InstructionsIdentify one or two topics, issues or problems at the center of Danticat’s novel Using Google or one of the Library databases, locate one popular source (article, video or image) on the


  1. Identify one or two topics, issues or problems at the center of Danticat’s novel
  2. Using Google or one of the Library databases, locate one popular source (article, video or image) on the topic(s) you’ve identified.
  3. Review the strategies suggested in the (optional text) on pp. 102-111 in Academic Research and Writing (especially, pp. 108-111)
  4. Review pp. 198-214 in Understanding Rhetoric (optional text) 
  5. Write an essay based on your chosen article(s)

Writing the essay

  1. Craft an essay (six- paragraph minimum) that summarizes the purpose, central claim and key evidence as well as analyzes the authors’ biases and assumptions; the effectiveness of the evidence, organization and conclusions; and, the intended audience of the articles you’ve chosen.  Make sure to conclude the essay with a paragraph or two that states the impact of reading the articles on your understanding of the novel.
  2. The essay should include a minimum of two paraphrases and two quotes from the articles you’ve chosen.
  3. Provide a Works Cited or References entry for the article at the end of your post.
  4. Make sure to make connections between your responses and their own; your experiences and those revealed in the video; and, the general clarity of the ideas presented.

Respond to Peers 

  1. Post your essay on Bb in Discussions.
  2. Then, provide feedback to at least two of your peers, using the questions below.  Please provide examples from your peers’ posts to support your responses for some of the questions.
  3. Note: See the following video for some information about the process, importance and value of peer feedback on writing: 

 When choosing an article consider these questions: 

  1. Who is the author, and what are his/her qualifications?
  2. What is the nature of the text (type, purpose, intended audience)?
  3. What is the author’s thesis?
  4. What are the underlying assumptions? Are they stated or do they lurk behind a stance of neutrality and objectivity?
  5. How do assumptions and biases affect the validity of the text?
  6. Are arguments/statements supported by evidence? Is the evidence relevant? Sufficient?
  7. What evidence or ideas has the author failed to consider?
  8. Are the author’s judgments and conclusions valid?
  9. What rhetorical strategies does the author use? Are they effective?
  10. Is there a controversy surrounding either the text or the subject which it concerns?
  11. What is the overall value of the text?

Finally, consider these questions: 

  1. In ways are the two articles similar and dissimilar?
  2. Is one or the other more effective?
  3. How do these articles enhance your understanding of the novel by Danticat?

Writing Your Essay – Consider this process: 

  1. Identify the author’s thesis and purpose
  2. Analyze the structure of the work by identifying all main ideas
  3. Consult a dictionary or encyclopedia to understand material that is unfamiliar to you
  4. Make an outline of the work or write a description of it
  5. Write a summary of the work
  6. Determine and evaluate the purpose which could be:
    1. To inform with factual material — has the material been presented clearly, accurately, with order and coherence?
    2. To persuade with appeal to reason or emotions — are evidence, logical reasoning, and counter-argument present and effective?
    3. To entertain (to affect people’s emotions) — does it make you laugh, cry, angry? To what end does it do this? How how does it achieve this impact?
  7. Determine how/if this text helps you understand the novel by Danticat.

Revision Strategy Suggestion

  1. What are two or three main revision suggestions that you have for the writer?

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