Mark Twain and Zitkala-Sa
1301 Mark Twain and Zitkala-Sa Essay Prompts
Potential essay topics. Choose one: Much of 19th century literature originated in the urban centers such as Boston and New York, made widely available by publishers for a national audience. How do writings by Twain and Zitkala-Sa disrupt that norm? Twain and Zitkala-Sa offer memoirs about their own lives which also double as social critiques of the United States. What about the United States motivates their reflections and criticism of the nation? Twain and Zitkala-Sa are both artful, creative story tellers and fashioners of American fables. What role should literary fiction and memoir play in the mid to late 19th century of territorial and commercial expansion? Surprise me. Develop your own argument using evidence from both of their writings.
Format: 1000 words 10 or 12 point font Standard written English One inch margins Cite with footnotes in Chicago style, not in parenthetical MLA style.
Content: Your paper must have a main idea/thesis/argument. It cannot be a summary of the reading. Your paper must be carefully edited. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling count. No paper will receive and A if it has more than 5 writing errors. Cultivate your own voice/style. You will be writing a lot of papers in college, at least three in this course, so find your voice. This does not mean the papers are about you. Do not write about yourself. You must demonstrate understanding and familiarity with both core texts by Twain and Zitkala-Sa. Stronger “A” papers also make reference to course readings from American Perspectives.
Grading: Meet the format requirements Have a strong main idea Write clearly and edit your work A papers do these three tasks strongly, B papers may be weak in one area, C papers may be weak in two areas, etc.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the theft of words or ideas from another writer and dishonestly passing them off as your own. Any plagiarism- even a few sentences or a single paragraph- will result in an F on the paper. Do not be tempted to submit work you did not create.
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