Essay 2 Prompt


Due: October 24th at the beginning of class

Length: A typed, double-spaced essay of 3-4 pages.


Although I discuss the essay in terms of "sections" do not actually have section headings. Instead, I want you to write the paper as a cohesive whole with transitions from section to section using the topic sentences of paragraphs, not section headings. Here are the requirements for each section of the paper:

• In the first section of the essay, choose either Chapter 3 or Chapter 4 in Gerstle's book and summarize the chapter you've chosen. In your summary, it is most important that you address how the chapters flow from the argument the author is making. That is, how do the contents of the chapter you have selected work to prove the overall argument of the book?

• In the second section of the essay, using Flivver King as your primary source, discuss how Upton Sinclair's novel can be used as evidence in support of Gerstle's argument in the chapter you chose to summarize in the first section of your essay. That is, what specific details and textual evidence in the Flivver King support Gerstle's argument in the chapter you summarized in section 1? Which specific parts of his argument does your textual evidence support?

• In the third section of the essay, choose one female character from Flivver King. How specifically, and to what extent, does the character you've chosen attempt to resist and/or reinforce the masculine nation? How conservative or radical is their resistance and/or reinforcement? Given the time period that this character is situated, does their reinforcement and/or resistance surprise you or would this be about what you would expect at the time?

It is always best, when writing these sections, to use direct textual quotes. For instance, when conveying what an author of a secondary source (Gerstle) is arguing, using direct quotes helps to ensure that intent and clarity is not lost. When directly quoting from Flivver King, you help to better convince me of your own interpretation by marshaling direct textual evidence.

When directly quoting from the text, simply use parenthetical page numbers as citations. A fake example: Smith argues that, "The Civil War was fought primarily over the issue of slavery as it related to westward expansion" (12).

For section 1, this essay will be evaluated on how well you have understood the material in Gerstle and how well you have communicated that understanding. Section 2 will be graded on how well you used The Flivver King as primary source evidence to support the argument Gerstle is making. For section 3, you will be graded on how well you have interpreted the character you have chosen. Have you marshaled the best evidence from your sources and convinced me as to how specifically, and to what extent, she resisted and/or reinforced the masculine nation. Finally, for section 3, have you correctly situated the character and her response to the masculine nation within the time period you drew evidence from?

Extra Review Session for this paper: Friday 10/19, 4:30-6:30 in Burton Hall 120


Jason, would you say that the masculine nation is a concept the Gerstle sort of implicitly writes about in the book and thus we should really talk about it in our summary, or is it just one of those that you defined yourself?

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This page contains a single entry by Jason Stahl published on October 12, 2012 3:17 PM.

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