I have commented on a number of your recent blog posts, but I want to try to clarify my comments here a bit. As has been the case with most of the drafts this semester, your goal in the “My Kind of Town” paper is to communicate to your audience a single dominant impression (or “spirit”) of the town you choose. That dominant impression will probably be an adjective or a short descriptive phrase. Because our identities are often based on past events and experience, historical information is useful. That said, you will probably need more than that.
For example, I grew up outside of Buffalo, New York. I haven’t lived there for over twenty years, but I can still identify a dominant impression of Buffalo. If I were working on this “My Kind of Town” draft, I would probably start with the idea that Buffalo is a city of “resilience.” As details to support that resilience, I would note that their professional football team, the Buffalo Bills, is still the only team to appear in four straight Super Bowls. They lost all four. In fact, they haven’t one a game all season this year and are, by all accounts, the worst team in the NFL. On a more positive note, the fans still show up for games and sell out one of the largest stadiums in the league despite having one of the smallest fan bases. After thinking a bit, I may adjust my dominant impression (or thesis) to something like “proud resilience.”
Of course, I like football. I would also support the notion of “proud resilience” by discussing how Buffalo’s economy has suffered over the years, with high unemployment, etc. Other details might include the ability to survive a winter in Buffalo and how doing so displays a remarkable ability to remain tough and patient and always ends in the rebirth of spring . . . and training camp in the summer for another Buffalo Bills season!
My research might include some history with the Buffalo Bills, some facts about the Buffalo economy, some weather statistics, etc. A thesis sentence might read something like “Buffalo’s proud resilience is reflected in their commitment to their sports teams.”
You can read someone else’s thoughts on Buffalo, New York here.