500 Greatest Songs of All Time Project

500 Greatest Songs of All Time Project
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine released its special issue “The 500 Greatest Songs of All
Time.” In this issue, the noteworthy publication listed 500 songs from the 1940s to the
present day that shaped the face of music and popular culture. With a panel of nearly 200
musicians, critics, journalists, and producers, the list was created. An updated list was
compiled for a re-release in 2010, an issue that featured the addition of 26 different songs
from the 2000s.
You will be assigned one of the 500 songs from the Rolling Stone list. Your task is to
determine whether or not your designated song should have been selected onto this
prestigious list. Using research that you learn about the performer, the song (music and
lyrics), and time period in which the song was released, you will make your final
Step one of this project will be to find as much information on this song and artist as you
can. You will need to access materials from books, encyclopedias, the Internet,
television, and elsewhere.
Once you have found enough information, it will be up to you to develop a thesis.
Whether you choose argumentative or analytical is up to you. (You may have an easier
time with the development of an argumentative thesis because you are familiar with
persuasive essays.)
Possible ideas could include:
While the Beatles are justifiably included on Rolling Stone’s list multiple times,
the choice of “Rain” is a mistake as the song was recorded during a John Lennon
drug-induced state.
“Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé should not have been selected as one of Rolling
Stone’s Greatest Songs of All Time as it is too soon since its 2003 release to
determine its lasting impact on popular music.
For its lasting impact on punk and alternative music, the Ramones’ 2 minute and
13 second romp “Blitzkrieg Bop” should definitely be part of Rolling Stone’s
Greatest Songs of All Time.
In your essay you will need to give the reader information about the song and artist
(although remember this is not a biographical report). We cannot assume that it is
common knowledge. Then use the history and findings to prove your thesis.
Your paper needs to be a minimum of three typed pages. (12-point font, Times New
Roman, double-spaced) This amounts to approximately 800-900 words. Your essay
must include a works cited page with a minimum of 3 sources. (One source MUST be
a print resource – book, encyclopedia, magazine, etc.)
The essay will be scored with the PA State Writing Assessment that you are familiar
with. (Focus – Content – Organization – Style – Conventions)
Grade will be derived from:
4 points (Are you making your point and not writing a biography?)
4 points (Is it long enough – minimum of 3 pages)
4 points (Is it organized w/ logical intro/body/conclusion?)
4 points (Does it use a variety of sentence structures & vocab?)
4 points (Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, format, etc.)
Works cited page
5 points (You either have it or not. Must include in-text citations.)
Minimum 3 sources 5 points (You either have it or not.)
30 points
Due Date: ________________
“A great song doesn’t attempt to be anything – it just is…
It takes the emotions of a moment and holds it for years to come. It transcends time.”
– Jay-Z from the Introduction to The Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time