Disscussion and essay

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State University students already know about African American history, the experiences of American slavery, and the struggle for abolition and equal rights, but I hope that everyone will be able to find something surprising and/or novel in Douglass's narrative (and/or the links collections from the Library of Congress). Please identify (referring specifically to the source) at least one detail from any of those sources that you think is especially noteworthy and say why.

Then, respond thoughtfully to at least one post from a classmate.

A 'thoughtful' response will a) reinforce the evidence by pointing out other examples of the same theme and/or b) extend the logic by thinking about the idea: quibbling with the interpretation, considering the implications of the claim, identifying seeming internal contradictions, identifying fundamental assumptions, refining distinctions, etcetera. Avoid simply agreeing or amplifying another's claim. Thoughtful posts must be original, and may not repeat posts made by others.


Write an essay of about 350-500 words that develops a single idea that you have conceived in response to this week's discussions and readings.

For full credit, the essay should include the following:

  • A short introduction that raises the issue/context and offers a succinct, arguable thesis (your idea);
  • At least two body paragraphs;
  • Body paragraphs that begin with a topic sentence (a claim that develops the logic of the thesis);
  • Body paragraphs that contain accurate and precise evidence to illustrate the claim of the topic sentence;
  • Sufficient interpretation of the evidence to explain how it illustrates the claim of the paragraph;
  • MLA format (see the Purdue Online Writing Lab for examples);
  • Effective editing that eliminates major errors (comma splices, fused sentences, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, subject/verb errors, mixed sentences, wordiness, and obvious typological errors); and
  • A brief conclusion that re-emphasizes the main idea of the essay.

Read Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, pages 1171 - 1240 in the Norton anthology of American literature

    • Posted: 22 days ago
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