American Essayists

  • 2000 words minimum for essay
  • Compare and contrast some of the poems from this week’s readings or the poet you selected for part 1 of the forum. You may compare poems from a single poet, or compare poems across poets. Have a debatable, persuasive claim and focus on specific points of comparison, using the Lesson in week 7 to guide your structure.
  • John Grisham: “Somewhere for Everyone”

Sharon Olds “First Thanksgiving” 

                            “Still Life in Landscape” 

                            “After Making Love in Winter”

                            “The Planned Child”

Linda Pastan “A Rainy Country”

                            “I am Learning to Abandon the World”

                           “The Obligation to Be Happy”

                            “Why Are Your Poems so Dark?”

Larry Levis: “Signs” 

                        “To a Wren on Calvary” 

                        “Winter Star

  • View the list of American Essayists. Select an essayist who wrote after the Civil War (note, the list includes some pre-Civil War essayists. Do not select a pre-Civil War essayist). Search the internet for an essay by your selected author and read it. Compose a thesis that has a persuasive, debatable claim about the significance of the message or theme in the essay or the success/effectiveness of the essay as a whole. Summarize the essay in your intro paragraph, end the paragraph with your thesis, and be sure to include your three points of evidence in your thesis statement. Cite the essay as you would any article on the internet as you examine your points of evidence.
  • Discuss one work or one author from this course that you believe had the most significant influence on American literary history. Please be sure to maintain third person  perspective.