Topic: Write a 4-5 FULL page double spaced paper comparing and contrasting the definition of the “self-made” American autobiography between Frederick Douglass and Benjamin Franklin. Think carefully not only about their individual goals and obstacles, but also how contemporary class and racial tensions affected them as well. Consider as well the innate characteristics they possessed which allowed them to become “self-made.” Remember, this is not a competition: I do not expect you to evaluate WHO is more self-made and why, this is merely an exercise in looking at two different lenses. I am most interested in your ability to properly construct and prove an argument eloquently and clearly.
Construction: This essay will rely on a conventional Thesis-Body-Conclusion format. You MUST construct a proper thesis paragraph which makes your claim (argument) in an explicit manner, which includes the sources you will be using. Specific evidence (and quotes) MUST be supplied from both of these sources in Classic American Autobiographies (or the online link to each of these writings provided in the “Modules” tab. The use of specific evidence will be made in your body paragraphs, not your thesis paragraph. If you wish, you can incorporate ONE of the other sources we have used in class. Do not use outside sources (Wikipedia, stuff that comes up in Google, sparknotes.com) Make sure also that every quote (and paraphrase) comes with an MLA in-text citation. Because you will only be using in-class sources for this project, you will not need a Works-cited page.
Source for Frederick Douglas: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/23/23-h/23-h.htm
Source for Benjamin Franklin: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/148/148-h/148-h.htm
Avoid overly generic thesis statements such as “Ben Franklin and Frederick Douglass had different yet similar views on what it meant to be ‘self-made’” How? Why? In what regards? Be as specific as possible when making your thesis argument.
Use paragraph breaks. Don’t be like Ben Franklin and totally negate the use of breaks! Not only will it be easier for me to read, but it will also properly demarcate where your thesis paragraph end and your body paragraphs begin.
Proofread! Avoid sentence fragments, misspellings, grammatical issues e.t.c. These will affect your overall grade and general flow of your essay.
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