Humanities

Assignment 1: Essay    

Due Week 4 and worth 100 points

Choose one (1) of the three (3) reading selections from the list of topic choices below. The focus is on brief but important primary source material written by important authors. In each case, the subject relates to the problems of certain people who are oppressed or impoverished.  In each topic, a different genre or approach is adopted to help readers see and perhaps address the problem.   Read the selections as identified with each topic below. Write a four-to-five (4-5) paragraph essay (350 words minimum) which analyzes the work following the list of four things “your paper should cover” given just after the topics.

Topic Choices

1.Reading selection of Swift’s A Modest Proposal. The selection should be read in full at http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html. It is essential to recognize the genre of this work, as discussed in our class text (pp. 781-3 in chap. 24), which you should consult and cite. The context is the plight of the very poor in Ireland in the early 1700s.

2. Reading selection from Equiano’s Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, written in 1789.  This selection can be found in chapter 26 of our class text on pp. 877-8 (with background on pp. 869-872).   The context is the process of enslavement and then passage across the Atlantic. 

3.  Reading selection of Olympe de Gouges’ Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female citizen (written in 1791). The selection should be read in full at http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/293/ with background provided on p. 852 of our class text. You should also look at the revolutionary document of 1789 that she is “correcting”, called Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen(http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/rightsof.asp ). Olympe de Gouge has the status of women as her main concern. The general context is the French Revolution and the attempts to redefine rights and status once one replaces monarchy.

For the reading selection and topic you choose, your paper should cover the following:

Briefly introduce the writer and the situation that this reading is about.  Identify the genre or nature of the reading.

Using specific examples or lines within the reading, suggest the author’s key views and key aims for the reading audience.

Evaluate the author’s strategy and what you see as the work’s likely effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) for the target audience.  If there is any known historical result, discuss that.

Evaluate how the reading impacted you.  Identify any analogous situations today, and also key lessons you get from the reading that could be relevant to one’s professional and personal life.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards 

WS).   The format is different than others Strayer University courses. Please take a moment to review the SWS documentation for details.

Include a title page containing the title of the assignment, your name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date of submission. The cover page and the source list are not included in the required assignment length (350 words minimum).

You must the class text and also any source(s) identified (with links) above for the topic you choose, focusing on the main primary source of that author. If you use any additional source (optional), it must be from the university’s online Library and of good academic quality for college work.

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