African-American AND LatinX Literature

YOUR FINAL ESSAY SHOULD BE 3-4 PAGES IN LENGTH (the Works Cited page is not included in the word count).

Topic Proposal/Outline:

Develop a provisional thesis and general argumentative direction. Mention at least five direct quotations from your chosen text– that you will be incorporating into your argument, and include potential topics for each body paragraph. I’ll return your topic proposal to you electronically within 48 hours and make many substantial comments and suggestions. At this point, you are merely providing your own argumentative direction, so don’t consult outside sources—only the text of your choice from our readings in weeks 6 and 7. Your topic must be approved by me before beginning your project.

POSSIBLE FINAL PAPER TOPICS

African-American Lit

Discuss the importance of mentoring and positive female guidance in terms of Sister Flowers. Give several examples from the text to support your thesis. Why is this a culturally significant theme?

Discuss issues of race, class, and gender in Richard Wright’s “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow”—how are these three societal morays framed under Jim Crow laws, and what conflicts arise because of this?

Examine symbols in “Everyday Use” (the front yard, the quilts, the three generations of women, the names, etc.). How are these symbols used to examine family structures, traditions, the shifting politics of the time, etc.

Examine issues of race, class, and gender in any of these aforementioned texts, as you see fit.

LatinX Lit

How does Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera approach the issues or problems of assimilation, integration (or the lack thereof), and immigration?

Discuss issues of race, class, and gender in Diaz’s “How To Date…”. This sets up a 5 paragraph essay, of course: Intro, Class, Race, Gender, Conclusion.

Examine Cofer’s “The Myth Of The Latin Girl…”—how does this autobiographical account portray the cultural experience of Latina women—do you agree with this portrayal? Why or why not? Discuss.

Examine issues of race, class, and gender in any of these aforementioned texts, as you see fit.

African-American AND LatinX Lit

Pick an African-American text and a LatinX text—present a thesis for a compare/contrast essay about how these two different pieces of writing discuss race. How are they different? How are they the same? Why is this significant? Explain.

Pick an African-American text and a LatinX text—present a thesis for acompare/contrast essay about how these two different pieces of writing discuss class and economic struggles. How are they different? How are they the same? Why is this significant? Explain.

Pick an African-American text and a LatinX text—present a thesis for a compare/contrast essay about how these two different pieces of writing discuss gender. How are they different? How are they the same? Why is this significant? Explain.

These, as I said, are suggestions, and the essay itself must follow the guidelines already posted in Week 7 found below). If you come up with a separate topic or idea, I am totally open-minded to that as long as it is discussing the African-American and LatinX writings which we have covered in our class!

Final Project “Survey of American Literature II” Spring II Directions:

Develop your own argument, or choose from my suggested topics, about a single topic in one of the American literature texts from the following sections: a) African American Writers b) Latinx Writers.

Requirements for this assignment are listed below. Your final grade will be deducted if any of these requirements aren’t fulfilled. 1) You must use at least one piece of direct textual evidence per body paragraph. That piece of evidence, in support of your argumentative claim, must be correctly cited and subsequently paraphrased. 2)  Send me an email once you have submitted it. 3) In order to facilitate academic honesty, you also must submit the essay to turnitin.com. 

Essay Topics: Find an essay topic, narrow and focused, that interests you –Begin brainstorming topics by simply engaging with the text, skimming sections, and looking for patterns. For topics, a simple character analysis, for example, is just too broad. Don’t be surprised if I revise your topic substantially once you receive my comments on your topic proposal. I’ll comment upon your topic proposal and provide an evaluation of whether your topic is focused enough to proceed or whether substantial reconceptualization is necessary.

Plagiarism is the undocumented use of outside sources. Do not plagiarize. There is only one way to turn in this essay: electronically via the links on eLearn to the two areas provided (turnitin.com and within the course via the 2nd link). Final note: Get started early on this project, and trust your ability to write a sustained, thoughtful argumentative essay on any of the works in the two identified sections.  I want to be active and engaged in the process of creating and finishing your final essay project for “Survey of American Literature II.” This essay should represent your very best critical thinking, argumentation, and writing. I will provide you with your essay grade and some feedback online within 2 days of your posting. Be sure to use the MLA resources folder for assistance with in-text citation and your works cited page.

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