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Topic: Reading Response

Order Description
Assignment Background: The literature from this course has been greatly influenced by the authors’ perceptions of their individual cultures and circumstances, which is universal among pieces of great literature. Our authors have a “Midwest Sensibility” that will be demonstrated in every narrative, in every section, at every point in our semester. Though the authors, subjects, and/or characters may be particularly Midwestern, the themes and lessons are universal. All people and cultures view the world through their own lenses. Race, religion, nationality, regionality, sexual orientation, etc. all have an effect on the way people are treated—or the way they believe they are being treated—at some point in their lives. It follows, then, that your heritage, lifestyle, or culture can have an extraordinary impact on your perception of the world.

Writing Prompt: For this Essay, you will have to examine your own background and explain how your experiences affect the way you relate to the reading assigned this semester (excluding Millard’s novel). Start by defining yourself. Do you simply consider yourself an American, Korean, Italian, or other single nationality, or do you consider yourself to be of a particular nationality type (Italian American, for example)? Perhaps you identify more with a particular category, i.e. Mothers, Christians, Republicans, Scientists, West Coasters, Environmentalists. All of these components make up the filter through with you read literature. Every essay must use specific examples from the reading, including quotes, to demonstrate your assertions.

Consider these questions: What are the most important aspects of your life and your personal history? In other words, what aspects of your background impacted your interpretation of the literature? This is a narrative essay in which it is permissible to use first person (but not second person) pronouns. All other formal writing conventions must be followed.

Length Requirement: Essays must be between 500-600 words—no longer or shorter.

Citation and Formatting Requirements: The purpose of this assignment is to make a connection between your life (real life) and literature, so you must include passages from the reading with proper MLA in-text citations. No Works Cited page is required. If you fail to make connections with the text and leave out quotes and/or citations, your essay will be incomplete. All essays must follow MLA formatting rules. If you need an MLA format instruction sheet, please let me know.
Reading Assignment for the Semester

English 223 Assignment Schedule—Fall 2016
**Always read the biographical information about each author BEFORE reading the stories assigned.
Weeks
Assignments—To be completed BEFORE class
Section 1: Human Relationships
Week 1
Th 1/21
Intro to the Midwest—People, Income, Livelihood
In Class: Video
Introduction to 1950’s Chicago
Week 2
Th 1/28
Video, “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry
Week 3
Th 2/4
Topic: African American Traditions in Middle America
Discussion of “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry
Topic: African American Traditions (and Obstacles) in Middle America
Read: “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, p. 47-49
Read, “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, p. 38-41
Read: “Accountability” by Paul Laurence Dunbar
In Class: Video, “I Am Human” by Maya Angelou
Week 4
Th 2/11
Topic: Race and Religion
Read: “Salvation” by Langston Hughes, p. 10-13
Read: “The Mormon Experience” Supplemental Documents from Canvas
Discuss Movie Analysis Assignment and Assign Due Dates
Introduction to Candice Millard’s Destiny of the Republic
Week 5
Th 2/18
Topic: Gender Expectations in the Heartland
Read: “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olson, p. 2-9
Due: Topic Reflection Paragraph–Submit through Discussion Board on Canvas before class
Due: 2 Movie Analysis Presentations and Written Movie Reviews
Section 2: The Land Ethic and Small Town America
Week 6
Th 2/25
Topic: The Land Ethic and Farming
Read: “Dust Bowl History and Stories”, p. 18-27
In Class: Video, The Dust Bowl Era
Novel Discussion: Candice Millard’s Destiny of the Republic. Read: Destiny of the Republic, Part 1
Due: 2 Movie Analysis Presentations and Written Movie Reviews
Week 7
Th 3/3
Topic: Land Ethic
Read: A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, p.14-17
Topic: Farming
Read: “So God Made a Farmer” by Paul Harvey, p. 89
Due: Millard Reading Analysis 1—Submit Online Before Class
Due: 3 Movie Analysis Presentations and Written Movie Reviews
Week 8
Th 3/10
Topic: Small Town America
Read: “A Clean Well-Lighted Place,” by Ernest Hemingway, p. 109-116
Read: “Paper Pills” by Sherwood Anderson (from Winesburg, Ohio), p. 105-108
Novel Discussion: Candice Millard’s Destiny of the Republic. Read: Destiny of the Republic, Part 2
Due: Topic Reflection Paragraph–Submit through Discussion Board on Canvas before class
Due: Response Essay 1–Submit online before Sunday (10/18) 11:55 p.m.
Due: 2 Movie Analysis Presentations and Written Movie Reviews Spring Break March 14-20: Be Safe. Be Smart. Enjoy the Break. The Professor will be off-line and the college will be closed.
English 223 Syllabus – Spring 2016
Section 3: The Midwest Livelihood and City Life
Week 9
Th 3/24
Topic: Immigration and Manufacturing
Read: Excerpts from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, p. 28-34
In Class: Video
Topic: Manufacturing and Immigrants
Read: “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg, p. 35-37
Introduction to Prohibition
Due: 2 Movie Analysis Presentations and Written Movie Reviews
Week 10
Th 3/31
Topic: City Life and Prohibition
Read: F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography, p. 96-98
In Class: Video, The Great Gatsby (Based on the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Week 11
Th 4/7
Read: Selection from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, p. 102-104
Read: “The Lost Decade” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, p. 99-101
Due: Topic Reflection Paragraph–Submit through Discussion Board on Canvas before class

Week 12
Th 4/14
Topic: Presidential Perspectives on Slavery
Read: Abraham Lincoln Biographical Information, p. 56-59
Read: Tried by War, Selection, by James McPherson, p. 60-61
Read: “A Letter to Joshua Speed,” by Abraham Lincoln p. 62-65 Read: Destiny of the Republic, Part 3
Movie Reviews
Week 13
Th 4/21
Topic: The Power of the Presidency
In Class: Video, Lincoln
Week 14
Read: The Audacity of Hope, Excerpt, by Barack
Background Information: Chinese American, Born in Qingdao China. moved to U.S. age 14. After high school joined U.S. navy for 6 years, stationed in South Korea and Japan.

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