Essay 1 Directions: Native Americans & Puritans

Essay 1 Directions: Native Americans & PuritansKeep in mind that your essay is about the literature, not the history.What does that mean?Two sentences randomly taken out of an essay:Bad: The Indians were a tight-knit community.Bad: The Indians lived together in teepees.Good: The Indian legend “X” illustrates the significance of community with therepetition of words that are associated with family when describing daily life in thetribe.Good: The Indian legend “X” illustrates the significance of community it states that“there was none but home in our hearts together as we huddled in our teepee” (Perkins56).Notice the difference between the statements above. The “Bad” example simply gives ahistorical fact without any discussion of the text. The “Good” examples focus on “showing” howthe universal theme of “community” is present in the text.Another two sentences randomly taken out of an essay:Bad: Rowlandson and de Vaca were both captives.Good: Rowlandson and de Vaca’s descriptions of their first night held captive illustratestheir different approaches to coping with their bad fortunes, which leads to theiropposite experiences.Notice the difference between the two statements above. The “Bad” example simply gives ahistorical fact without any discussion of the text. The “Good” example focuses on “showing”how the descriptions from the text illustrate a point.Focus on the literature. DO NOT discuss history unless it is to talk about the literature. Sincethis is a literature course, your essays will not be about history.Prompts: (Choose one)Note: Words like “Discuss,” “Consider,” and “Explore” are implicitly asking the student a“How?” or “Why?” question.Keep in mind, though, that whichever prompt you choose, you must take a stand on something(thesis). Don’t state the obvious.Writings of the Native Americans1. The stories of Native Americans featured in the text reveal similarities with many othercultures and peoples, implying that certain needs and hopes are universal. However,there are many differences in Native American cultures that also appear in theirliterature that attest to their cultural uniqueness. What do these unique themes revealabout Native American people and culture?Note: You are not writing about the universal themes as you did in your DiscussionBoard, but the unique themes that may not be so universal; they are specific to theNative Americans as you can see through their stories.2. Consider the Native American attitude toward animals in their tales.3. Discuss the role of the “Trickster” in the Native American tales.Note: A trickster, usually in animal form, is a manipulator and usually a cultural rebelwho breaks traditions and taboos, but does so for selfish gain not for societal reform.Writings of the Puritans (Age of Faith)4. Discuss the Puritan struggle against powerful and multiple obstacles in WilliamBradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation.”5. Compare Bradstreet with Taylor’s writings. Consider, for instance, how Bradstreet’spoetry is more concerned with life on earth and human relations than Taylor’s poetry,which focuses more emphatically on spiritual rebirth. How do these concerns helpdetermine imagery, tone, and diction of their poetries?6. In Mary Rowlandson’s “A Narrative of the Captivity,” discuss how Puritanism informsthe narrative’s didacticism. Why does she quote the Bible so frequently?7. Consider Cotton Mather’s writings as illustrating Puritan tensions.8. Compare the subject of witchcraft in Mather, Easty, and Sewall’s writings.Note: Do not just tell me what they say about witchcraft. You must have an argumentthat discusses the relationship of their texts to one another regarding witchcraft andwhy that relationship is important.9. Compare the concept of God in Edwards’s Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God withone or two other writers from this section.10. Consider Jonathan Edwards as compassionate rather than a zealot.Grading Criteria:You will be graded on the following:Essay addresses the promptRefers to at least 3 works from the unit unless the prompt instructs otherwiseHas a clear thesis/main idea in the introduction that unifies the essay. The thesis cannotbe implied or vague.Thesis cannot be a simple fact or a question. Thesis must be debatable.Body paragraphs have clear topic sentences that suggest the direction of eachparagraphBody paragraphs provide textual support (quotes) in each paragraph from the literaturebeing analyzed. (Intro and Conclusion do not have to contain quotes).Body paragraphs use sufficient analysis to support the thesis.Body paragraphs do not merely summarize the literature.The entire argument focuses on the literature as the subject of discussion. It does notturn in to a history lesson and go off topic.Uses proper paper format (MLA)Uses Standard American grammar and spelling. (Also, no text messaging language,profanity, or slang)Has a Works Cited page at the end that follows proper MLA format (The Works Citedpage does not count towards the minimum length requirements).ANALYZE, DON’T SUMMARIZE!! Summaries will not receive satisfactory grades. Please do notgive me a history lesson or a book report. Stick to discussing only the texts in support of yourclaims and you should be fine.LITERATURE ANALYSIS ESSAY RUBRICThis the essay grading rubric that I will use to grade your essays. Print this out and have it next to you when you plan andwrite your essays. You will find a completed grade sheet with your essay when your essay has been graded. Use theresults to improve future essays.A Question at Issue (QAI) is a question that has two or more possible, supportable answers.o Your thesis and essay will attempt to answer your QAI based upon the prompt you choose.Minimum page length?Contains a Works Cited?2 = UnsatisfactoryIf no, grade = FIf no, grade = F4 = Below AverageIf yes, continue…If yes, continue…6 = Needs Improvement8 = Satisfactory21.Language: Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, proofreading2.MLA: Correct MLA formatting like margins, headings, line spacing,quotation marks, parenthetical references3.Introduction: Identifies the story title, author, question at issue, tells whythe QAI is important, and explains how the QAI is related to the storyand the story is related to the QAI4.Thesis: Takes a stand, asserts a debatable position that attempts toanswer the QAI, is clearly written, and is easily identifiable (Cannot be aquestion, quote, or fact; Doesn’t state the obvious)5.Topic Sentences: Clearly signal the main ideas of paragraphs in supportof the thesis statement (TS cannot be a question, quote, or fact)6.Body Paragraphs/Assertions: Emphatic statements about the literaturein defense of the thesis, supported by arguments and evidence, whichattempt to answer your QAI7.Body Paragraphs/Support: Paragraphs use well-chosen textual evidence(direct quotes) to illustrate support for your claims and integrates themsmoothly8.Body Paragraphs/Reasoning: Well-developed paragraphs use logical andsound reasoning and explanation to explore the subject and do notmerely summarize the literature or state the obvious9.Works Cited Page: Correct MLA formatting10.Overall: Addresses all aspects of writing assignment correctly and stayson task throughout410 = Excellent6810

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