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Essay # 1 (15%)
Choose ONE of the following three essay topics, engaging in detail relevant assigned readings in the course. Do not use outside sources. Your ideas should be clearly argued and supported with scholarly citations. Before beginning your essay, you may want to review Part 1 of Keys for Writers by Ann Raimes to help you formulate a thesis statement and write a first draft.
Use any two of the articles or slave narratives assigned in the first five weeks of the term to discuss how socially constructed categories of race and gender were used to control and subjugate African slaves in the Americas. Also analyze slaves’ resistance of these attempts to distort their understanding of themselves.
Treating Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery as a type of slave narrative, compare and contrast the treatment of the quest for literacy and Black manhood in Washington’s and Douglass’s narratives.
Much of the first term in this course is concerned with articulating a formal response to the trauma of slavery. Choosing any two political or religious ideologies or movements that emerged in the twentieth century, discuss how they attempted to respond to the cultural, economic and/or political trauma of living in the African diaspora in the Americas.
Purpose: This assignment is designed to help you read critically, make cross-textual analysis and identify different points of view.
Length: 5-6 pages (1250-1500 words)
Format: The essay should be typed, double-spaced and have numbered pages. A cover page should include the title of your essay, your name, and your tutorial leader’s name. Choose a title carefully that will suggest the main ideas of your essay.
Your essay should include carefully cited references within the body of the text and a works cited page at the end. Please use the MLA citation style, which you can find in Keys for Writers or the MLA Handbook.
Criteria of Evaluation
1. Appropriate use of a controlling idea (claim, thesis statement) with main ideas clearly stated and demonstrated through the use of relevant course material;
2. Demonstrated comprehension of course material, particularly as seen in summarizing, making analysis, selecting examples and contextualizing;
2. Presence of unified, developed, coherent paragraphs with a clear relationship among the paragraphs;
3. Absence of misspellings, sentence fragments, run-on sentences and comma splices; and
4. Appropriate use of MLA citation style.
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