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Essay 1 Directions: Native Americans & Puritans

Question # 00115243
Subject: Literary Studies
Due on: 11/08/2015
Posted On: 10/09/2015 08:27 PM

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Essay 1 Directions: Native Americans & Puritans
Keep in mind that your essay is about the literature, not the history.
What does that mean?
Two sentences randomly taken out of an essay:
Bad: The Indians were a tight-knit community.
Bad: The Indians lived together in teepees.
Good: The Indian legend “X” illustrates the significance of community with the
repetition of words that are associated with family when describing daily life in the
Good: The Indian legend “X” illustrates the significance of community it states that
“there was none but home in our hearts together as we huddled in our teepee” (Perkins
Notice the difference between the statements above. The “Bad” example simply gives a
historical fact without any discussion of the text. The “Good” examples focus on “showing” how
the universal theme of “community” is present in the text.
Another two sentences randomly taken out of an essay:
Bad: Rowlandson and de Vaca were both captives.
Good: Rowlandson and de Vaca’s descriptions of their first night held captive illustrates
their different approaches to coping with their bad fortunes, which leads to their
opposite experiences.
Notice the difference between the two statements above. The “Bad” example simply gives a
historical fact without any discussion of the text. The “Good” example focuses on “showing”
how the descriptions from the text illustrate a point.

Focus on the literature. DO NOT discuss history unless it is to talk about the literature. Since
this is a literature course, your essays will not be about history.

Prompts: (Choose one)

Note: Words like “Discuss,” “Consider,” and “Explore” are implicitly asking the student a
“How?” or “Why?” question.
Keep in mind, though, that whichever prompt you choose, you must take a stand on something
(thesis). Don’t state the obvious.
Writings of the Native Americans
1. The stories of Native Americans featured in the text reveal similarities with many other
cultures and peoples, implying that certain needs and hopes are universal. However,
there are many differences in Native American cultures that also appear in their
literature that attest to their cultural uniqueness. What do these unique themes reveal
about Native American people and culture?
Note: You are not writing about the universal themes as you did in your Discussion
Board, but the unique themes that may not be so universal; they are specific to the
Native Americans as you can see through their stories.
2. Consider the Native American attitude toward animals in their tales.
3. Discuss the role of the “Trickster” in the Native American tales.
Note: A trickster, usually in animal form, is a manipulator and usually a cultural rebel
who breaks traditions and taboos, but does so for selfish gain not for societal reform.
Writings of the Puritans (Age of Faith)
4. Discuss the Puritan struggle against powerful and multiple obstacles in William
Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation.
5. Compare Bradstreet with Taylor’s writings. Consider, for instance, how Bradstreet’s
poetry is more concerned with life on earth and human relations than Taylor’s poetry,
which focuses more emphatically on spiritual rebirth. How do these concerns help
determine imagery, tone, and diction of their poetries?
6. In Mary Rowlandson’s “A Narrative of the Captivity,” discuss how Puritanism informs
the narrative’s didacticism. Why does she quote the Bible so frequently?
7. Consider Cotton Mather’s writings as illustrating Puritan tensions.
8. Compare the subject of witchcraft in Mather, Easty, and Sewall’s writings.

Note: Do not just tell me what they say about witchcraft. You must have an argument
that discusses the relationship of their texts to one another regarding witchcraft and
why that relationship is important.
9. Compare the concept of God in Edwards’s Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God with
one or two other writers from this section.
10. Consider Jonathan Edwards as compassionate rather than a zealot.

Grading Criteria:
You will be graded on the following:
Essay addresses the prompt
Refers to at least 3 works from the unit unless the prompt instructs otherwise
Has a clear thesis/main idea in the introduction that unifies the essay. The thesis cannot
be implied or vague.
Thesis cannot be a simple fact or a question. Thesis must be debatable.
Body paragraphs have clear topic sentences that suggest the direction of each
Body paragraphs provide textual support (quotes) in each paragraph from the literature
being analyzed. (Intro and Conclusion do not have to contain quotes).
Body paragraphs use sufficient analysis to support the thesis.
Body paragraphs do not merely summarize the literature.
The entire argument focuses on the literature as the subject of discussion. It does not
turn in to a history lesson and go off topic.
Uses proper paper format (MLA)
Uses Standard American grammar and spelling. (Also, no text messaging language,
profanity, or slang)
Has a Works Cited page at the end that follows proper MLA format (The Works Cited
page does not count towards the minimum length requirements).
ANALYZE, DON’T SUMMARIZE!! Summaries will not receive satisfactory grades. Please do not
give me a history lesson or a book report. Stick to discussing only the texts in support of your
claims and you should be fine.

This the essay grading rubric that I will use to grade your essays. Print this out and have it next to you when you plan and
write your essays. You will find a completed grade sheet with your essay when your essay has been graded. Use the
results to improve future essays.

A Question at Issue (QAI) is a question that has two or more possible, supportable answers.
o Your thesis and essay will attempt to answer your QAI based upon the prompt you choose.

Minimum page length?
Contains a Works Cited?

2 = Unsatisfactory

If no, grade = F
If no, grade = F

4 = Below Average

If yes, continue...
If yes, continue...

6 = Needs Improvement

8 = Satisfactory


Language: Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, proofreading


MLA: Correct MLA formatting like margins, headings, line spacing,
quotation marks, parenthetical references


Introduction: Identifies the story title, author, question at issue, tells why
the QAI is important, and explains how the QAI is related to the story
and the story is related to the QAI


Thesis: Takes a stand, asserts a debatable position that attempts to
answer the QAI, is clearly written, and is easily identifiable (Cannot be a
question, quote, or fact; Doesn’t state the obvious)


Topic Sentences: Clearly signal the main ideas of paragraphs in support
of the thesis statement (TS cannot be a question, quote, or fact)


Body Paragraphs/Assertions: Emphatic statements about the literature
in defense of the thesis, supported by arguments and evidence, which
attempt to answer your QAI


Body Paragraphs/Support: Paragraphs use well-chosen textual evidence
(direct quotes) to illustrate support for your claims and integrates them


Body Paragraphs/Reasoning: Well-developed paragraphs use logical and
sound reasoning and explanation to explore the subject and do not
merely summarize the literature or state the obvious


Works Cited Page: Correct MLA formatting


Overall: Addresses all aspects of writing assignment correctly and stays
on task throughout


10 = Excellent


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Essay 1 Directions: Native Americans & Puritans

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Posted On: 10/09/2015 08:27 PM
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Tutorial Preview …The xxxxxx legend xxxxxxx illustrates the xxxxxxxxxxxx of community xx states xxxxxxxxxxxx xxx none xxx home in xxx hearts together xx we xxxxxxx xx our xxxxxxxxx (Perkins56) Notice xxx difference between xxx statements xxxxx xxx “Bad” xxxxxxx simply gives xxxxxxxxxxx fact without xxx discussion xx xxx text xxx “Good” examples xxxxx on “showing” xxxxxx universal xxxxx xx “community” xx present in xxx text Another xxx sentences xxxxxxxx xxxxx out xx an essay:Bad: xxxxxxxxxx and de xxxx were xxxx xxxxxxxx Good: xxxxxxxxxx and de xxxxxxxx descriptions of xxxxx first xxxxx xxxx captive xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx different approaches xx coping with xxxxx bad xxxxxxxxx xxxxx leads xx theiropposite experiences xxxxxx the difference xxxxxxx the xxx xxxxxxxxxx above xxx “Bad” example xxxxxx gives ahistorical xxxx without xxx xxxxxxxxxx of xxx text The xxxxxxxxxx example focuses xx “showing”how xxx xxxxxxxxxxxx from xxx text illustrate x point Focus xx the xxxxxxxxxx xx NOT xxxxxxx history unless xx is to xxxx about xxx xxxxxxxxxx Sincethis xx a literature xxxxxxx your essays xxxx not xx xxxxx history xxxxxxxx (Choose one)Note: xxxxx like “Discuss,” xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxx implicitly xxxxxx the student xxxxxxxxxxx or “Why?” xxxxxxxx Keep xx xxxxx though, xxxx whichever prompt xxx choose, you xxxx take x xxxxx on xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Don’t state xxx obvious Writings xx the xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx The xxxxxxx of Native xxxxxxxxx featured…
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