african american literature – mla format

Course Paper Capstone Assignment

  • It must be double-spaced. The length should be about five-six (5-6) pages.  
  • The paper should be based upon the primary texts that were covered in the course this semester and your responses and analyses of them. However, you may (but do not have to) include a limited number of autobiographical, biographical or critical sources, including background and introductory sections in the Call & Response text.  
  • This paper should be a unified essay with a clear thesis statement that addresses all four texts. Be sure to include transitions between your discussions of individual texts that relate back to the introductory thesis. Direct quotes must be used to support your position.
  • All sources must be listed in an MLA works cited page and all direct quotes must be documented using MLA parenthetical or “in-text” citations. Cite the work of each of the 4 authors separately as a work in an anthology. An MLA guide for paper format and documentation and a template for MLA papers is provided on the Weekly Assignments Materials folder. A template that will automatically put your paper in MLA format is also in the Weekly Assignments Materials folder.


Throughout their experience in America, African Americans have continuously engaged in the creative/expressive arts efforts to survive, resist and transcend American racism and re-member a connection to an African-based identity and heritage. In a well-developed, unified essay with a clearly articulated thesis statement and specific examples (including direct quotes) identify and analyze how this attempt to reconnect with Africa is represented in the texts of four of the authors listed below.

Apply the theme above to four authors. Choose four (4) of the following authors to analyze based on one of the topic above:


Phillis Wheatley         Richard Allen David Walker.   Benjamin Banneker    Frederick Douglass          Sojourner Truth Harriet        Jacobs Sarah Parker Remond          Frances E.W. Harper                        William Wells Brown.            Charles W. Chestnut         Paul Laurence Dunbar            Alice Dunbar-Nelson 

Ida B. Wells    Pauline E. Hopkins     Booker T. Washington           W.E.B. DuBois           Sterling Brown

Claude McKay            Gwendolyn Bennett    Alain Locke    Langston Hughes        Helene Johnson Zora Neale Hurston James Weldon Johnson            Nella Larsen   Marcus Garvey

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