Frederick Douglass Essay

Overview: Research and write on an author from the last half of the semester. Relate the themes in his/her work to modern-day American beliefs related to freedom and equality, individuality, spirituality, the role of government, race relations, etc. Demonstrate a close reading of one of the authors from the second textbook. Explore the largest, most timeless issues of early American as well as modern American society.

Research what other scholars have written on your chosen author to help you dive into the academic conversations that surround these classic works.

  • Douglass – Freedom, Abolition of slavery, Cross-racial understanding, Horrors of slavery on both the slave and the owner


1. Choose an author who particularly interests you from the list above.

2. Choose a topic based on that work from the list above.

3. Write a thesis supported with evidence from one author on one topic in relation to American ideals.

  • Example: Henry David Thoreau demonstrates the American ideal of rejecting unjust laws in his essay “Civil Disobedience,” an idea that sparked a movement of peaceful resistance which still resonates in American culture today.

4. Find Research from the literary analysis databases in the NOVA library or a book discussing your chosen author or work.

  • Consult at least 6 sources, 4 research articles, 2 works of the author’s literature from our textbook. Find research sources published within the past decade.

5. Create an Annotated Bibliography in MLA format, listing your sources with summary and evaluation of each source. Submit your annotated bibliography a few weeks in advance for my approval. Include 6 sources: 4 from research and 2 from the textbook.

6. Write your essay with an introduction, conclusion, and body paragraphs including quotes from the literature and your research. Revise your draft. Proofread for errors and submit your Final Essay using the blue link above.

CITATIONS: Use the MLA documentation style. Include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper. Use the Owl Purdue website to find all MLA formatting requirements.

MLA FORMAT: Double space, 1 inch margins, page numbers (preceded by the student’s last name) in top right corner of every page. Heading in the top left corner: Full name, Date, Assignment name. Write a creative title to center above the first paragraph, not bold, not underlined, same font.

ASSIGNMENT LENGTH: 4 – 6 pages (not including a works cited page)

PLAGIARISM: Failure to document sources, submitting someone else’s writing, copying and pasting from the internet, and any other form of submitting non-original work will result in an F on the assignment and a rewrite.

Grading = 100 points for the essay + 50 points for the Annotated Bibliography

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