Overview: This assignment is a “creative leader” paper, four to six pages in length. Your paper should center around one person or group (historical or contemporary) who has made a difference through their creative work. Rather than being a biography, your response should focus primarily on one or two major problems/questions this person worked on in their lifetimes, and the specific and unique creative approaches they brought to solving that problem.
Topic: There are two major components to the topic of this project. The first is a “creative leader,” a person or clearly-defined group which has made important contributions through their creative work. This work may be in a range of areas (arts, literature, music, politics, business, etc.) and the leader may be either a historical or contemporary figure. You should choose someone who made distinct, new contributions in their field which you can easily and succinctly explain (i.e. Steve Jobs revolutionized the world of computing through his unique design style and the simplicity of his computers and software.). You should provide some basic information about this person, but only that which is necessary to understand their creative contributions. A good guideline might be to have no more than one to one and a half page of background information total. The most effective papers will integrate this information into discussions of this person’s creative work, rather than offering a “biography section” (although this is OK too).
The second component of your topic is one or two major problems or questions that your leader sought to address through their creative work. In selecting these problems or questions, try to think broadly about your leader’s impact. For example, you might say that Steve Jobs not only revolutionized computer technology, but the ways we communicate. Once you’ve selected these problems or questions, consider the unique contributions this person made, and how their specific creative process made these possible. In this example, you might consider what distinguished Jobs from Bill Gates in terms of his contributions, his perspective, and approach to technology.
Research: Your paper should utilize quality sources which help you to understand your creative leader’s background and work. Ideally, at least one of these will be an (auto)biography or other full-length book focusing on the work of your creative leader. You should supplement this research with academic and/or news articles, interviews, items from the creative leader’s web page, etc. This supplemental research may focus either on your creative leader, the major creative contributions they made, or on the field in which they worked. In total, you should have at least four sources to support your paper, which should be cited wherever they are either quoted or utilized for specific facts or figures according to the conventions of a recognized style guide (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).
All of your research should be from credible sources- either the creative leader themselves, a generally-accepted news source, an academic or industry writer, etc. Sources such as Wikipedia, blogs (unless written by the creative leader themselves), etc. should not be included. Your sources will be submitted to me as part of your initial proposal, and I will review them to ensure that they are credible.
Format: The paper should be four to six full pages of text (not including title page/headings, pictures, bibliography, etc.), in 12 point Times New Roman, double-spaced, one inch margins all around. All sources utilized should be cited in a works cited/bibliography page, which is formatted according to the standards of a recognized style guide (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) of your choice.
Deadlines and Submission: This project will be submitted during finals week in place of a final exam. In order to ensure that you are on track with your paper, I will also have other deadlines which precede the final deadline. Please see below for full details:
Tuesday, 3/13, 11:59 PM: Topic Proposal and Sources Due. This should include at least the following: (1) your creative leader/leader group name, (2) the problem/question they worked on which you will focus on in your paper, (3) citation information for your sources. This need not be a lengthy narrative submission- simply listing these items will do.
Tuesday, 3/20, 11:59 PM: Progress Report Due. This should include at least the following: (1) where you stand with your research, reading, and writing, (2) at least one thing you’ve learned about your creative leader in your research.