Raisin in the Sun Essay Instructions
Write a clear, well-developed, precise research essay on one of the following topics on Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun.
Make sure you identify which topic you chose by writing under your title #1 or #2 to indicate which topic you selected to write about in your essay.
Topic Choice #1:
Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem” poses a question: “What happens to a dream deferred?” Why do you think Lorraine Hansberry chose this poem as the epigraph for A Raisin in the Sun? Write an essay in which you discuss the various “dreams” that come into conflict in the play. Which “dream” does the play seem to endorse? Does it ultimately answer Hughes’s question?
Here is a link to the text of Langston Hughes’ poem : “Harlem”:
Topic Choice #2
Hansberry’s play expores not only the evolving cultural and economic positions of African-Americans in the mid-twentieth century, but also their evolving gender roles, a subject on which Robert C. Weaver also comments briefly in “The Negro as an American.” Write an essay in which you discuss the crucial role that gender, economic class, or culture plays in the action of A Raisin in the Sun. Make sure you refer to specific details both from Hansberry’s play and Weaver’s article. There is a link to Weaver’s article in this week’s ‘Required Reading’ section.
Here is a link as well to Weaver’s article:
In the instructions in the Week 10 Folder, you will also find an attachment with Weaver’s article.
The essay should be between 700-1000 words. Aim to stay within this word count limit.
Come up with a creative title. Under the title, write #1 or #2 depending on which topic you selected to write about in your essay.
Your introduction should include an underlined thesis statement. The thesis statement expresses in one succinct sentence your main argument or claim that you will prove and develop in the paper as it progresses.
Use two scholarly research resources. The quoted passages should be limited. The paper should consist mostly of your own interpretation of the readings expressed in your own words. The research materials are meant to further bolster your own arguments and to offer information that enriches your analysis.
Avoid plagiarism, please. A plagiarized paper will result in a grade of ZERO.
Use the objective point of view. Refrain from using “I” in the critical analysis of the play.
There is no need to summarize the play. Quote from the play sparingly. It is better to paraphrase so as to not have such lengthy quotations.
Make sure that you are referring to Hughes’ poem if you choose topic #1 and that you also analyze the chosen theme on gender, economic class, or culture both from the play and from Weaver’s article if you choose topic #2.
Make sure you use the correct MLA format for in-text and the ‘Works Cited’ citations. Cite both the play and Weaver’s or Hughes’ poem.
***How to cite a play:
Proofread your essay before submission. Too many errors negatively impact the quality of your writing.
This essay requires no less than two, no more than three secondary sources – that is, sources other than the specific text you are analyzing.
Remember that your essay should show evidence of freewriting. Be sure that you support your points with specific quotes from the play, and that rather than simply throwing in the quotes and moving on, you take the time to examine those quotes. Avoid block quotes. If you’ve chosen Topic 3, be sure you’re prepared to describe in detail the physical features of your chosen scene.
Use the present verb tense.
Avoid plot summary, and avoid discussions of what a character should have done. Be sure that your thesis statement and your paragraph main ideas represent an informed analytical opinion.
Underline the thesis statement.
Write a paper that is at least 700 words in length. Avoid going past 1000 words.
Avoid plagiarism. Plagiarized essays will receive the grade of ZERO.