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ELIT 48C Kim Palmore 1
Essay 1: A Response to Literature of the Modernist period.
To Lean to Write a Clear and Cohesive Response to Literature
To Learn Rhetorical Strategies: Analysis, Synthesis, Argument, Cause and Effect, Compare and Contrast
To Learn Critical Thinking Skills
To Learn MLA Documentation Style: Integrating quotations; Works Cited
In this second half of our quarter, we have read and discussed multiple texts, theories, and opinions on
both literature and literary analysis, and for this reason, I offer you several choices for your first essay. In
a thesis driven essay of 500 to 750 words, respond to one of the following prompts. You need only the
primary text for this essay, but you may incorporate other stories, manifestos, or critical theory as
additional support. Remember, you can also draw on your own experiences and knowledge to discuss,
explain, and analyze your topic.
Topic: Choose One
Postmodernism and the Postmodern Manifestos
Discuss two or more of the manifestos, working to define the ever-elusive idea of postmodernism.
Consider using the Klages essay on postmodernism to support your argument. You may use one or more
primary texts to illustrate your point.
Discuss the American Dream with regard to the postmodern condition. Use one or more texts to illustrate
Focus on the fantasy section of the Prologue. The narrator imagines a series of scenes beginning with a
sermon. What themes does it reveal? What is its purpose?
The narrator of the story “Battle Royal” claims a certain kind of invisibility. Why does the narrator need
to first discover that he is an invisible man in order to understand who he is?
One does not need to look very deeply in Ralph Ellison's short story "Battle Royal" to find different
elements and examples of racism. Use African American literary criticism to make an argument about
What is the significance of the grandfather’s dying speech? Why does he call himself a traitor and a spy
in the enemy’s country? What did the young narrator understand from the speech? Why is it included in
ELIT 48C Kim Palmore 2
Examine the theme of “American Dream” in “Battle Royal.” Consider how the story defines the concept
Note: You are free to pursue another writing topic. Please, discuss it with me before you begin so we can
make sure that it is viable.
Submission Requirements: Please submit an electronic copy to email@example.com
Format Requirement: MLA-style formatting and citations
Length: Your finished text should be between 500-750 words, excluding the Works Cited page.
Research Requirements: none
Works Cited Page
A Works Cited page names all of the sources that were used in an essay or research paper; it credits the
source or sources for the information you present, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize to support your
thesis. A Works Cited page also serves as a reference to the sources that were used so that a reader or
writer can quickly refer to the original text. The Works Cited page for this research project will include at
least one primary text. If you use other sources, including other primary or secondary sources from class,
please list those too.
Expected Student Learning Outcomes
§ Demonstrate outlining and brainstorming abilities
§ Demonstrate an awareness of the time needed to plan, search, and write an essay
§ Demonstrate increased awareness of strategies for organizing ideas and structuring essays
§ Demonstrate an ability to use complex sentence structures
§ Demonstrate an understanding of multiple rhetorical strategies
§ Demonstrate active reading strategies by finding textual evidence
§ Learn to integrate quotations effectively and correctly
Previously Learned Skills Required to Complete this Assignment
ü The ability to summarize sources
ü The ability to use multiple rhetorical strategies: Narration, Description, Exemplification
ü An awareness of plagiarism issues
ü The ability to write grammatically correct, clear sentences.
ü The ability to write a clear and concise thesis.
ü The ability to brainstorm material for an essay.
ü The ability to organize an essay
Ø As you (re)read the primary text, keep in mind the prompts and highlight specific passages, lines,
or scenes that may support your argument.
Ø Write a thesis that helps readers understand both your argument and your reasoning.
Ø Include textual examples that illustrate your points.
Ø Avoid telling the reader that something is “interesting,” or “exciting”; instead create images or
use examples that show it.
ELIT 48C Kim Palmore 3
Ø Come to my office if you are unsure, confused, or behind.
Traps to Avoid:
Ø Choosing a topic that you do not understand or one not on the list that you have not discussed
Ø Failing to assert a clear and strong argument.
Ø Seeking to present the subject from memory or hearsay.
Ø Failing to support the argument with evidence from appropriate sources.
Ø Citing Wikipedia (or other non-academic or unreliable sources) as a source for your paper.