Paper Assignment 3

In 2012, the Pew Research Center issued a report on “The Rise of Asian Americans,” claiming that: “Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success…” This report received much attention in the press, but was sharply criticized by many Asian American organizations and commentators, who contended that the report was inaccurate and one-sided, and that it furthermore perpetuated the model minority myth, contributing to the formation of Asian Americans as an “invisible” or “forgotten minority.”

Essay Prompt

Based on your reading of this report (the original 2012 report and the updated 2013 version) and its critiques, do you believe that the model minority stereotype is, on balance, beneficial or detrimental to Asian Americans?

Make sure to address issues faced by underrepresented or socioeconomically disadvantaged Asian groups, as well as those of professional Asian Americans facing the “glass/bamboo ceiling.”

There is no independent research for this paper. All materials are provided. In addition, you can feel free to use any of the readings (weeks 1-13 inclusive), and the U.S. Census data that is provided for your reference. Use of Wikipedia, beyond checking dates and names, is not allowed for this paper. In contrast to Paper 2, which emphasized the use of primary sources, this paper assignment emphasizes the critical use of secondary sources.

This essay is an example of persuasive writing, and should include a strong thesis, articulating your own opinion on the subject,as well as a balanced treatment of both sides of the issue.

Helpful Hints

Remember that a thesis is not a simple yes/no opinion, a topic, a question, or a list. Aim for a thesis that addresses the “why” behind your answer to the prompt’s question. It can be helpful to think of a thesis as comprised of two parts: it should tell what you plan to argue and should also “telegraph” to the reader how you plan to support your claim. Your thesis can be one or two sentences long and it should appear at the end of your introductory paragraph. The body of the paper should be logically organized and include at least one counterargument. Each of your points should be supported by evidence. Your conclusion paragraph should not simply restate your main points, but instead consider the implications of your argument.

Your paper must have proper citations throughout. Please use in-text parenthetical citations following the Chicago Manual of Style conventions. Your paper should also include a bibliography.

In writing this paper you should:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the model minority stereotype, its history and political usages.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the critiques of the model minority stereotype and the political and/or ideological motivations of the critics (the recommended reading excerpted from Chan, Sucheng. Asian Americans: An Interpretative History. Twayne Publishers, 1991. ISBN-13: 9780805784374_._
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of the Asian American population, and why disaggregating the “Asian American” and/or “Asian Pacific Islander” categories is important in considering issues such as those raised by the Pew Report.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the history of Asian immigrants in this country (first wave versus second wave) and changes in US immigration policy relating to Asians, and show the relevance of this knowledge to an assessment of the model minority/invisible minority issue today.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the glass ceiling, or “bamboo ceiling” for Asian Americans.
  • Demonstrate an ability to write a persuasive essay, to effectively communicate your position with appropriate use of evidence and reference to relevant secondary literature.

Formatting and Submission

  • Your paper should be written in Times New Roman, twelve-point font and double-spaced. You must use page numbers.
  • Please indicate at the top of the first page: your name, the subject number, total word count for this paper (excluding bibliography).
  • Please submit as a PDF.
  • There is a three-point penalty per day for late papers.
  • Points will also be deducted for papers that are significantly over the word count limit.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2013
Learning Resource Types
Activity Assignments
Written Assignments