Benjamin Franklin/William Bradford
Choose two works that address a common theme that has impacted or affected American
culture and literature.
The two topics that were chosen for me are William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation and Benjamin Franklins Autobiography
these two works to discuss the importance of that theme to
understanding the development of American
literature and/or culture. In other words, how have
the authors’ treatment of this theme influenced American culture as a whole OR the writings of
other American authors?
Particularly fruitful analyses may focus on:
relations between native cultures and European settlers
racism or slavery
the rights or roles of women
the influence of religion
the development of a National Identity
the nature of Evil
the importance of the self
duty to the community
Americans’ relationship with government
g of America
the influence of history
the interpretation of what America IS
the notion of what it means to be American
Grading is based primarily on content
that is: evidence of original thinking, claims supported
by textual evidence, and logic.
Additionally, though, you will need to focus on effective organization, sentence clarity and
variety, as well as grammatical and mechanical correctness. (It doesn’t matter how great your
ideas are if your audience can’t understand them be
cause of confusing organization or distracting
This is the rubric that will be used for your final paper:
The writer provides a thesis
that states the purpose or
argument of the paper. The
paper is organized in an
Significance and Original Thinking
The main idea of the paper is interesting, important and original; the paper contributes to the
conversation on literature’s role in American culture.
The content is not a summary of the ideas of others.
The essay features a logical progression of sophisticated ideas that support the focus of the paper.
The essay features a logical progression of ideas that
support the focus of the paper.
Details and textual
The author has used a sufficient number of
specific details that effectively and interestingly
prove the thesis of the paper.
All sentences are clear and understandable; the author employs vocabulary, grammar and mechanics
that are nearly, if not, perfect. Sentence variety
and clarity make the paper an enjoyable read.
Your research paper must be an analysis of two of the assigned readings.
Your thesis statement must be clear and arguable and supported throughout your paper.
You should avoid unnecessary biographical information and plot summary. Your paper
should be an analysis of the text which focuses on a specific theme in American literature and/or culture.
Papers must be 5 pages in length (at least 1,500 words).
Use of Research
You must use at least 3 secondary sources that provide critical arguments about the
reading you’ve chosen. These sources should ONLY come from the GMC library or library databases.
Your secondary sources should be used sparingly to either support or explain your thesis. This paper should be yourown analysis. I am not interested in a summary of the perspectives of professional critics. I want to know what your
thoughts are after having
taken this course.
You may quote, paraphrase, or summarize your sources.
Your paper must be formatted according to MLA format (this includes having a header, double spacing, etc.)
You must include a works
-cited page at the end of your paper. Your works
-cited should include your secondary sources and the assigned reading you’ve chosen.
You must include intext citations within the body of your paper.
All written assignments should be mechanically and grammatically correct with proper
All quotations, paraphrases and summaries are correctly cited using perfect MLA citing format.
The introduction should include a clear thesis statement.
Each body paragraph should have a clear topic sentence that relates back to the thesis.
The information in each paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.