This assignment requires students to further research one of the topics covered during the semester and write an essay arguing a particular interpretation of the literature surrounding that issue and social movement. Please see the attached document for details and guidelines on this assignment.
American Protest Literature – Literary Analysis Argument Essay
Whether it looks backward in order to move America forward, builds connections across movements, demands empathy from readers, transforms its creators, crafts a politics of form, appropriates the master’s tools, or makes words into weapons, American protest literature tries to remake “a world beautiful,” as London puts it. The protest cycle beats on, boats against the current.
– Zoe Trodd xxviii
Trodd’s anthology American Protest Literature sets a variety of texts and protest art forms in conversation with each other. She describes these as falling into several “politics” for change. These are:
For this project, you will write a four-to-five-page essay that analyzes and interprets four works and finds a unifying theme among them. You may use writings from the textbook itself (whether they were among the selected course readings or not) or you may explore other outside texts provided they are published sources that were written or created as a part of the social movements studied in the course. You will need at least five total sources of outside research for your essay documented in your Works Cited page.
You may do this assignment one of two ways:
Your work is to interpret the works to find unifying themes or tactics among them and then argue for their unique contribution to their related social movement. Do not focus too much on summarizing; instead, interpret and explain to your reader how the strategies are expressed in the work and how the works intersect with one another. Bring Trodd’s “politics” to the surface through your interpretation of each work.
Use textual evidence to back up your analysis and support your thesis statement. However, don’t list an entire stanza or paragraph and then explain its meaning. Instead, break down large chunks of text into small pieces and explain what the words mean in relation to your claim. Compare words, actions, or ideas from each work to the other to illuminate how they connect and promote the movement or movements you choose throughout. Look for patterns or symbols to help you decide on an interpretation. Also, consider language or context. For help with ways to begin your analysis, see the handouts on eCampus entitled “How to Analyze Poetry and Songs” and “Ten Tips for a Successful Literary Analysis.”
When writing, focus on the TELL, SHOW, SHARE method for paragraph development. First, TELL the reader what your argument is, your thesis or topic sentences. Then, SHOW the reader your evidence. Evidence begins with text from the works; it might also include the author’s biography or historical context. Finally, SHARE and explain what it means. Share something significant about your findings. Explain the “So what? Who cares?” aspect of the section you are writing about. How does it relate to the larger social movement and to the “politics” Trodd suggests thrive in protest literature? Why does it matter?
Length: Four-to-five pages, 1,200-1,500 words, not including the Works Cited page.
Style: Essay needs to conform to MLA standards, including double spacing in Times New Roman font, and must include a Works Cited page with correct in-text (parenthetical) citations for all quotes, paraphrases, and/or summaries.
Sources: 5 (five) sources minimum. Works may be from our readings and credible academic outside sources.
IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS, YOU CANNOT EARN HIGHER THAN A 60%.
First Draft/Peer Review One: One typed working draft to your small group – see syllabus for dates
Final Draft: Submitted through Safe Assign on eCampus by 11:59 PM – see syllabus for dates
Purpose and Learning Objectives
The purpose of this assignment is to bring everything we have worked on over the course of the semester together. These skills you will use in your college career and into your chosen jobs. Writing, research, and eloquent written expression are vital for a successful future. You will express these in this assignment.
Your literary analysis should demonstrate the following learning objectives:
Process of Completion
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarism includes failing to cite a direct quote with quotation marks and an in-text citation, borrowing someone else’s work without a correct citation, bad paraphrasing (Safe Assign will not identify a good or fair paraphrase), purchasing a paper, having someone else write your essay, or turning in the same paper to two different classes. Any paper with plagiarism, even accidental (I forgot to cite that!), will receive a zero as a final grade. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite correctly. See both MLA citation PPTs on eCampus or visit Purdue OWL for more help https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
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