african american class 1

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The Final Exam Essay is a 1200 word essay in which you will respond to a comprehensive question concerning the readings for the course.

Option 1:

What are some of the major themes and motifs of African American literature that you have learned through our readings? Why are these themes and motifs important and how have they evolved over the last two hundred and fifty plus years of literary work by African American writers and artists? Pick at two to three writers as examples, preferably with each writer from a different era/time period. Use examples from their works to discuss the themes and motifs that you feel are most important in the canon of African American literature.

Option 2:

Focus on African American poetry and its development over the past two hundred and fifty years of published work. What kinds of imagery, themes, representations of Africa, issues of identity, and ideas of “home,” “community,” and “the people,” have been created within African American poetry? Consider two to three poets from the major eras we have covered in this course. How do the works of pre-abolition poets influence poets from the eras of Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, and post-1950s literature? How do later poets take up and refine the concerns and responses of past poets?

Option 3

Focus on one writer and explain their importance to African American literature. What themes do their focus on? How does their work discuss the lives of African Americans, their communities, their trials and tribulations, as well as their triumphs and joys? If relevant, discuss their influence on writers of their time and beyond. Make sure to discuss two to three specific works by the author.

Option 4

Focus on two to three writers of a particular era, such as the Harlem Renaissance or the Black Arts Movement. Feel free to choose other time periods. These are examples. How does their work exemplify the concerns of African American people and African American writers and artists in particular? What are the themes and ideas they explore in their works? You may compare/contrast these authors on their focuses, themes, and works. Make sure to include at least one work from each author as examples.

Remember to use in-text citations for the works that you reference.

The standard organization for papers remains the same as with all essays thus far. This essay is also the same length as previous assignments.

Remember the Standard Organization of Formal/Academic Papers:

Name, Date, Assignment: left justified at the very top of the first page

Page Numbers: last name and page number, top right corner (open the header)

Provide a Title: at the top of the first page, one line above the introduction.

Introduction: with a thesis statement that announces your topic and sets out the points

you will support with your Illustrations and Explanations.

Body Paragraphs (4 to 6 at least): Each with a Topic Sentence that links back to the

the Thesis Statement.

Conclusion: The purpose of a conclusion is to remind the readers of your main idea. Do not just restate your thesis. Remind readers of the significance of your discussion.

Works Cited Page: include citations for your sources

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