Essay 3

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For this assignment, you will conduct your own study of a neighborhood in Los Angeles. You will research in order to write an essay that analyzes the effects of the geographical environment (built or natural) on the residents or visitors, focusing on one major tension in the neighborhood.

Getting Started

Start by choosing a neighborhood (other than your own) that you find interesting or that you want to learn more about. Remember that your goal is to add original insights to a conversation about this place by examining the geographical environment.

  • Geographical environment may involve the landscape, architecture, types of stores or restaurants, language spoken and/or on signs, presence of freeways or public transportation, or other elements that give us a sense of “place.”
  • Your analysis of this geographical environment may be focused through a specific lens; for instance, you may want to analyze the neighborhood through the lens of economics, architecture, psychology, social justice, etc.
  • You may want to examine a significant tension in the neighborhood.
  • Since your goal is to add an original perspective, this assignment will be more difficult if you choose a very famous neighborhood such as Hollywood or Beverly Hills.

Getting a Visual

Because this essay will analyze visual elements of a place, it is essential to capture your visual text for the reader. This may be in the form of photographs of the location, a map, graphs or other forms of visual data, etc. The visual should be relevant and serve to enhance the reader’s understanding.

Insert your visual into the relevant area of the essay, and be sure to directly reference your visual in the writing. For the sake of space, limit yourself to no more than 3 images.

The Research

For this essay, you will conduct in-depth independent research. Your research will likely take a variety of forms, which may include primary and/or secondary sources:

  • Primary Sources include direct first-hand accounts, observations, and evidence about an event, object, person, place, or work of art, as well as interviews, surveys, and demographics data.
  • Secondary Sources include scholarly books and articles discussing information originally presented elsewhere, information about events that were not directly experienced, or analysis of works created by others.
  • Keep in mind that your essay is not a summary of facts about a place or an historical overview. Instead, you will use the ideas that you find in your research to develop your original analysis of the neighborhood. Wikipedia may not be used as a source.

Assignment Requirements:

  • Your essay should be 6-8 full double-spaced pages with 1” side margins, 1” header and footer margins, Times New Roman, 12 pt font.
  • Your essay should attempt to engage in analysis that goes beyond a superficial understanding of your neighborhood. While stereotypes may be discussed, your essay should not rely on stereotypes in place of analysis, and your thesis must go beyond stereotypical or obvious statements.
  • Your essay must integrate and cite at least five credible sources from your research. Integrating sources includes summarizing key terms, claims, or concepts, and quoting important details.
  • Use your sources as a springboard for your own claims, questions and analysis. You should not just incorporate sources to add “facts” to your essay. For this assignment, you must add to and help develop the ideas from the source to offer your own thinking about the neighborhood.
  • Cite all sources in MLA format (in text), in addition to a Works Cited page. Use Purdue OWL (linked on Canvas) to look up proper MLA in-text citations and Works Cited formatting.
  • Proofread for mistakes and edit for clarity. Consider paragraph organization and appropriate transitions to lead your reader through your discussion.


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  • The Assignment

    For this assignment, you will conduct your own study of a neighborhood in Los Angeles. You will research in order to write an essay that analyzes the effects of the geographical …