Formal Essay on The Latehomecomer
Due in class on Monday, January 30
Three to Five Pages, Printed Out and Stapled
In this paper you will tie your story together with Yang's story. This assignment is similar to the Telling Your Story assignment for this class, and the idea is for you to better understand your own story by comparing and contrasting your experiences with Yang's experiences. In this assignment do not attempt to tell your story as a whole—you will do this in the Telling Your Story assignment. Although your story and Yang's story are both unique, you probably share similar experiences—for instance, you might be able to relate to Yang's descriptions of learning a language, the birth of a baby sister or brother, moving to a new school, her experience of having a death in the family, or her experience with having a serious illness. In this essay focus on an experience you share with Yang.
Make sure that your essay is balanced between your experiences and Yang's experiences. When you describe your own experience it is unlikely that you will need to cite sources, although I encourage you to consult people in your life about details that you might not remember. Remember also that your story is not only your own, but that it also involves your relationships with your family and communities.
When you describe Yang's experiences it is important for you to try to accurately represent her. Include page number citations in parentheses (MLA style) when you make statements about Yang and her Hmong community. I advise you to use short quotations from The Latehomecomer as evidence for your description of Yang's experiences, but make sure that quotations do not take up the majority of any of your paragraphs.
Finally, 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: