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The readings from Unit I help us to understand the origins of the myth of America as a “nation of immigrants,” and how race, colonialism, and systemic inequalities complicate this inclusive vision of national identity. Your task is to place your chosen story in conversation with Kennedy’s A Nation of Immigrants to answer the following question:
How does your chosen text complicate the “nation of immigrants” myth as articulated by Kennedy?
A successful essay will offer an insightful, analytical, focused argument, and use close reading of Kennedy and your chosen text to support it. You may also use the supplementary course readings (e.g. the Lee article or Immigration Restriction League or Asiatic Exclusion League documents), but this is not required. Please do not use outside research or sources.
Your introduction should frame your analysis by introducing Kennedy’s text (and is problematic aspects) and placing the short story in conversation with it.
Audience and Purpose
In this essay, your audience consists of peers who know as much about American history as you did before starting the course and probably have not read these texts. While you’ll need to provide some background information on the authors and texts, you do not want to merely describe them for your reader; there should be a reason why he or she is reading your essay rather than the original text itself. Your goal is to offer a thesis that changes or deepens the way your reader thinks about the “nation of immigrants” myth.
Length and format: about 1200 words (4 pages), double-spaced, Google Docs.
Cite your sources in MLA format. You may use bibcitation.com or another citation tool. You’ll find the publication information on the title pages in the course packet. See this Video on how to do citations for short stories from an anthology or book collection.