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Ethnic Studies

Below is some of the information compiled from students interviewing professionals in various fields of study. Each interviewee provided some helpful tips on what makes a strong argument in their field as well as an example of a strong argumentative paper. Listed below are the two most important pieces of advice each professional gave about writing persuasively in a given field.


Field: African-American Studies
Interviewee: Nicole Jones

“Talking to people on the ground motivates analysis and brings your argument away from the theoretical and into the personal. The voices of those we talk about in institutions of higher education are often drowned out and ultimately completely lost. Arguments can be far more powerful when listening to people’s stories since you can begin to understand the “little things” that high level policy analysis doesn’t capture, such as the glances you get in public. These operate under the radar and can accumulate to dangerous levels.”

Recommended Model: Stuck in Place – Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress toward Racial Equality


Field: Asian American Studies
Interviewee: Professor Harvey Dong

“There is a need to disaggregate the statistics so you can look at the real situation for the Asian Americans because the Asian American community is so diverse, you have a very selective group of immigrants from professional groups coming from certain countries.”

Recommended Model: Takagi, Paul. “Remarks of Dr Paul Takagi.” Community Seminar: The Asian American Identity. San Francisco, California. Speech.


Field: Critical Race Theory/Public Welfare Institutions
Interviewee: Victor Sanchez

“Don’t be scared that it may be about race. Don’t rush to move away from talking about race. Talking about race can be uncomfortable, but it is necessary. Also, do not take color-blind approaches to AA [Affirmative Action] or diversity efforts because of tendencies to become very white”.

Recommended Model:  Sanchez, Victor A. (2015). “Affirmative Action and Faculty in Higher Education,” The Vermont Connection: Vol. 36, Article 10.


Field: East Asian Languages and Cultures
Interviewee: Dr. Brian Baumann

“Those rhetorical guides allow you to what it takes to win in your argument. So if the situation calls for you to take your opponent’s argument, ignore the sense of it, and just reduce it to obscurity, then you can beat the argument. Some ways of arguing are like that. They do not care about any kind of ultimate truth. They just want to win. But for me, it is not about winning or losing. It is about being right or being wrong, and showing something or learning something. So that is the environment for me. It is not about winning or losing; It is about teaching or learning.”

Recommended Model: Kara, G. (1992/1993). “Analysis of a Mongolian Social Democrat’s Treatise 1990.”  Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae Vol. 46, No. 2/3 (1993/1993), pp. 283-287.