For your final exam, you will write two essays, of around 5 paragraphs each. Each essay will be on one topic you learned about this semester. You choose. Your essay will have to draw on lecture notes, Mexican Mosaic, and at least one entry from either Oxford Research Encyclopedia or Iconic Mexico (cannot be on entries you’ve already used). Describe the topic, explain why it interests you and how learning it has changed how you think about Mexico.
1- topic one
The Mexican Drug War- The continuous interventions from the Mexican government on drug cartels remains an issue since 2006. The Mexican government assumes responsibility for demolishing all drug cartels to prevent any on-going drug-related problems. The topic can help to understand more about the modern Mexico, its similarities and differences compared to the Mexican Mosaic, and initiatives that can help to intervene in helping the region to overcome the drug war.
Final Exam Outline: Three Steps to Success
Choose a person, event, institution, or dynamic that (a) we’ve discussed in class, (b) is in, or is related to subjects discussed in, Mexican Mosaic, and (c) either of the encyclopedias. This leaves you with many options.
What person, you ask? How about Moctezuma, Cortés, Alvarado, Malintzin, Hidalgo, Morelos, Guerrero, Zapata, Obregón, León Toral, Cárdenas, Alemán, Díaz Ordaz, Salinas, or El Chapo? Many more to choose from.
Events? What events? How about the “Re-conquest” of Spain, conquest of Tenochtitlán, or the conquest of the Purépecha? How about a war? There are so many to choose from! Other events: La Reforma, the Nationalization of Petroleum, student massacre of 1968, elections in 1988, 2000, 2006 or even 2018. Drug war?
Institutions? How about the Catholic Church, encomienda, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PEMEX, Bimbo, or drug cartels?
Dynamics? What the heck is a dynamic, you wonder? Religious conversion, sexism, populism, anticlericalism, authoritarianism, Roc’n’rol.
It is important for you to choose the topic. This is part—perhaps the most important part—of the intellectual process of inquiry. It is not easy; it may cause anguish and frustration. It is half the work. Half the work! And you won’t have written a word yet! The intention, truly, is to help you develop independent and creative thinking skills. Once you’ve chosen the question, the rest is easy (well, easier).
- Write everything you can about the topic. Length is not the important measure here. Some topics will lend themselves to more than others. The important part is to read the available materials carefully and make the effort to write the relevant information in a clear and thoughtful manner.
- Reflect on why the topic interests you and how it makes you think about Mexico differently. This will be very subjective and grading will reflect effort and detail. Dig deep for this. Why did this topic attract you? What light does this topic shed on Mexico? If you feel unable to answer these questions, you might consider choosing a different topic. Therefore, it might be a good idea to reflect on these questions before you begin to write anything.
These reflections are also an important part of the intellectual process of inquiry. You will forget much (most?) of the content from this course. But when you are able to identify why a topic interests you and how it makes you see things (the past in Mexico, for example) differently, then you are engaging in a creative process. You are not memorizing and repeating; you are creating something.