The Music of the Beatles
MU 345 | Spring 2012
Requirements and Assignments
Short Essays
The structure of a 500-word essay closely resembles the form of longer writing assignments in that you must clearly describe your subject, provide citations for your sources, and list those sources at the end. Below are suggestions specific to the assignments for this class.
1. Your opening sentence should pull your reader into your subject. You may be talking about a particular harmonic sequence, the choice of metaphors in the lyric, the instrumentation, or any number of other subjects; but you should let your reader know in the opening paragraph what that subject is.
2. Tell your reader in your first paragraph what you want to assert about this subject. Commonly (but not always), this sentence occurs at the end of the first paragraph.
3. Provide your reader with evidence supporting your assertion. Break down the chord sequence, the shape of the melody, or a pattern that establishes a metric structure. What images does the songwriter evoke, where might they originate, and why does the songwriter use them? What role has technology played in this recording and what are the musical consequences.
  For these and other questions, the proof is in the pudding: cite your sources and use the materials to prove your point.
4. Having made your assertion and presented the evidence in your case, wrap up your argument. What have you managed to prove?
5. Include a bibliography at the end of your essay (I will not include it in your word count) for your sources. Consult the Skidmore Guide to Writing's passages on MLA in-text parenthetical citations and bibliographic form.
12 December, 2011