Writing Prompt – Essay #4: Lessons from Between the World and Me by Coates


We’ve just read the award winning book, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In this text, Coates discusses a wide range of issues, including his education as a person “in a Black body” in the United States.

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Consider Coates’ discussion of his own education, both in school and out of school; this includes lessons learned from his parents, teachers, “the streets”, college, and more.

Part I:  Based on the lessons Coates discusses, identity two to three (2-3) important recommendations Coates would have about how to best prepare a young person growing up in the United States today. Explain the basis of each recommendation by referring to Coates’ experiences.  (The recommendations do not have to be focused on a Black young person.)

Part II:  Then, select either Freire or Anzaldua and determine how much the theorist you choose would agree or disagree with the recommendations. Explain the basis of your analysis by referring to ideas in “The Banking Concept of Education” or “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”.


Writing Requirements

  • Minimum 5-6 pages using MLA formatting, in-text citations, and Works Cited page.
  • Include at least 3 quotes from Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. You should also reference either “The Banking Concept of Education” or “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”.
  • Address an academic audience using formal, academic writing conventions.



  • Briefly introduce Coates’ book to your audience members who may have not read it.
  • Use the T.E.A. structure for your body paragraphs: Topic sentence, Evidence, and Analysis
  • Create a “so what” conclusion that leaves readers with something to think about beyond just your thesis. What should they think or do after reading your essay?




Due Dates:

  • W, 11/13: Draft Thesis & Outline due in class
  • M, 11/18: First Draft due in class
  • M, 11/25: Final Draft due to Turn It In by 6:30am.


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