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argumentative essay

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Essay on Fences, Doubt, and Sweat: SEE BELOW FOR INSTRUCTIONS

1. For this assignment, CHOOSE TWO PLAYS out of the three we covered in the second half of the semester (so Fences, Doubt, or Sweat).

2. Then write an essay that formulates and supports an argument/thesis around the theme of how identity is related to a character’s personal truth, or what they believe to be true, and the consequences of those beliefs in those plays.

3. So keep in mind that your essay should NOT be what YOU personally think the relationship between identity and truth is in general, or a judgment of what the characters should have done, but an ANALYSIS of this topic in the plays.

4. Remember that you need to provide a clear argument about this topic–a statement–so do not ask questions in your essay, but instead provide an answer. That is what an argument/thesis is: an answer to a question you that you already asked about the texts (plays) before you start writing.

5. In order to support your argument, you must make sure to QUOTE FROM BOTH PLAYS USING MLA STYLE.

6. You need a TITLE that mentions the names of the plays and REFLECTS YOUR THEME OR ARUGMENT. So “Identity and Truth” or “Essay” are not acceptable titles. A more acceptable title would be something like “Misunderstanding and Identity in Fences and Sweat,” for example.

**When discussing Fences or Doubt, you must write about the play first and foremost; you may also refer to the film to make a comparison, but make sure you state when you are referring to the film and explain why.

To review how to write an argumentative/expository essay:

Keep in mind that an argument/thesis should be stated generally at the end of the first paragraph. Your first paragraph should introduce the titles of the plays (underlined or italicized, because they are titles of full-length plays) and the author. Then provide a brief description of each play, then how they relate to each other in terms of a theme you choose related to identity and it’s relationship to truth in the two plays.

An argument has to be a specific statement about how identity works in the two plays, and then, once you state that, follow it up with the answer to “so what?” (ask this in your head)–that is the significance or meaning of your observation/thesis. That should be at the end of the first paragraph.

So write about the two plays that you chose, exploring how they deal with the topic (similarly, differently, or both at different times), and remember to point out how this affects the characters and situations in the plays.

For example, think about: how do things work out for the characters? And what do your observations tell us about identity in general? You don’t need to stick to the “main” characters, but can branch out to any of the relevant characters to present your argument. You may focus on one character in each play or several, that is up to you.

The argument is up to you, but it should deal with the concept of how identity is related to truth in the two plays similarly or differently, and what that means for the overall topic of identity and truth.

The essay must be typed, 3½ to 5 pages in length, double-spaced, with 12 point font, 1inch margins, and quotations cited in MLA style.

Review of MLA citation:

Remember that MLA style means that you cite a page number after a quotation. I have provided a link to MLA style on our site, to refresh your memory. You don’t need a “Works Cited” page.

So essentially, you need to:

1) Introduce the texts (the two plays you chose).
2) Provide brief background information. Argumentative essay
3) Present a clear, focused argument/thesis in the beginning of the essay, preferably at the end of the first paragraph.
4) Provide specific quotations (cited in MLA style) and examples for support.
4) Provide a title that reflects your argument and includes the names of the plays; do not underline your own title, and italicize or underline the titles of the plays.


*If you do not cite quotations from both approved texts in MLA style, the essay may not pass.
*If the essay is too short, the essay may not pass.

I look forward to your observations!



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