Literature and Group Presentation Essays

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English 247
American Multicultural Literature
Term/Research Paper and Group Presentation Guidelines

Assignment Objectives:
Your understanding of this course and its contents will culminate in a Final Group Project/ Presentation as well as individual Term/Research Paper based on the same research. Each group will work on one a theme (“Fences,” “Crossing,” “Americans,” “Beliefs”); the selection will be made on a “luck of the draw” basis. Once you have selected a theme, all group members need to review the works, come to a consensus, and then begin the project. Finally, each member will write his/her own research paper.

Group Presentation Dates: ____________ Research Paper Due: _______

General Directions for the Group Project:
You will work in groups of 5-6/7. Select a group leader who will: • Supervise the group activities • Maintain a meeting and activities log • Evaluate group and individual activities

Directions for the Term/Research Paper: (100 points)
Your Term Paper will be based on the research done on the theme/subject/literary works for your Group Presentation (an artist and his/her work or a group of artists—representing a particular culture—living in America). • Each member will pick one area of the research. Together, all your individual findings will help create an in-depth study and presentation of your subject. • Here are some possible areas or suggestions for your Term Papers: 1. Research the biography of the artist(s), and show how the artist’s background may be important to understanding the work(s) you will present to us. 2. Point out and explain the historical contexts that might have influenced the works of this artist or the artists representing a whole cultural background. 3. Explain what elements of contemporary culture and social values the works reflect and why this knowledge is important for us 4. Discuss in details the themes that seem prevalent in an author’s (authors’) works. Can you—the readers—relate to these themes in any way? How? Are they similar to the themes expressed by mainstream American authors? In what ways? 5. Study the unique qualities or style of the work(s) and, if possible, say how they are similar or different from those of the mainstream American authors. (This area will be challenging but exciting, especially if you have taken other lit courses or if you have read and analyzed works by well-known and classic American writers.) 6. Select a group of poems included in the section you are working on and analyze them, using all or several of the literary elements you have learned in the course so far. 7. Select a play by a multicultural playwright and analyze it, using the various elements of drama 8. Beside these ideas, you may come up with your own approach to this project as long as you stay focused on American Multicultural Literature. (You may, for example, compare these works with films/plays you have seen. How are the two mediums similar? How are they different?)

Other Criteria for the Term Paper (applies to each individual paper): • Length: 5-6 computer-generated pages, with the Works Cited page included • Format: A Title/Cover Page with Title of Essay, Name, Class, Assignment, and Due Date; continuous pagination • Research: ✓ You should synthesize and use 3-5 sources with at least three different types of sources (for example: a book, a recent magazine/journal article (within the last five years), a news paper article, personal interview, or acceptable online sources). ✓ You should use different forms of quotations (direct and indirect; long and short) in the MLA documentation style.

Directions and Evaluation of the Group Presentation: (50 points)
Your presentation will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 1. A good understanding of the literary works and the