LITR 4340 American Immigrant Literature
Final Exam 2019

Revise & extend Essay 1 to include settler or dominant culture /
/  Web Highlights / Complete Research Report  /

official date:
, 13 May 2019

email exams deadline: midnight Tuesday 14 May 2019

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

Format: Email to Open-book, open-notebook: Use course web instructional pages + outside sources (<optional).

Official Exam Date: Monday, 13 May 2019, 7-9:50pm; No regular class meeting. Classroom available for student use. Instructor keeps office hours 4-10, Bayou 2529-7, 281 283 3380.


If your exam will be late (within reasonable limits), no automatic discredit if you communicate.


Relative weight of final exam: 40-50% of final grade.


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 USA's dominant / "settler" culture.  (At least 16 paragraphs total.)

Part 2. Web Highlights. Review three Model Assignments from previous semesters, including at least one Essay from 2018, 2016, or 2013 final exams.(5+ paragraphs)

Part 3. Complete Research Report with bibliography or works cited (8-10 paragraphs.)



Part 1. Revise & extend midterms Essay to include USA's dominant / "settler" culture.


Revise your Essay draft from Midterms 1 & 2 according to instructor feedback and extend to include USA's dominant / "settler" culture.


Use terms and themes from Course Objectives, definitions from term-webpages, and historical backgrounds (USA's dominant culture, dominant culture waves of immigration, "Pilgrim Fathers" & "Founding Fathers", Scotch-Irish) to introduce and develop examples from readings and presentations.


Possible prompts: (You can't cover all of these, but definitely work with one or more.)


In what ways is the USA's dominant / settler culture an immigrant culture, and how does it differ from later immigrant cultures?


In what ways do the Pilgrim Fathers," the "Founding Fathers," and the Scotch-Irish create the dominant culture to which later immigrants assimilate, and minorities resist?


When later immigrants assimilate to American culture, what kind of dominant culture do they assimilate to?


      Identify styles, symbols, and values of the USA's dominant culture: plain style, English language, literacy, Protestantism, self-government, individualism / nuclear family, freemarket capitalism.


      Why is the USA's dominant culture hard to isolate, identify, and study as part of America's multicultural landscape? What features or qualities of the dominant culture make it resistant or unattractive to analysis? What advantages to knowledge of this subject? Can rewards of studying dominant culture overcome students' instinctive rejection of this subject?


How did the dominant / settler culture create minorities? (African Americans, American Indians, ± Mexican Americans)?


What balances should educators make between teaching assimilation to the dominant culture or teaching multiculturalism? Why might multiculturalism include the study of the USA's dominant culture or not?


      Are American systems and values "universal," or are they limited by race or ethnic descent? Does the USA's dominant / "settler" culture trust later immigrants with the systems or institutions it developed?


Required: references to Course Objectives 1-3 + knowledge of course-website definitions for terms, applied to text-examples. (All course objectives and terms open for discussion.)


Required: Essay 1 must have an appropriate title (possibly revised from Midterm1 and Midterm2 title).


Optional: personal references—not required, but you may refer to your own backgrounds, previous knowledge, & interpretations of materials. Relate all such references to the assignment or objectives.


Required textual references for final additions to Essay: For discussion of Dominant Culture, refer to Of Plymouth Plantation at least twice*, Hillbilly Elegy at least once; at least one text from the USA's founding generation (Crevecoeur, Declaration, or Constitution). You may also use our one poetry presentation poem for one of your text selections.

Poem (since second midterm): Enid Dame, “On the Road to Damascus, Maryland"; for other poems scan syllabus or see listings at Midterm1 & Midterm2.




Part 2. Web Highlights. Review three Model Assignments from previous semesters, including at least one Essay from 2018, 2016, or 2013 final exams.(5+ paragraphs)


Write Part 2 as an essay with introduction and conclusion, not just a list of 3 items. Unify your learning experience. Compare and contrast the three assignments you review. What did you learn from reviewing model assignments that you didn't learn from in-class instruction (or extended or confirmed it in some way)?


Web Highlights essay must have a title.


  Review at least one final exam essay 1 from 2018 final essay samples, 2016 final essay samples, or 2013 essay samples


  Your second and third items may be another final exam essay, a final research report, web highlights or any other Model Assignment from previous semesters or this semester.


  If you had special problems with one of the parts on Midterms 1 or 2, consider looking at and reporting on more Model Assignments for that part.


“Review”: describe what interested you, where, why you chose it, what you learned. You may criticize what you found, but not required.

What did you learn from reviewing model assignments that you didn't learn from in-class instruction? Or how was your learning extended or confirmed?


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


To identify passages, refer to selected submissions using student names, years, paraphrases, summaries, and brief quotes, or copy, or paste brief selections into your web review. (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.


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.





Part 3. Complete Research Report with bibliography or works cited (8-10 paragraphs)

Models of 2018 final research reports, 2016 final research reports and 2013 final research reports


Revise your Research Report Start from Midterm2 according to instructor feedback and extend to include additional research and applications.


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 wanted to do your report on Reyna Grande, you don't need to read more of her books. You only need to read about her.

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


General grading standards: Readability, competence levels, content quantity and quality, and thematic unity.

Readability & surface competence: Your reader must be able to process what you're reporting. Some rough edges are acceptable, but chronic errors or elementary style limit quality.

   Review & edit your midterm before submitting. Don't make instructor write, "You expected me to read your midterm when you didn't even read it yourself?"   

Content quantity and quality:

   Evidence of learning, esp. understanding of terms and application to texts.

   Coverage and analysis of required texts.

   Use of course resources including instructional webpages (esp. for terms) + materials from class discussion and lecture.

   Interest & significance: Make your reader want to process your essays by making the information meaningful to our study of literature and culture.

Thematic unity / organization: Unify materials along a line of thought that a reader can follow from start to finish. (Paragraph Organization & Transitions / Continuity)

Dr. White's Instructional Materials