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Frederick Douglass’s Narrative
Choose a topic suggested by your reading of Frederick Douglass’s Narrative about which to write an essay offering an academic argument.

The difference is that Essay will be longer and will involve use of more sources. Essay III should be around six pages long (plus the Works Cited). It must be typed, double-spaced, and have one-inch margins. Use a standard 12-point font (such as Times Roman). Use at least five library (non-internet) sources.

Topic Choice/Pre-Writing/Research Question/Audience Analysis: See the document in the Content section with this title for more information on how to do this assignment. It is an important initial step in the process.

Annotated Bibliography: One other important step toward Essay III will be the preparation of an Annotated Bibliiography listing citations for at least six library sources, including a correct citation and annotation (brief EVALUATIVE summary) of each source. The annotated bibliography should be typed, double spaced, with one-inch margins. It must use MLA citation forms. Use a standard 12-point font (such as Times Roman). Each annotation should be 100-150 words long. Please make sure you read the section of Bullock concerning annotated bibliographies and the “Annotated Bibliography Information” document (found elsewhere in the D2L Content section) to gain a thorough understanding of what your annotated bibliography should consist of and look like. You will submit the final draft of this assignment to the instructor, who will provide feedback. Then you will revise it for a grade. Even though this Annotated Bibliography is a step toward Essay III, it is also a separate assignment that will receive its own grade.

Learning Goals: To be able to use effective strategies for argumentation and persuasion, to be able to use material from sources effectively and correctly as evidence, and to be able to write and revise effectively in order to produce a meaningful, well-developed, well-organized paper concerning an historical topic

Required types of sources: Please note that you will need to concentrate on using as sources books and articles (the latter are to be located by using the library databases rather than by using internet search engines) rather than websites. “Library source” = articles found using library databases, and books (typically found using the library catalog). If you wish, you may use carefully selected websites as ADDITIONAL sources (beyond the required number of sources). In other words, on Essay III, four sources must be books and/or articles as described above; any additional sources you use could be websites. Again, please take care to select reputable websites. (If in doubt about whether or not a source you have found is a good one, please consult with me. If it is a website, send me the link by email, and I will help you evaluate it.)

Some Possible Topics:

Please note that you do not have to choose one of these topics; you may think of another that you like better. These are intended to provide you with some ideas and to help you think of other possibilities.

1. Churches’ attitudes toward slavery in the pre-Civil War era or the use of the Bible in both pro- and anti-slavery arguments

2. The importance of individuality in Douglass’ Narrative (You could include Douglass’s attention to the concept of the “self-made man,” which he emphasized later in life. Such a topic could thus involve exploring notions of masculinity in Douglass’s time.)

3. Douglass’ Narrative as compared to another slave narrative (such as Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, or Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery)

4. The view of women (women slaves and/or slave mistresses) in Douglass’ Narrative or treatment of women under slavery

5. The role of literacy for Douglass and other African-Americans of the era

6. The economics of slavery (This topic is probably best for someone who has some prior knowledge of economics.)

7. The role of Douglass or some other figure (such as William Lloyd Garrison) in the abolitionist movement

8. Children in slavery

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