introduction to black literature inquiry paper 1

Subject: Phillis Wheatley’s Poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America” (attached)

Background: “Formalism” asks us to think about writing as writing; about a poem as a poem; about words as words. To that end—What is the most important word in the poem, and why? Then, show how your chosen word is the “key” to understanding the rest of the poem. Perform a close-reading of the piece; take the reader through the work line-by-line and discuss overall meaning. Remember to make comments about FORM and CONTENT.

Approach: This paper does not require or welcome outside research. But, if you would like to use a bit of Ms. Wheatley’s background information, I am fine with you including cited details found in Wheatley’s biography (from that I provided. Please know that I am interested in your own close reading of the poem; not critical interpretations. Remember: I have access to the internet just like you; don’t cheat.

Organization: Because this is a “thesis-driven” paper, you are expected to outline / make your claim(s) in the first paragraph of the essay and use the rest of this Major Inquiry Paper to defend your position(s). You may even use a version of this sentence: “The most important word in [Name of Author]’s poem [Title of Poem] is ________ because _______________________.” Feel free to summarize the poem in your first body paragraph, and then use your key word to unlock the rest of the poem’s overall meaning.

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty: The Internet is a terrible place. Note: including un-cited “biographic details” about your poet constitutes plagiarism. Remember—this essay is 1000 words. Research is not welcome or necessary. Please turn this document over →

Support: Remember to SHOW and TELL—use the text directly as evidence. I encourage you to visit “Papers and Resources” for “Elements of Literature” (Literary Analysis Elements of Lit.pdf.) for inspiration.

Specifics: Style: Thesis-Driven Format: MLA Font: Times New Roman Size: 12 pt. 1” Margins All Around Double-Spaced Throughout Last Name and Page Number in Upper-Right-Hand Corner of Each Page Heading in Upper-Left-Hand Corner—first page only (double-space this, too) Your Name Prof. S. Morris AFRSTY 100-OL-CEO-01C 8 March 2020 Length / Word Count: 1000 words (documented in MLA Format)

Major Inquiry Paper #1— Checklist

Assignment—I have read, and I understand the assignment guidelines. ____

Audience—The paper was written with an audience in mind. ____

Organization—The paper contains a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. ____

Introduction—The paper’s introduction creates interest in its reader. ____

Thesis Statement—The paper’s thesis statement expresses a claim (a position, perspective, or opinion) on its topic. Please revisit the prompt for the template I provided if you find yourself struggling with how to write a strong thesis statement. ____ **Please underline your thesis statement. _____

Body Paragraphs: Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence that indicates its main idea. ____

The main idea of every paragraph directly relates to the paper’s thesis. ____

All quotes have been cited and provide evidence to support the thesis. ____

Each quote’s relevance to the position stated in the thesis has been discussed. ___

Ideas progress, from paragraph to paragraph, in a clear organized way. ____

Conclusion—The paper ends with a logical conclusion; it does not finish abruptly. ____

Fine Tuning—The paper has been read aloud. ____

MLA Format—This paper adheres to MLA formatting as indicated on the assignment sheet. ___

Word Count—The paper meets the 1000-word count as indicated on the assignment sheet. ___

Works Cited Page—The last page of this paper is the Works Cited page (does not apply to the word count requirement). ____

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