Unit #4 Prompt:
The Late Twentieth Century American Short Story
"The Veldt" and "August 2026:
There Will Come Soft Rains"
"A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Everything That Rises Must Converge"
"Half and Half" and "Two Kinds"
Rhetoric and Research Projects
With your reader as a member of the standard academic audience, make an eight-page
rhetorical argument about what one author's pair of short stories reveals about America.
Specifically, in both texts find one historical, social, cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, class, etc. issue
dating from the late twentieth century.
How does the author, via his/her two short stories, treat
that major American issue?
Narrow that issue—and your argument—as much as possible, and avoid
summarizing the short stories.
Instead, remember the Aristotelian appeals as you analyze specific
elements (like dialogue, descriptions, characters, scenes, etc.) from the short story, and use at least
twelve direct quotations from the literature to provide evidence.
You will also need research to enhance your argument.
In fact, bring in factual information (as
befitting a research paper) about your selected issue, in order to discuss more fully both how your author
treats the issue and how the issue existed or exists in America.
Use at least one direct quotation each
from at least six secondary materials.
These sources should only be books or book chapters
in scholarly journals, all of which must be obtained from the Purdue library's print catalog and/or online
Remember, though, that your own insights should far outweigh your quotations from
sources, so don’t rely on your research as a crutch.
In your conclusion demonstrate your thesis's significance.
Perhaps you could formulate this as a
call to action, advising that your reader walk away from your paper with a new way of thinking about
your author, literature, social issue, America, etc.
After completing your paper, write a two-page, honest reflection essay to review your writing.