Final Exam assignment 2018

Complete Essay 1    Web Highlights,
  Complete Research Report   

official date: Monday, 7 May 2018

email exams deadline: Tuesday, 8 May 2018 noon


(This webpage is the assignment for our course's final exam, to be updated until last class meeting, 30 April, when paper copies will be distributed.)


Official Exam Date: Monday, 7 May 2018, 4-6:50pm; No regular class meeting. Classroom available for student use. Instructor keeps office hours.


Email submission window: 1-8 May noon. If your exam will be late (within reasonable limits), no automatic discredit if you communicate.

Email exams due to by noon Tuesday 8 May. "Submission window" is 1-8 May.


Email your pre-midterm submission to (Most common mistake: students send to “white” rather than “whiteC)

Attach appropriate file(s) to an email for (Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format works,)

and / or

Copy and paste contents of your essays into an email message to


Acknowledgement of receipt: Instructor usually replies that he's received your submission within a few hours (unless you send it at an odd time). If you don't see an email confirmation within 24 hours, check if you emailed the right address:

Spacing: Single-spacing preferred. No need to double-space, but OK if you do. All submissions are converted to single-space for reading onscreen.  

5-10 days after submission, each student receives individual email of final grade report including notes and grades for final exam and course.

Three parts to Final Exam:

Part 1. Revise & extend Essay to include African American literature and minority identity. (At least 16 paragraphs total.)

Part 2. Web Highlights. Essay reviewing 3+ Model Assignments from previous semesters, including at least two midterm essays on African America (5+ paragraphs)

Part 3. Complete Research Report with references to 4 outside sources and (possibly) to course texts. (8-10 paragraphs.)


Part 1. Revise & extend Essay to include African American literature and minority identity. (At least 16 paragraphs total.)


Revise and extend your Essay draft from Midterm1 & Midterm2 according to instructor feedback, continue developing minority definition (especially in comparison with immigrant or dominant-culture identity).


Revise introduction and add paragraphs to include African American Literature and historical backgrounds (African Americans as Minority or Immigrant?).


Above all, work to unify your essay so that it makes consistent points about minority identity, voice, or literature in comparison or contrast with immigrant or dominant-culture identity.


Refer to terms and themes from Course Objectives, definitions from term-webpages (applied to examples from readings), and the literary device(s) or purpose(s) by which they express their minority status and humanity.


What have you learned about African Americans (as well as Mexican Americans and American Indians) as a minority culture and their literature as a result of reading our texts and learning some African American cultural history? How do they use a literary device or technique to express the minority identity or their status as humans with equal rights?


Refer to Course Objectives, esp. Primary objectives 1-2 and (possibly) Detailed Objective 3a. African American alternative narrative: “The Dream”. ("The Dream" resembles but is not identical to "The American Dream," which emphasizes immediate individual success. "The Dream" factors in setbacks, the need to rise again, and a quest for group dignity.)


Length: Add at least 4 or 5 paragraphs to your revised Essay draft from Midterm2 (depending on style, length, etc.)


Required: Give your essay a title.


Added instruction for Literary device(s) or purpose(s):

Introduce it early

Define it or provide a working definition according to term-webpage

Observe or apply it to examples from texts. How does the text confirm, challenge, or extend the working definition?

How does the literary device help develop or express the meaning of the text, esp. in terms of minority or human status? How does the literary device make the text live or matter more for the reader?



Part 2. Web Highlights. Essay reviewing 3+ Model Assignments from previous semesters, including at least two midterm essays on African America (5+ paragraphs)

Requirements & guidelines: Web Highlights essay must have a title.


  Review at least 2 past midterm essays involving African American literature from Model Assignments.


  Your third item may be any other item from American Minority Model Assignments, including research projects on African American literature, or consider reviewing a complete Research Report Start from Immigrant Literature 2016 or 2013.


Write Part 2 as an essay with introduction and conclusion.

“Review”: Describe what interested you, where, why you chose it, what you learned. Analyze the writers' language and style. You may criticize what you found, but not required.

What did you learn from reviewing Model Assignments that extended, confirmed, challenged or varied what you learned in class?

 Compare and contrast the three assignments you review, and summarize what you learned from them relative to each other. 

To identify passages, copy and paste brief selections into your web review or refer to them using names, locations, paraphrases, summaries, and brief quotes. (Both options in models.) Either way, highlight and discuss language used in the passages as part of your commentary. Critique what you learn.


Also remember to write it as an essay, not just a list of 3 items.


Note on organization and grading: Some students fulfill assignment by going through 3 assignments individually, one at a time until finished, with few or no connections between the separate models.


Better submissions unify the three reviews into a whole, purposeful essay in which the learning experience of one review connects to the learning experience of another, and your entire learning experience is previewed and summarized in the essay's introduction and conclusion.


Successful submissions sometimes start by identifying a subject of special interest, then choosing Model Assignments that meet this interest.


Organization: Most students follow a classic "5-paragraph essay" organization, but of course more sophisticated variations and options are possible.
Introductory paragraph: Briefly describe assignment and your chief interest or theme in choosing selections.
3+ body paragraphs: For most students, 1 item = 1 paragraph, but best essays organize paragraphs thematically or cross-reference what they learn from one item with what they learn from another. (See paragraph organization.)
Concluding paragraph: Summarize learning, re-emphasizing key words or ideas and reinforcing reader's final impression of your theme or idea.


For Model Assignments of the Web Highlights assignment, see LITR 4340 2016 midterm1 Web Highlight samples, LITR 4326 2016 midterm Web Highlight samples or LITR 4328 2015 midterm Web Highlight samples.




Part 3. Complete Research Report with references to 4 outside sources and (possibly) to course texts. (8-10 paragraphs.)


Revise and extend your Research Report Start from Midterm2 according to instructor feedback.


Add 4+ paragraphs and 2+ outside sources to your Midterm2 draft.


Content: emphasis is on information, not opinion and analysis, though some summary and evaluation is welcome and expected. It's a report foremost. (In other words, you're not "interpreting" a text but rather reporting facts and information about your selected topic.)

What did you want to learn? Why?

What did you find out or learn? How?

What would you like to learn next? (that follows from what you have learned so far)

How does this knowledge apply to our course or your possible development of its topics?


Description of default or likely organization: The path of least resistance is to describe and unify your report as a "quest" or "journey of learning."

Introduction: Why are you interested in your topic, and what do you wish to learn? What relevance does it have to our course and / or your career? What question are you trying to answer?

Body paragraphs: How did you start your research, and what did you find?


Works Cited / Bibliography: Include a list of your major research sources.

MLA style is preferred, but other standard forms are acceptable. Don't spend too much time fussing over forms when you should be feeling impassioned over your subject.

Here's my test for a listing: Would I be able to track it down using the information provided?

You may use previous research reports for 1 or 2 of your sources, or use those reports themselves as sources. (LITR 4333 Model Assignments) (LITR 5731im Model Assignments)


Possible sources for research:

interview with an expert, including former teachers (phone interviews are fine) or faculty here at UHCL

reference works in library or on web—the more specialized the better (e. g., use "handbooks to literature" for definitions rather than "Webster's dictionary") 

no need for primary research or reading. For instance, if you are doing your report on Frederick Douglass, you don't need to read more of his books. You only need to read about him and about his books.

welcome to use previous research projects on similar topics from our Model Assignments as research sources.


Evaluation standards: Readability, competence levels, content coverage and development, and thematic unity.


Readability & surface competence: Your reader must be able to process what you're explaining. Given the pressures of a timed writing exercise, some rough edges are acceptable, but chronic errors or elementary style can hurt.


Content coverage & development: Comprehension of subject, demonstration of learning, use of course resources including instructional webpages + interest & significance: Reproduce course materials accurately but refresh with your own insights, examples, and experiences.


Thematic Unity and Organization: Unify materials along a line of thought that a reader can follow from start to finish. Consult sites on Unity / Continuity / Transition & Transitions.