About The Assignment
Despite its relative youth, American Literature has transformed through several different periods, each with distinct identities and purposes. In this course, you’ve covered several of the prominent eras and read famous works from each of them. Drawing upon these works, use the following prompt as a foundation to write a 1,000 to 1,500 word essay about the topic.
Formatting & Sources
Please write your paper in the MLA format. As part of your research, you may refer to the course material for supporting evidence, but you must also use at least four credible, outside sources and cite them using MLA format as well. Please include a mix of both primary and secondary sources, with at least one source from a scholarly peer-reviewed journal. If you use any Study.com lessons as sources, please also cite them in MLA (including the lesson title and instructor’s name).
Primary sources are first-hand accounts such as interviews, advertisements, speeches, company documents, statements, and press releases published by the company in question.
Secondary sources come from peer-reviewed scholarly journals, such as the Journal of Management. You may use like JSTOR, Google Scholar, and Social Science Research Network to find articles from these journals. Secondary sources may also come from reputable websites with .gov, .edu, or .org in the domain. (Wikipedia is not a reputable source, though the sources listed in Wikipedia articles may be acceptable.)
If you’re unsure about how to use MLA format for your paper and sources, please see the following lessons:
What is MLA Format?
Final Essay Prompt
Several of the works in this course include characters struggling to either live by a set of standards created for them by society or by their own internal guidelines. Choose two characters from the works on the mandatory reading list for this course (they must come from different works). Compare and contrast these characters, addressing issues of race, gender, and class as applicable. Explore how these characters embody what it means to be an American. Please make sure to support your explanation with examples from the text.
Your essays will be graded based on the following rubric:
Category Unacceptable (0-1) Needs Improvement (2-3) Good (4) Excellent (5) Total Possible Points
Structure (x3) Structure is illogical or significantly hinders understanding Arguments are difficult to identify; ideas are disjointed Evidence is provided & is relevant to the thesis, but transitions and connections are lacking Arguments are well integrated; ideas flow logically; main points are identifiable 15
Analysis (x3) No examples are used to support arguments; analysis is missing or incorrect Few or weak examples are given to support main points Examples are given to support most points, but not all; analysis lacks originality All main points are supported with evidence and include original analysis 15
Thesis (x2) Thesis is missing Thesis lacks clarity or is not well-developed Thesis adequately states the student’s argument Thesis clearly & logically states the student’s argument 10
Mechanics (x2) Incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and use of standard English grammar hinders understanding Several instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammar Few instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammar
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