an essay

 Before you read about topics, review the information from the Getting Started module about writing this essay: 

In Module 2, you have studied the characteristics of modernism in American poetry and fiction in the early twentieth century. You have seen how these works are in many ways artistic responses to critical cultural issues that our nation faced. You will now write an essay of 500-750 words in which you will apply your knowledge of the terms, concepts, and texts that you have studied.Essays that employ terminology and associated concepts learned in this module (for example – loss of traditional beliefs and values, mass consumption and materialism, the American dream, double-consciousness, civil rights, symbolism, urban environments, championing the working man) will earn their writers a better grade.Topics. Choose ONE.TOPIC 1. Pick a character from one of the poems or stories that we read for Module 2 who exemplifies a struggle with civil rights that reflects problems still going on in our country today. The struggle may have to do with race, class, gender or any other category of people. Give very specific examples from the literary texts of the qualities of the struggle. Give very specific examples from news stories of today that show how the struggle continues. Do not make claims for which you do not provide solid, factual evidence. Show how the author of the literary work, in describing the struggles of the past, helps you understand the issues underlying the struggles of the present.TOPIC 2. Pick a character from one of the poems or stories that we read for Module 2 who exemplifies a psychological struggle. The psychological struggle may be a crisis of identity, a lack of self-esteem, depression and alcoholism, or another psychological ailment that affects us humans. Give very specific examples from the literary texts of the qualities of the struggle. Compare the literary character to someone in the present – yourself, someone you know, or someone in the news – who fights a similar psychological battle. Do not make claims for which you do not provide solid, factual evidence. Show how the author of the literary work, in describing the struggles of the literary character, helps you understand the issues underlying the struggles of the real person.TOPIC 3. Pick a character from one of the poems or stories that we read for Module 2 who exemplifies a struggle of values and beliefs. The  struggle of values and beliefs may be due to cultural pressures, financial problems, or a conflict of duty to family or state vs. duty to self. Give very specific examples from the literary texts of the qualities of the struggle. Compare the literary character to someone in the present – yourself, someone you know, or someone in the news – who fights a similar battle to maintain or fight for certain values and beliefs. Do not make claims for which you do not provide solid, factual evidence. Show how the author of the literary work, in describing the struggles of the literary character, helps you understand the issues underlying the struggles of the real person. 

 
To earn maximum points in essay assignments, consult the grading rubric below. Check off each item as you go. The Grading Rubric for Essays Checklist is also linked to each essay assignment in the Dropbox.
Check It Off Here!Grading Rubric for EssaysWhere To Find Help OPTIONAL (but recommended): The student has submitted the Smarthinking tutor’s comments to the course dropbox. The student has revised the final essay based on the Smarthinking tutor’s comments. (Do this step early – at least three days before the due date.)

Directions for Smarthinking
The student has submitted the final essay to the course dropbox in MS Word (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or HTML (.htm) ONLY. The student has written 500-750 words.Do NOT send a “.wps” file. I can’t open them! Save as “.rtf” (Rich Text Format) if you don’t have Word. The student has used correct grammar, punctuation, and word choice in the essay.Indiana University’s WTS: Proofreading for Common Surface Errors (opens in a new window) The student has written an introduction to the essay that contains a thesis statement that is on the assigned topic.UNC Writing Center: Thesis Statements (opens in a new window) The student has written at least three body paragraphs with clear topic sentences that relate to the thesis statement that is on the assigned topic.
Indiana University’s WTS: Paragraphs and Topic Sentences (opens in a new window)
Purdue OWL: On Paragraphs (opens in a new window) The student has used direct quotations and specific examples from the literary text(s) in the body paragraphs of the essay to support the idea in each topic sentence of the paragraph.University of Wisconsin Writer’s Handbook: How to Use Literary Quotations (opens in a new window) Each time the student has used a quotation in the essay, the student (a) has explained what the quotation means and (b) has explained how the quotation relates to the thesis, which is on the assigned topic.Using Quotations in Your Essay (opens in a new window) The student has written a conclusion that brings the essay to a satisfying conclusion and explains the importance and meaning of the literary work and of the student’s thesis idea.LEO, St. Cloud State: Strategies for Writing a Conclusion (opens in a new window) The student has correctly documented (with MLA internal parenthetical citations) any quotations or paraphrases (from both the literary work and any literary criticism articles used).MLA Citation Guide – ChSCC Library (opens in a new window) The student has provided a correctly formatted MLA Works Cited page at the end of the essay. 

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