As you can see from the above sources, there’s no one way, or simple way, to look at street art and graffiti. I think most of us would recognize that there are both positive and negative ways of looking at this issue, and that it would be very difficult to present the issue as binary–that is good or bad, black or white. So drawing from the sources that we’ve read as a class, as well as at least one other essay that you will find on your own, write a paper in which you
outline the controversy surrounding street art for the reader (informative purpose),
explore your feelings about when, where, and by whom street art is acceptable and when it is unacceptable (persuasive purpose),
and then find an example of acceptable and unacceptable street art and explain why you think this way (analytical purpose). In arguing for your “reading” of the acceptable and unacceptable examples, make sure that you “read and analyze” the two texts. As our textbook authors point out, “start by describing the text at hand, performing an inventory of sorts. Then think about what these elements say about the text. What conclusions can you draw about the work from the observations you have made?” (Silverman and Rader 214). Your analysis should lead the reader to understand why the two works can be seen as acceptable and unacceptable. (The questions on page 212 can help you begin your analysis, but for our purposes, you should also consider the physical setting of the street art–where is it actually located, since that might contribute to it being acceptable or unacceptable.
Minimum 1500 words, 4 sources (3 that we’ve read as a class), and MLA format for Works Cited and in-text citation.
No more that 15% of the paper should be direct quotes. No more than 50% of the paper should be quotation, paraphrase, or summary of sources.
Additional sources should come from credible sources that meet the CARP test.
Ideally, the street analyzed in the paper should be accessible, so that you can read the text in person, rather than web or print versions. This helps you place the street art in a physical context that might affect seeing it as acceptable or unacceptable.
Students should print out color pictures of the street art to turn in with the assignment.
For our purposes, we’re going to use the terms graffiti and street art interchangeably.
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