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Analysis that references the Turner essay

Analysis that references the Turner essay

For this first assignment you will write a focused analysis that references the Turner essay and one of the pieces you will read for modules 2 and 3. You must address the following prompt using the Turner text and the text of your choice:

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In your introduction, begin by responding to the following questions: How do you define the “irresistible attraction” Turner refers to on page 199 of his essay? What other “attraction” is described or portrayed in one assigned text by Harte, Whitman, DuBois, Gilman, or Dickinson? After (briefly) addressing these questions, then, as the final sentence of your introduction, deliver an argumentative, comparative thesis on the following topic: How are these different “attractions” related to American identity, as defined or portrayed in each author’s text? Develop this argument step by step, beginning each of your body paragraphs with a topic sentence that makes an arguable claim about one (or both) of your texts. After your introduction, you may wish to begin by comparing and contrasting the nature of these attractions themselves, before discussing each attraction’s relationship to the concept of American identity, as defined/portrayed by the text in which it appears.

In addition to the Turner piece, you should select one of the following to examine:
Bret Harte, “The Luck of Roaring Camp”
One of the selected poems by Walt Whitman
W. E. B. DuBois, “Of Our Spiritual Strivings”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
One of the selected poems by Emily Dickinson

This paper should be grounded in analysis and interpretation of quoted material. Try to wrestle with a subtlety or a question you see being raised in the texts. Because this is a short paper, you will need to immediately introduce your reader to what you will be writing about. You should narrow your argument and be careful to be very specific—generalizations and vague statements will weaken your thesis. Always ground your assertions in quoted evidence. At the end of your paper you should briefly review your main points (in a sentence or two) and conclude your essay, but you don’t need to have an entire conclusion paragraph.

Be sure to proofread your paper for grammatical and stylistic errors. If your instructor can’t understand your sentences or ideas because the grammar or logic is confusing, your grade will be lowered. The most important part of your paper is clear presentation of thoughtful ideas—but ideas can’t come across if they aren’t written in a way that makes sense to your reader. You should attach a Works Cited page with the citation information in MLA format (just information about the particular version of the text you’re using—no need to do any outside research). If you are having trouble or feeling frustrated with the process of focusing and developing your thesis, please consult your instructor and/or visit U of M Center for Writing (this, and other helpful links, are found in the Research and Writing Help section of the Syllabus). Your instructor will look over your draft and return it to you during week 4.

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