Literature Essay

Instructions:  Your second essay is due at the end of week five.  Write a three to four page essay on ONE of the below topics. This assignment must include quotations from the assigned readings or films to support your ideas. In addition, you must use TWO outside, scholarly sources in this essay. Please also use in-text citations and complete a works cited page, according to MLA guidelines.

Option One: Use a new historicist approach to examine the readings from Asia, Africa, OR Russia.  In this essay, describe ways in which your chosen location’s literature from the modern era reflected its history and philosophical ideas. You must focus on at least one of the written works assigned during weeks three through five.  You may also discuss the assigned films, but that is not required.

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Option Two: Use a sociological approach to compare Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart with Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. How do Achebe and Conrad portray Africans in their stories? Compare Achebe’s portrayal of colonialism to Conrad’s. What can the audience learn about the affects of colonialism from this sort of comparison?

Option Three: Choose the film version of The Joy Luck Club OR Anna Karenina and compare the film to the original text.  Discuss the decisions that the director made when creating these films. Does the director do the original work justice? Answering this question may entail a bit more reading of the original work than the selections from the texts loaded in the classroom.

Please remember the following:

  1. Avoid any and all summary sites within your essay.  This includes Sparknotes, Shmoop, Cliff’s Notes, and Wikipedia.
  2. Use MLA format and citations in this essay. Also, please write this essay using third person.
  3. You may not use any wording from previous essays or forums.
  4. Note that the works cited page and headings are not included in the page count. Please use one-inch margins, do not add extra spaces between paragraphs, and use 12 font Times New Roman. 
  5. Scholarly sources generally come from academic journals and have been examined by experts in the field for accuracy.  Generally, you will find these in the APUS databases.  
  6. Make sure your essay has a clear introduction and thesis statement (topic plus point about that topic) at the bottom of your introduction.  The thesis should be based on the readings in this course.
  7. Make sure your body paragraphs are focused on proving your thesis statement. Do not summarize the readings. 
  8. Be sure that your thesis expresses an analytical thought and is not just a statement of simple fact or plot summary.
  9. Make sure to have a conclusion that does not bring in new information.

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