Selected Poems

Discuss why selected poems by Gwendolyn Brooks (p.326-343) represent the literary tradition of realism, naturalism, and/or modernism. Review p. 103 to  the end of the first paragraph on p. 104 (“POETRY”) in Norton as well as the introduction to Brooks on p. 324-325 to support your discussion. Also, select 1-2 poems that best represents your position. 

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  1. To what extent do the historical allusions in Malcolm X’s autobiography support his assertions about the education system of the United States?

  2. How do you interpret Etheridge Knight’s assertion that “life and art cannot be separated”? Identify passages in the anthology selections of his poetry that illustrate this contention.

  3. To what extent does Knight’s poetry deploy conventions of black vernacular orality?

  4. What implicit definition of Black Nationalism emerges in Dutchman by Amiri Baraka?

  5. What rhetorical devices does Toni Cade Bambara use to expose sociopolitical hypocrisies in U.S. systems constructed or endorsed by white supremacy and capitalism?

  6. What does James Alan McPherson’s “Problems of Art” reveal about white attitudes toward blacks? About black attitudes toward whites? What techniques does McPherson use to force the reader to confront his/her own attitudes?

  7. Examine work by Baraka, Cleaver, Bullins and Neal and consider the role prescribed for females by these writers. Now, read texts by Jordan, Sanchez, Bambara, and Lorde and look for areas of agreement and disagreement.

  8. Consider violence in Black Arts-era writing (you might think about Baraka’s Slave Ship, Bullins’s Clara’s Ole Man, and Henderson’s “Keep on Pushing”). Is violence a tool for liberation? A trap into which black characters fall again and again?

  9. Using the manifestoes by James Stewart, Larry Neal, and Haki Madhubuti, draft a short statement of the guiding principles of the Black Arts movement and name one work that seems to embody those principles in terms of both form and content.

  10. According to Cortez, what is the role of the artist in the black community?

  11. What images or phrases in Nikki Giovanni’s poetry can be argued as expressing a militant disposition?

12. Discuss the effect of listening to “Black Art” by Amiri Baraka set to jazz rhythms and compare/contrast Baraka’s writing style to other poets you’ve read this semester.

13. Would you consider him a modernist poet (in the true sense of that literary tradition)? Why/why not?

14. Read in Norton the introduction to two or more Black Arts poets that we viewed in class, and discuss why those poets exemplify Neal’s definition of “Black Art.”  

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Practitioners Guide To Ethical Decision Making

Using the  “Practitioners Guide to Ethical Decision Making”, describe each step of the ethical decision making process in your own words. Please do not just reiterate what is given in the document, but rather provide your interpretation of it. 

  • PractitionersGuidetoEthicalDecisionMaking.pdf
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Cathedral By Raymond Carver

develop a response to the following:

  • Identify the point of view used in the narration of the story. 
  • Provide a specific example from the story to illustrate your argument. 
  • Discuss how this perspective affects your reading and interpretation of the story. 
  • Consider how a different type of narration might alter the effect of the story.  

Point of view refers to the perspective from which the story is narrated. 

  • First person: In first person, the story is told from the perspective of the narrator, using first-person pronouns. (“We are driving off the bridge!” I screamed.)
  • Second person: This is not commonly used. In second person, the narrator addresses the reader as “you,” which gives the audience the feeling that they are a part of the story. (Example: As you drive off the bridge, you scream, but no one hears you.)
  • Third person: The story is told using third-person pronouns (“The car is driving off the bridge!” he shouted), and the narrator is either godlike in the ability to see and know everything (third-person omniscient) or not all-knowing with knowledge limited to the perspective of only one character (third-person limited). 


Remember to provide evidence for your claims in the form of quoted passages from the story. Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries should be cited according to APA rules of style, including in-text and reference citations. Quoted material should not exceed 25% of the document.

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Human Development

In  your poverty profile you defined poverty on a global picture. Now you  will be required to focus the discussion to include the causes of  poverty specifically as it affects Americans.

In this term paper you will need to select ONE issue or topic relating to or that impacts poverty in the United States.

Some possible topics include:
 (you are not limited to these, you are encouraged to explore an issue of interest to you)

  • Is Welfare Reform increasing the number of the working poor?
  • Would increasing the minimum wage help or hurt the working poor?
  • Is the lack of health insurance creating a new category of the poor?
  • Are new laws to criminalize the homeless necessary?
  • Does housing discrimination cause poverty?
  • Is illegitimacy the primary cause of poverty?
  • Are Americans suffering from lack of food?
  • Will promoting marriage help end poverty?

Your paper should be 8 pages long

You MUST include and label the following sections and subsections in your paper:

  1. Summarize the issue. (10 points) (2 pages)
    1. Introduce your topic and present a well documented research-based description of your issue of interest.
    2. Give an historical background of  the issue you will be discussing. You must include at least 3 important  events/dates that relate to your issue.
    3. Describe the prevalence and seriousness of the issue. You must include data and statistics that show this is a problem.
    4. Discuss the impact of the issue has on families.
  2. Supporters and Critics of the Issue (25 points) (4-5 pages)
    1. Discuss and describe at least TWO  “Key Players” who influence and are in support of the issue (i.e.,  politicians, advocates, or organizations that have an interest in a  specific agenda and that actively work to promote policies that address  your issue).
    2. Identify and briefly describe at least TWO “Key Players” who are in opposition to your issue (i.e., politicians, advocates, or organizations that are critical of your issue).
    3. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the FOUR key players positions.
    4. Are the viewpoints convincing? Include research to support your stance.
  3. Conclusions (10 points) (2 pages)
    1. Discuss current laws that have been passed in regards to the issue.
    2. Are these laws helping or worsening the situation?
    3. What’s the future hold for this issue? What’s your prediction of what will happen in 20 years from now in regards to your issue?
    4. What changes or improvements would you recommend for the direction of this issue?

References (5 points)==============

  • I will NOT accept plagiarized papers – you must give credit where credit is due to the authors of the research you used in your paper.
  • You must cite at least 7 references in your paper and then list  them in the reference page using APA style with “Hanging Indents” (refer  to this helpful video on how to create proper hanging indents:
  • Papers need to be double spaced, 1″ margins, and Arial 12-point font. The reference page also needs to be double spaced, meaning each citation is double spaced (not single).
  • If you use a direct quote, put quotations marks around the quote.  Always include (Author, year) when citing throughout your paper.
  • Do not include the url as a citation. If  no author is given, use the first words of the article title in place  of the author’s last name, then the year of publication.

Though  you will need to include a title page and reference page DO NOT include  them into the page count. You will be required to use a bare minimum of 7 professional journal citations or respected web sites in your paper (you are allowed to cite from your text books).

Check out these helpful links on APA:

  • Citing sources from the web.
  • Citing sources in your Reference page.
  • Make you sure you only refer to APA not MLA style for citations and references.

You can also use the eTutoring’s Online Writing Lab for feedback as you write.

Professor Garcia’s Research Paper Tips:

  • Identify the problem
  • Articulate the multiple perspectives of the issue
  • Provide accurate support for your argument
  • Consider implications and provide a logical conclusion
  • Writing is clear and organized and proper grammar is used
  • Use proper format [APA]
  • Do not over quote; paraphrase instead
  • Avoid contractions or slang
  • Write in third person (not conversational)
  • Provide details to support your claims
  • Be concise; however, be aware that two sentences is not a paragraph
  • Follow the instructions (APA style, guidelines, page limits)
  • The Reference page should be titled REFERENCES, (not a Bibliography, Resources or Works Cited page).
  • Do not double space between paragraphs.
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English Critical Evaluation

Instructions: Your first essay – the critical evaluation essay.  In this essay, you will be critically evaluating a classic argument.

Decide whether this argument is successful or not. If you decide this essay is successful, discuss why. You may use the structure of the argument, the tone, and the various types of support (ethos, pathos, and logos) as proof of the argument’s success. Make sure that your thesis has an introduction that contains a hook and a thesis, body paragraphs that discuss one proof at a time (one paragraph per example), and a conclusion. If you decide that the essay is not successful, then discuss the fallacies that the argument makes. You are still required to have a strong introduction (hook and thesis), body paragraphs that discuss one fallacy at a time, and a conclusion. You may also discuss how the essay is successful with reservations. In this case, point to both the support and the fallacies you have found in the work.

You are not offering personal or historical commentary, or responding to the ideas in the argument; you are evaluating the argument itself, in rhetorical terms.

This paper should be at least 700 words, but no more than 850. The paper should be formatted correctly MLA style and written in third person. 

The essay should also contain citations and a works cited list based on your selected essay in the assigned readings.  Formulate the structured response from your own close reading of the text. Do not use outside sources (open Web) without explicit permission from the instructor.
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The US social class system is typically described as having five individual classes.  They are the Upper Class, Upper-Middle Class, Middle Class, Lower-Middle Class, and lower Class.  Each social class has a distinct set of characteristics.  Based on these characteristics as defined in chapter nine of our text:

  1. Select the social class to which best fits you
  2. Summarize the characteristics of that class
  3. Explain why this is the social class that best fits you


  • Your paper should be at least two to three double spaced pages in length, in Arial or Times New Roman, 12 size font.
  • Cite your references (if any) using APA Style.
  • Save your document as paper3_YourName.doc or paper3_YourName.docx
  • Attach your paper to the Writing Assignment Three: Social Class dropbox folder.
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Virginia Woolf


Choose ONE of the following questions and answer it.

1.  According to Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own, why is the Renaissance woman (woman who lived during the time of Shakespeare) silent?

2.  How does Virginia Woolf use the hypothetical story of Shakespeare’s sister to illustrate the dangers of repressing intelligent, creative women in A Room of One’s Own.

Each response needs only to be TWO TO THREE WELL-DEVELOPED PARAGRAPHS, (about 250-500 words) but if you feel the need to take a topic and run with it, then feel free to do so.  

I will grade your responses based on the following criteria: 

1. I will look at the thoughtfulness of the answer. Your posting should have a thesis and some development to prove that thesis. If you simply answer the question without adding anything valuable to the discussion, then you’ll get a minimal grade. If you raise interesting questions or interpretations to the reading, then your grade will be higher. 

a. NOTE: It is better to only have one or two major points for a thesis and then develop that point fully than it is to have three or four points without developing any of those points at all.

2. The second criterion that I will be grading your response on is surface errors. This is, after all, an English class. Just because this is only a short reader response does not mean that you can have a lot of spelling errors, run-on sentences, sentence fragments agreement errors, missing punctuation, or second person pronouns (you, your, you’re) in your response. Since you had to pass both English 1101 and 1102 to take this class, I will expect you to write your paper with a mastery of collegiate-level grammar.

I REQUIRE you to use a minimum of one direct quote (more if necessary) to help solidify your evidence.  

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English Comp II Paper

A critical analysis paper asks the writer to make an argument about a particular book, essay, or in our case, movie. The goal is twofold: one, identify and explain the argument that the author is making, and two, provide your own argument about that argument. One of the key directions of these assignments is often to avoid/minimize summary – you are not writing a book report, but evaluating a movie.

Be sure to consider these questions:  

1. Who is the director?

2. Quality of Script/Writing/Storyline

3. Would you recommend the movie?

4. Did it hold true to the source material? (if applicable)

5. Who is the target audience?

6. Does the movie fit the genre?

7. Does it work as a part of the series?

8. How significant is the movie?  Quality, importance in a culture, long awaited, a new spin-off, etc.

9. How well did it do at the box office?

10. How realistic is the plot?

Consider touching on these elements:

1. Moral/Theme

2. Symbolism

3. Hero/Heroine, Antagonist/Protagonist, Good/Evil, Hero/Villain

4. Genre

5. Style

6. Casting/Actors’ performances

7. Awards

8. Historical Context/Setting

9. Special Effects

10. Soundtrack  

The final draft of your essay should meet the following requirements:
•    A succinct thesis statement with a clear evaluation of the movie.
•    Effective organization and use of transitions 
•    Sufficient use of details and background information from the event
•    The use of the movie and three or four sources offering reviews of the movie.
•    Parenthetical Citations and signal phrases as appropriate. The movie will not require parenthetical citations when referred to by name in the text of the essay, so any documentation of the movie does not count towards this requirement.
•    The use of at least one paraphrase and one quote from each source. Proper documentation for both the quotes and the paraphrases/summaries
•    The use of only third person – you are just reporting on the event and the accuracy of the response and should not include statements spoken in personal experience or opinion — i.e. first person pronouns (“I”) — or second person pronouns (“you”). 

In addition to the above, the final draft of your essay should be
•    At least 1000+ words in length
•    formatted according to MLA style 
•    documented using MLA style with the use of a Works Cited page and In-Text parenthetical citations

(Movie review sample attached)

  • MovieReviewSample11.docx
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