direct quote ). use quotes H u m a n i t i e s

direct quote ). use quotes H u m a n i t i e s

Persuasive Essay Prompt: How Far Have We Come?

PLEASE NOTE: Before reading any further, please understand that this MUST be completed essays (meeting the minimum word count) in order to receive full points for the assignment. Partially completed drafts will result in partial credit (10pts vs. 20pts).

Assignment: “Racism in America hasn’t changed in the last 100 years.” Having read “Notes of a Native Son,” by James Baldwin and Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and having viewed the documentary 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay, please write an essay either agreeing or disagreeing with the above statement. As you consider your argument, you may want to think of supplemental videos we’ve watched in class, or recent documentaries or news stories you may have seen or read.


  1. 1,000-1,500 words, plus a Works Cited page.
  2. No less than four (4) sources, two of which must be from the assigned reading / viewing (Baldwin, Coates, and DuVernay), and two of which must come from scholarly, peer-reviewed academic journals.
  3. In order to be effectively persuasive, you MUST devote at least one (1) body paragraph to the opposing viewpoint.
  4. Essay must be written in a formal, academic (third person) tone.
  5. This essay must have college level grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and should avoid any awkward phrasing.
  6. This essay should have excellent MLA formatting, including font, margins, page numbers, in-text citations, and the Works Cited page. Please use the Purdue OWL web site for correct formatting.
  7. When submitting this essay online, it MUST be submitted in either DOCX or PDF format. There will be a small point deduction for submitting essays in any other format.

Please watch the following video to get some of my thoughts on this assignment:

The successful paper will do the following:

  • Focus on the topic provided with adequate examples/examination of this topic
  • Provide evidence (quotes) that demonstrate the theme/topic you’re analyzing
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, reading, and writing skills by making sound claims and supporting them with evidence in an organized and logical manner
  • Include a well-defined thesis statement in the introduction
  • Have well organized body paragraphs that stick to the structure discussed in class (Topic Statement, Context, Evidence, Analysis, and Transition)
  • Come to a conclusion that moves beyond summary

Please Do NOT:

  • Write in the first person “I” (or any of its frequent companions, such as “we” or “us”).
  • Write in the second person “you” (please do not address the reader).
  • Pose any rhetorical questions (there should be no question marks in this essay unless part of a direct quote).
  • Use quotes that are longer than 4 lines – No Block Quotes Please.

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