African American literature writing 001

Traditional Essays: You will submit a final paper (4-6 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font, Times New Roman; 1500 words min., excluding header and works cited page)

Requirement: You essay draws from at least two texts we’ve read in this course, one theoretical and one literary (short story or novel or short film). The paper must have a clear thesis and developed close readings of particular passages, and incorporate one or more of our theoretical readings. You can use this assignment to develop ideas you explore in one of your previous shorter essays or discussion posts.

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Specific Advice (before you upload your essay):

1. Format: Use MLA format.

2. Title: Does your essay have an interesting title that identifies the text you are writing about and gives a sense of the argument you are making?

3. Thesis: Does your essay state the main claim (thesis) of your whole argument at the end of its introduction?

4. Paragraphs: Is your essay divided into clear paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence to defend the steps of your overall argument? Does each paragraph begin with a substantive, interpretive topic sentence (the paragraph’s point) that clearly relates to your thesis?

5. Evidence / Quotations a) Are the claims in your essay (thesis, paragraphs’ topic sentences, etc.) supported by evidence, preferably in the form of quotations? b) Have you introduced your quotation with a sentence that explains why you are quoting? c) Have you analyzed the quotation (explained how the quotation and its details help support your argument)? Do not simply summarize the action, but explain why it happens and how what happens helps to supports your interpretation. Avoid “dropped quotes.” d) Take care to copy your quotations exactly. e) When quoting less than 3 lines of text, incorporate quoted words or phrases into your own prose. You should alter quoted lines to make the quotation and your prose grammatically compatible by inserting or substituting appropriate words in [brackets]. When citing your evidence, the page numbers only appear in (parentheses) before the final punctuation of the sentence.

6. Conclusion: Does your essay end with a compelling conclusion that does not simply reiterate the paper’s thesis but adds something more to the argument? What do we understand about the text after reading your essay?

7. Tense: When writing about literature, discuss what happens in the text in the present tense.

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