Focus on ONE of the following options:
OPTION A: Discuss a few different lessons or ideas conveyed by Douglass in his book — lessons about life, human nature, struggle, perseverance, compassion, hypocrisy, injustice, education, religion, society then and now, etc. — anything you consider worth examining. Support the ideas you choose to explore with specific, concrete examples, incidents, quotations, etc. from the book, and explain how or why they are important. Feel free to focus on just one lesson or idea and/or on a relevant topic not specifically mentioned above, as long as you can support your points with passages from the book.
OPTION B: Write a character analysis of Frederick Douglass. In other words, examine several specific qualities that make Douglass interesting, admirable, heroic, or etc. Focus on a few character traits that make him worth emulating – or, at least, worth reading and writing about. Support each of the personal characteristics with concrete details, examples, quotations, etc. from the book.
Introductory Paragraph. Be sure, somewhere in the introduction, to provide Douglass’ name (full name for first mention; just the last name thereafter) and the title of his book, properly punctuated.
Audience. Do not assume that your audience is familiar with Douglass or his story. Be sure to provide essential information in a quick, very basic summary toward the start and then in quick info-bits embedded, if necessary, throughout your essay.
Point of View. This will be a third-person essay. You will be expressing personal opinions and insights, of course, but without using personal experience or the first-person singular pronouns I, me, etc. You can, of course, use first-person plural we, us, etc. to indicate universality (e.g., “Douglass points out the importance of education in his life — and, by extension, in all of our lives,” or “Douglass teaches us that with perseverance we can rise above our circumstances.”)
Quotation and Documentation. In supporting your points, you must use AT LEAST TWO DIRECT QUOTATIONS from Douglass’ book. Choose a quotation that is significant but not unnecessarily long; often a single word or short phrase is important and well worth quoting. Be sure that the quote fits smoothly into your sentence. And be sure to use MLA style in citing the source of the quote. Here’s how:
Each quote should be followed by a parenthesis ( ) within which you indicate the author’s last name and the page number where the quote can be found, unless you mention the author in your sentence, in which case you need to indicate only the page number; note that the parenthesis comes after the ending quotation mark but before the period.
At the bottom of your last page, or on a separate sheet, provide a list of works cited. Center the words Works Cited, then double-space down and type in the information for your source. If you’re using the free file in Modules, use the complete PDF version at the very top of Module Two (don’t use the shorter chapter versions scattered throughout the module; the numbering is different there). Your Works Cited entry should look something like the one below, with the information arranged in the same order; you’ll just need to plug in the course section #.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Project Gutenberg. 2012. Course Materials, English 1A, section ####, El Camino College, Fall 2020.
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