Analytical Essay

Due in class on Wednesday, November 16, 80 points

Three to Five Pages, Printed Out and Stapled

Plan due during class on Monday, November 7, 20 points

For this assignment you will explain the relationship between one or more of the course texts and an historical period, movement or event that is significant for Asian Americans or a specific community of Asian Americans. You should decide on the course texts and an issue before Monday, November 7. You will choose between two options for this essay. In the first option, which stresses methods from History and the Social Sciences, you will use one or more of the course texts as a source for analyzing an issue of significance for Asian Americans. In the second option, which stresses methods from Literature and the Humanities, your essay will emphasize the interpretation of a text and the stand that the text takes with respect to an issue important for Asian Americans. Refer to the syllabus for a list of possible issues.

In the weeks prior to the due date for this essay we will break up into research groups concentrating on the following ethnicities/regions:

  • China
  • Japan
  • The Philippines
  • Korea
  • Vietnam
  • Other/Mixed

Within your groups you should start to get a broad sense of the histories of the peoples from your regions. As we approach the due date you should narrow the focus of your research.

Here is an example essay topic. In the excerpt from America is in the Heart in the course reader Carlos Bulosan refers to a specific case, Roldan v United States. This case, as far as I know, does not exist, but a case named Roldan v Los Angeles County seems to match the case described in the novel. This case has historical significance because it is an example of an anti-miscegenation law. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia article for Roldan v Los Angeles County is very brief, and the Wikipedia article on anti-miscegenation laws does not mention Roldan v Los Angeles County. To write about this topic you would have to do additional research and find additional sources. You could start by doing a google search with the terms "Asian," "American," "Anti-Miscegenation," and "Laws."

An essay about this topic would consist of just a few headings, each consisting of a few paragraphs:

  1. The significance of Roldan v United States in America is in the Heart.
  2. Roldan v Los Angeles as an example of an anti-miscegenation law that affected Asian Americans.
  3. The historical shifts in anti-miscegenation laws in the US up to the present.
Look up what you do not already know, and cite your sources.

Remember that this is a formal, academic essay and that you are writing for an academic audience. Here are things I will pay attention to as I read your paper:

  1. Introduction, conclusion, and overall unity and coherence of the paper
  2. Clearly identifiable thesis
  3. Paragraphs with transitions
  4. Grammar and mechanics
  5. Citations
  6. 12pt font, double-spaced, 1 to 1.25" margins, 3-5 pages, stapled
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