Explain the concept of freedom in the works of African American slaves.
What I do not want:
A biography – only use biographical information that focuses on the literary aspects of the author’s life that are relative to your topic.
Plot summary – assume your reader is familiar with the text; avoid summarizing it or providing an overview of the work – use only the relevant evidence to prove your thesis.
Large copied passages – quote sparingly – paraphrase and cite sources.
Limited discussion and analysis – go into enough detail to support your points thoroughly.
Limited historical connections – be sure to relate your topic to what was happening in the historical time period.
Limited mention and discussion of specific texts – be specific and refer to writings we have covered in class this semester (and others from early American literature if you wish).
The paper should be 4-6 pages (a minimum of 4 full pages) typed and double-spaced. Use a 12pt font. Margins should be 1″ on all sides. Do not use a title page, but use a proper MLA heading. If your essay does not have at least four full pages, you earn an automatic zero. An additional Works Cited page is required.
Quoting and Documenting Requirements:
You should use at least 5 sources (including primary and secondary) for the paper. If you do not meet the source requirements, you earn an automatic zero. (I will check to see that you used at least 5 sources total and that you have at least one of each type.)
A primary source is a source by the original author (this includes the readings in our textbook). Primary sources should be from early American literature (beginnings – 1865). You need to use quoted material from each author that you refer to in order to support and illustrate your points.
A secondary source is a work that explains or analyzes a primary source (such as a journal article). So, for example, one of Bradstreet’s poems would be a primary source, and a modern scholar’s interpretation of Bradstreet would be a secondary source. Please do not use any websites at all or any sources written for a general audience (such as a dictionary, encyclopedia, newspaper, or magazine). Avoid biographical essays and plot summaries. Look for literary criticism that analyzes a text instead. I want you to use the databases and eBooks provided from the NSCC Library. The Literature Resources from Gale database or JSTOR database would be an excellent place to start your research.
Note that our course eLectures, introductions/overviews of the authors – including those within our textbook, and our textbook’s official website are not the same as literary critical articles found through the library databases or eBooks. They offer overviews of the topics and authors, not the type of in-depth analysis you need. While you may use them as extra sources, you should not rely on them to meet your source requirements.
The quotes or paraphrases must be properly documented within the text and on a Works Cited page using correct current MLA documentation style. If you are not sure how to use MLA style, refer to the Additional Resources pages or the Getting Help Module or any current grammar handbook should cover this format. An essay with significant plagiarism will earn an automatic zero. Familiarize yourself with the definition of plagiarism according to our course syllabus.