Hall of Fame Essay

In this final paper of the course, you will nominate a new member to the Country Music Hall of Fame (HOF). Following the HOF’s criteria, you must propose an artist whose first single or album appeared at least twenty years ago. Every year, the HOF inducts performers in two categories. If your artist appeared on the country scene between 20 and 39 years ago, then you are nominating him or her as a “Modern Era” inductee. If the artist appeared 40+ years ago, then you are nominating him or her as a “Veterans Era” inductee.

The paper will be broken into two parts. In the first part, you will write 1,000-1,250 words identifying the artist and making your case for their induction. This part will follow the “classical” persuasive template that is outlined in Controversies, Ch. 10, pp. 154-159, and it must integrate 4+ sources, one of them a print source you found using the UT Library’s catalog. In the second part, which will vary in length depending on the artist, you will identify 4-6 songs that demonstrate the artist’s range and/or impact.

Before continuing, please download the rubric.

Guidelines & Suggestions

Role/Audience: Imagine, as you complete the essay, that you are a member of the HOF’s official nominating committee. You are a person with expertise in country music writing to other individuals with expertise in country music.

Part 1: Argument: The “classical” template includes six parts: exordium, narration, partition, argument, refutation, and peroration. Your paper should include all of these, though as the Controversies reading indicates, you may commit more space to some of these than others given the particular artist that you are nominating. Remember that you are developing reasons that will be persuasive not to fans, but to the HOF nominating committee.

Part 2: Recommended Listening: In this section, you will refer the committee to 4-6 songs that demonstrate some of the reasons that the artist should be inducted. Please format this part of the essay as follows:

Recommended Listening

“Song Title” (Songwriter’s name; year recorded)
3-5 sentences explaining why you’re profiling this particular song

Sources: Use 4+ sources to defend your nomination. The best sources will offer insight into the artist’s impact and legacy that surpasses mere popularity and longevity. Clearly indicate the details that you borrow from sources by using quotation marks and parenthetical references.

Works Cited: Include a list of Works Cited in MLA format at the bottom of the essay. See the Easy Writer textbook for the details on MLA format.

Submission: Submit both your first and final drafts to Canvas.

Hall of Fame Presentations

In the last week of class, we as a class will select one nomination to officially endorse under the “HOF” tab on our website.

On Wednesday, 4/27, and Monday, 5/2, students working in small groups will select one candidate from 3-5 nominations to bring to the class’s attention. On Wednesday, 5/4, and groups will deliver short 5-10 minute presentations explaining why they believe the candidates they have selected should earn our endorsement. These presentations, which are worth 5% of the final course grade, should evidence the involvement of every member of the group and include no more than 3-4 minutes of audio/video material. Groups should distribute to the entire class a single page handout highlighting the candidate’s accomplishments and the reasons he or she would make a good member of the Hall of Fame. After hearing all of the presentations, the class will take a final vote.