African American Literature I Research Essay

The objective of the final paper for this class is to make and support an argument about the value, usefulness, or significance of studying early African American literature (the beginnings to 1935). Keep in mind that what we’ve covered over the semester is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes the pantheon of African American literature and literary studies. To support your claim, you will need select from at least two of the texts we’ve covered from any genre (speech, slave narrative, novel, short story or poem), at least one scholarly source, and one credible none scholarly source. 

Though you may compare and contrast the styles, messages, goals, themes, etc. of the primary texts you’ve chosen, this essay is not a compare and contrast essay; it is a research paper. The goal, again, is to make a judgement about the value of African American literature and studying early African American literature. Feel free to incorporate a contemporary issue similarly to the poetry project but be advised that your essay must be more informed than the poetry project, which means some additional research will be required.

A promising essay includes: • a creative title, • a strong thesis (roughly 25 words), • at least 1 scholarly source and 1 credible none scholarly source published between 2000 and 2019, • textual evidence (quotation, paraphrasing, or summarizing), • an introduction and conclusion, • a works cited page, • and follows the claim, support, explanation pattern for each major point.

Additionally, you will be required to produce a five-minute multimedia presentation that gives your classmates and I an overview of the subject of your essay. These presentations will take place in the last week of class. Instructions for the presentation will be discussed in class and in a separate assignment sheet.

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