- Find at least four secondary sources (the text itself is a primary source) related to your topic. You can use valid website as two of these sources. The other two sources must come from the electronic databases. You can use Wikipedia, SparkNotes, Cliff Notes, etc as background only or to help you get ideas to develop with the other research. These do not count as one of the four required sources. You will need at least one source from a history site or article to get historical background information.
- Based on your research, write an essay on one of the topics listed above. To do this, you will need to briefly SUMMARIZE your story or poem, ANALYZE its themes, and DISCUSS how the historical research you did relates to the story or poem’s meaning.
- Your thesis should make a claim that answers the question asked and connects the story to its historical context and the body of your paper will substantiate that claim. The research you’ve done will be there to INFORM what you’re saying, but you will need to CITE any source you quote or paraphrase. Even if you paraphrase the ideas expressed in your source, you need to give the author credit for those ideas. It is your responsibility to document these sources correctly (see the MLA link in Library tutorial posted in Canvas). The proof of your research will ALSO be present in your essay’s sophistication and knowledge.
- Again, your essay must have a thesis that relevantly connects the story to its historical context and to the essay topic. The body of the paper will substantiate that connection by explaining one or more of the story or poems elements (plot, characters, setting, theme, language) to your research. For example, if you’re writing an historical analysis of “Barn Burning” your thesis will not say that the piece is a story about childhood innocence, but would instead say that Abner serves an example of the consequences of economic pressures in the “new South.” The body of the paper, obviously, would connect the story to what was happening in the American South in the 1930s, yet the essay is still an analysis of literature, the literary elements used to develop the themes.
- All of your evidence must relate to your thesis. Go through the work carefully and slowly and discuss it in terms of the historical context. You may talk about the plot, characters, setting, themes, language (fiction and drama have very similar elements) but you will connect these elements to your strategy.
I will use Topic 10 of my class
BeyoncÃ©â€™s music video is a homage to the black South. The video is set in Louisiana, a slave port where many cultures came together and where Hurricane Katrina clearly illustrated the sharp division that still exists between races in our country. The video brings up many social issues such as black feminism, LBGT rights, Black Lives Matter and more. For this topic, you will need to focus your research one or two of the reoccurring themes in the video and research the historical context of that event. For example, you could research Katrina, black feminism, Black Lives Matter and then show how the songâ€™s lyrics and the visuals are influenced by those events.