Essay

Your First Draft of this essay assignment should be 5 to 10 paragraphs in length. Completing the first draft will count as 5% of your Final Draft score. Completing the online Peer Review activity will count as another 5% of your Final Draft score.

Please write a comparison and contrast essay about any 2 or 3 of the short stories and/or poems listed in the schedule on our Syllabus. Your final draft must be 5-7 pages and 1,250-1,500 words in length. Please focus on pieces that share a common theme (“central idea, topic, or point of a story, essay, or narrative.”)

Your final draft must have a title, a thesis statement, and a works cited page. You may respond to 1 of the 5 essay prompts listed below, or use your own prompt:

Option 1: War. According to General William T. Sherman, “War is all hell.” There are numerous stories in the news about military veterans who suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). What are the effects of war on the people who are affected by it (civilians as well as veterans)? Write an essay about the negative effects of war on the individual. You may also discuss one or more ways to alleviate these effects. Are there any positive effects of war? Please use 2 or 3 of the sources listed below to support your argument. You may also use other sources, including your own experience and knowledge, to support your argument.

Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried” (Gardner pages 322-337),

Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est” (Gardner pages 521-522),

Randall Jarrell, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” (Gardner page 541).

Option 2: Racism. What are the effects of racism? How can we combat racism or eliminate it from society? Write an essay about the nature of racism and ways we can combat it. Please use 2 or 3 of the sources listed below to support your argument. You may also use other sources, including your own experience and knowledge, to support your argument.

Alice Walker, “Everyday Use” (Gardner pages 310-317),

Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal” (Gardner pages 203-215),

Langston Hughes, “Harlem” (Gardner page 528).

Option 3: Women’s Rights. Judy Brady writes “My God, who wouldn’t want a wife?” In too many instances, wives are treated like domestic servants rather than partners by their husbands. Several literary characters are driven to madness or murder because of the patriarchal societies they live in. How can we as individuals ensure that women are treated with the respect they deserve? Write an essay about the struggle for women’s rights. Please use 2 or 3 of the sources listed below to support your argument. You may also use other sources, including your own experience and knowledge, to support your argument.

Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” (Gardner pages 1282-1285),

William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” (Gardner pages 168-175),

Susan Glaspell, Trifles (Gardner pages 939-950),

Option 4: Love. The musical artist Haddaway wrote a song entitled “What is Love?” This question is as old as human civilization. Write an essay about the true nature of love. How is romantic love similar to and different than the love of a family member? You may also discuss beliefs or myths about love. Please use 2 or 3 of the sources listed below to support your argument. You may also use other sources, including your own experience and knowledge, to support your argument.

William Shakespeare: “Sonnet 118” (Gardner page 426),

Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee” (Gardner pages 464-465).

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” (Gardner page 464).

Option 5: Death. Comedian Woody Allen says “’I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” What happens to us when we die? How does death affect those who are left behind? Does death have positive effects? John Donne and Emily Dickinson portray characters who welcome death. Shirley Jackson describes a community that benefits from the deaths of its members. Write an essay about the effects of death. Please use 2 or 3 of the sources listed below to support your argument. You may also use other sources, including your own experience and knowledge, to support your argument.

Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” (Gardner pages 216-222),

John Donne, “Death, be not proud” (Gardner page 432),

Emily Dickinson, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” (Gardner pages 493-494).

Your final draft must have a works cited page that lists each literary piece you use as a source. Please see below for a sample works cited list:

Works Cited

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Literature:

A Portable Anthology. Ed. Janet E. Gardner, et al. 4th ed. Bedford, 2016. p. 464.

Poe, Edgar Allan. “Annabel Lee.” Literature: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Janet E. Gardner,

et al. 4th ed. Bedford, 2016. pp. 242-249.

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