Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Assignments | Essay Help Services

Douglass paper due Wednesday, May 13th

Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, details his experiences as a slave in the antebellum south. This deeply personal account of slavery was tremendously influential when first published and continues to be important in informing our modern understanding of slavery.

In your paper, you will demonstrate your understanding of both Douglass’s work and the pre-Civil War period of America by imagining how Douglass was received on the public speaking circuit in the nineteenth century. You will:

Pretend to be a newspaper reporter living in the northern states in 1850. Write a newspaper article in which you are reporting on a speech given by Douglass at a local abolitionist meeting. How does his speech help convince the audience that they need to actively fight slavery?

For this paper there are certain specific things that I will be looking for and that you will want to include in you essay. These are:

A. The speech you will be reporting on in your article will not be a real one, but one that you can imagine he could have made. Your paper must reflect that you have read Douglass’s narrative well and gained a good understanding of what themes and ideas in it would be most important to the abolitionist cause. This understanding will be demonstrated by making reference to those themes in the text of the speech.
B. Your paper needs to have an argument; come up with a thesis. What argument do you think Douglass would make about the institution of slavery?
C. You will need to include at least 5 quotes from the Narrative. This will show me that you can use text to support arguments.
D. Your paper should also demonstrate that you’ve thought about the likely audience for Douglass’s appearances. In your article, you will want to describe or quote those people. (Hint: It is easy to make use of, and even quote, documents from the Primary Source Reader for this part of the assignment!)
E. You might show awareness on Douglass’s part of the way people, both northern and southern, might criticize him or defend slavery. Include his specific responses to those criticisms and pro-slavery arguments.
F. Your paper might have some comment on the affect of the institution of slavery on broader America in the 1800s; Douglass asserts slavery isn’t just a problem for enslaved people or for the south.

Successful papers will demonstrate an understanding of the pre-war period, a handle on Douglass’s work and other sources, and an engagement with the subject. Your paper should show that you have read intelligently and carefully, but should also demonstrate some original thought and personal reaction to the topic. Clear organization and grammatical accuracy will be critical in conveying your message. Take some time to organize your thoughts and proofread your work. Plagiarized papers will receive a failing grade.

Formatting:
-Your paper needs to be AT LEAST 4 full pages in length, but no more than 6 pages.
-Give your paper an original title
-Use Times New Roman 12 pt. font
-Double-space your paper and use 1” margins
– Number your pages and staple your essay together
-Use parenthetical citation for all quotes (e.g. (Douglass, 123) or (123))

This assignment has a creative aspect, which some of you will like and others won’t. The attached worksheet is by no means required but is meant to help you start on this work.

For the intro paragraph(s)
Before your imaginary reporter went to the Douglass speech, s/he thought ___________

________________________________________________________________________
(This question is meant to help you decide who the reporter is and what perspective s/he is coming from.)

But after hearing the speech s/he decided_______________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

(This question is meant to help you get to the ways that hearing Douglass could change/open your reporter’s mind. This quite possibly will get you to the thesis, so think hard about this question.)

Where is the event?
When?
How are you going to describe/summarize/introduce who Douglass is?
Who attended?
What are people saying before the event?

Body Paragraphs
One Critical theme in Douglass’ book that would be mentioned in a speech is______________________
WHY would discussion of that theme help convince someone to support abolition?_____

________________________________________________________________________ (This is where your critical thinking and analysis come in. This is a great place to show how the theme would push someone into abolitionist activism/ help them realize just how horrible slavery is/help them realize that slavery is a problem for not just the south, but the whole nation)
Flag 2-3 quotes for that theme and record the page numbers here:_______________________________

Another critical theme in Douglass’ book that would be mentioned in a speech is___________________
WHY would discussion of that theme help convince someone to support abolition?_____

________________________________________________________________________
(This is where your critical thinking and analysis come in. This is a great place to show how the theme would push someone into abolitionist activism/ help them realize just how horrible slavery is/help them realize that slavery is a problem for not just the south, but the whole nation)
Flag 2-3 quotes for that theme and record the page numbers here:______________________________
Another critical theme in Douglass’ book that would be mentioned in a speech is___________________
WHY would discussion of that theme help convince someone to support abolition?_____

________________________________________________________________________
(This is where your critical thinking and analysis come in. This is a great place to show how the theme would push someone into abolitionist activism/ help them realize just how horrible slavery is/help them realize that slavery is a problem for not just the south, but the whole nation)
Flag 2-3 quotes for that theme and record the page numbers here:_______________________________

Another critical theme in Douglass’ book that would be mentioned in a speech is___________________
WHY would discussion of that theme help convince someone to support abolition?_____

________________________________________________________________________
(This is where your critical thinking and analysis come in. This is a great place to show how the theme would push someone into abolitionist activism/ help them realize just how horrible slavery is/help them realize that slavery is a problem for not just the south, but the whole nation)
Flag 2-3 quotes for that theme and record the page numbers here:_______________________________

Reaction
Talk to 2-4 people in the crowd and get their reactions. These can be after the speech summary or interwoven in your theme discussion. This is one place that you can get to the idea that some people will resist Douglass’ message. But this is also a good place to show how powerfully persuasive Douglass could be.
Who you talked to:_____________________________________________________________________
His/her reaction:_________________________________________________________________

Who you talked to:_____________________________________________________________________
His/her reaction:_________________________________________________________________

Who you talked to:_____________________________________________________________________
His/her reaction:_________________________________________________________________
Conclusion
Wrap up in one paragraph. What did Douglass teach you? What do you hope comes out of his public activities? Why does his voice matter?

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