Formal Essay on The Latehomecomer
Due in class on Monday February 4
Three to Five Pages, Printed Out and Stapled
In this essay you will tell the story of Hmong Americans and the story of your people. Use The Latehomecomer as a reference. Your essay should compare and contrast the story of the Hmong with the story of a people you can refer to as your people.
This assignment is similar to the Telling Your Story assignment for this class, and the idea is for you to better understand the story of your own people by comparing and contrasting your peoples' historical 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.
Your essay should include parts that are set in the US and parts that are set outside of the US. Regarding parts set outside of the US it is likely that war, finances, marriage, or a combination of these three factors lead your family to come to the US. Education both inside or outside of the US might also have been a factor. Regarding parts set within the US, you might consider common struggles that immigrants and their families have faced. Refer to the lecture notes for the results of our discussion about the common struggles of immigrants.
Make sure that your essay is balanced between your peoples' experiences and Hmong experiences. When you describe your own peoples' 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 that the story you are telling 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: