. Object of study 1 specific exhibition 1-2 specific exhibitions Exigence Readers want to learn about the exhibition. They value your perspective. The museum director has requested your perspective and input. They especially want your perspective as a young person, a college student, and someone who is from another country. Relevance Your review helps potential visitors to decide whether it is worth visiting the exhibition. Your appraisal helps the museum to know if they’re doing a good job of attracting and engaging young visitors like you. New offering Your own perspective on what the exhibition means and what it achieves (or fails to achieve). Your recommendation to potential visitors. Your praise for what the museum has done well and/or your criticism of what it is lacking. Your views on effective exhibition strategies at museums in general (including your perspectives on the key debates in the field of museum studies). Notice the differences in audience and purpose. Keep in mind that, whereas your review likely contained a lot of description in order to inform potential visitors, your appraisal should contain lots of evidence to support your original insights. Praise & Critique Like a review, an appraisal is essentially an evaluation. In an appraisal, you are giving your own perspectives on the following kinds of questions: How effective are the exhibitions? What criteria are you using to evaluate them? Do exhibitions seem to focus more on learning or entertainment?Does the museum follow current recommendations for exhibition strategies? If so, do those recommendations seem to have been helpful? In other words, do those strategies actually seem to have improved the exhibitions? If not, how could new elements or changes to the museum’s strategy improve their exhibitions? A positive appraisal is focused on praising a museum’s strategies, whereas a negative appraisal is focused on critiquing its strategies. As the following chart illustrates, these involve slightly different strategies: Positive appraisal (Praise) Negative appraisal (Critique) Explains what you enjoyed about the exhibitions. Explains what you didn’t enjoy about the exhibitions. Explains what was good about the museum’s strategies. Explains what was lacking about the museum’s strategies. Uses current research to explain what was effective about the museum’s strategies and how the museum can continue these strategies. (Provides negative examples for contrast). Uses current research to explain what the museum can do to improve their strategies. Uses evidence and specific examples to illustrate what was effective about the museum’s strategies. (Provides negative examples for contrast). Uses evidence and specific examples to illustrate what was lacking about the museum’s strategies. Provides examples of potential alternative strategies. Requirements checklist Before you submit your assignment, use this checklist to gauge how well you have fulfilled the requirements of the assignment. This list is based on the main criteria I will use to evaluate your review. The appraisal is 2400-2800 words (about 7-8 pages, double-spaced). Do not include your References page in your word count.The appraisal cites (quotes or paraphrases) at least 4 scholarly sources. Arguments and/or key concepts from these sources are forwarded for a variety of reasons, such as to clarify/extend key concepts and agree/contend with arguments.The appraisal cites (quotes or paraphrases) at least 4 popular sources for evidence about the museums. This evidence is thoughtfully analyzed/interpreted and used to support the thesis.The appraisal is addressed to a specific Smithsonian museum, and the tone and structure of the appraisal are consistent with this context for writing.The appraisal contains description, analysis, and evaluation about the museum. It also contains advice for the future.Words and ideas that are not your own are attributed to the source(s) where you found them—such as text found on a museum website or quotes from scholarly sources—using APA in-text and end-of-text citations.The appraisal is not only informative—it is also convincing. It demonstrates careful consideration of the museum. Analysis and evaluation are supported with well-chosen and representative evidence (any evidence that is contrary to your views is not ignored). *In this class, the draft is a complete essay. It can be shorter than the final version, but it must be at least 1800 words. Otherwise, it should meet all of the criteria in the requirements checklist. The more developed your draft is, the more valuable feedback your classmates and I will be able to provide towards significant revision for the final.
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