LITR 4340 American Immigrant Literature
Midterm2 assignment

Revise & extend Essay 1, adding New World immigrants
2. Web highlights 3. Start Research Report

Official date: Monday, 8 April 2019 
Email deadline:
midnight Tuesday 9 April

(This webpage is the assignment for our course's second midterm, to be updated and refined up to 1 April, when paper copies will be distributed.)

Format: Email. Open-book, open-notebook. No class meeting on 8 April but classroom available for students; instructor keeps office hours 4-10.


Email exams due to by midnight Tuesday, 9 April. "Submission window" is 2-9 April.

If your exam will be late, no automatic discredit if you preview.

Confer with instructor any time regarding either part of your midterm: Office: Bayou 2529-7; Phone: 281 283 3380; Email:


Email your Midterm2 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:


Email problems? A problem or two with email (or computers generally) is normal in a class this size. Don't panic—communicate & we'll work things out.

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

Return of grades: Approximately 1-2 weeks after submission.

Three parts to Midterm2:
Part 1. Revise & extend midterm1 Part 1 Essay
on immigrants and minorities to include "New World Immigrants" as both immigrant and minority (Add 5+ paragraphs to Midterm1 Essay for at least 12 paragraphs total.)

Part 2. Web Highlights reviewing at least three Model Assignments from previous semesters (incl. at least one previous midterm2 essay) (5+ paragraphs)


Part 3.  Start Research Report: At least 5 substantial paragraphs with 2+ outside sources (& possible class-text sources) toward your Research Report (to be completed on Final Exam)

Special requirement: Essays, Web Highlights, and Research Reports must have titles.

Sections’ contents may overlap or repeat materials, but be efficient; cross-reference to economize.

Advice: Work on #2 Web Highlights first in order to acquaint yourself with standards and materials.



Part 1. Revise & extend midterm1 Part 1 Essay to include "New World Immigrants" as both immigrant and minority. (Add 5+ paragraphs to Midterm1 Essay for at least 12 paragraphs total.)


Revise your Essay draft from Midterm1 according to instructor feedback.  Develop the immigrant and minority definitions in dialogue with each other and preview extension to New World Immigrants.


Add paragraphs to include New World Immigrant Literature read between Midterm1 & Midterm2.


Textual requirements for essay additions: Refer to 5+ texts from course readings spread across Mexican-American, Hispanic, and Afro-Caribbean readings poems presented in class.


New World Immigrants: Mexican-American, Hispanic, and Afro-Caribbean narratives combining immigrant and minority identities (select 2)

Fiction and nonfiction: Gary Soto, “Like Mexicans” [handout/PDF]; Nash Candelaria, "El Patron" (IA 221-228); Sandra Cisneros, "Barbie-Q" (IA 252-253); Reyna Grande, from The Distance Between Us (IV2 83-104); Junot Diaz, "How to Date a Browngirl . . . “ (IA 276-279); Oscar Hijuelos, “Visitors, 1965” (IA 310-325) Judith Ortiz Cofer, "Silent Dancing" [handout/PDF]; Edwidge Danticat, “Children of the Sea” (IA 98-112); Paule Marshall, “The Making of a Writer: From the Poets in the Kitchen” [handout/PDF]; Paule Marshall, “To Da-Duh, in Memoriam” (IA 368-377)

Poetry: Pat Mora, “Immigrants"; Martin Espada, “Coca-Cola and Coco Frio”; Claude McKay, "America" & "The White City"


Most of your new paragraphs should describe how Immigrant AND Minority identities appear in texts by "New World Immigrants" to the USA—Hispanic, Mexican American, or Afro-Caribbean immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.


Refer to relevant parts of Objective 1 & Objective 3, especially . . .

1. . . The New World immigrant (Hispanic/Latino and Afro-Caribbean) constitutes a large wave of contemporary immigration and combines immigrant and minority narratives: voluntary immigration from the Caribbean / West Indies or MesoAmerica but also often experience of exploitation by USA in countries or origin, or through identification with minorities (Indians and Blacks) via color code.

3e. “New World Immigrants,” including Mexican Americans, other Latinos, and Afro-Caribbeans, may create an identity somewhere between or combining immigrant and minority patterns. . . . (See LITR 4340 Course Objectives for complete objective)


This Essay will be continued & completed on Final Exam, adding USA's dominant culture.


Special requirements or advice for Midterm2 Essay:


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


Personal references: Not required, but you may refer to your own backgrounds, previous or outside knowledge, and personal interpretations of the materials. Relate all such materials to the assignment, texts, terms, or objectives.


Model Assignments: Midterm2 Essay 1 models 2018; Midterm2 Essay 1 models 2016  & Midterm2 Essay 1 models 2013 do not continue Essay 1 from Midterm1 through Midterm2 to Final Exam.)




Part 2.  Web Highlights: Review at least 3 student submissions from course website's Model Assignments relevant to Midterm2 (5+ paragraphs)


Model Assignments: Web Highlight models 2018 midterm2


Write Part 2 as an essay with introduction and conclusion, not just a list of 3 items. The Web Highlights essay may function best as an upgraded version of the "5-Paragraph Essay" students learn in high school and sometimes in freshman composition. That organization works best when you connect your three items to each other through continuity / transition.


Web Highlights essay must have a title.


  Review at least one midterm2 Essay 1 from 2018 Midterm2 essay models, 2016 Midterm2 essay models or 2013 Midterm2 essay models .


  Review at least one Research Report Start from 2018 Midterm2 Research Report Starts, 2016 Midterm2 Research Report Starts, or 2013 Midterm2 Research Report Starts.


   Review at least one Web Highlights essay from Web Highlight models 2018 midterm2 .


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.


“Review”: describe which submissions interested you, where, what about them and 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 extended or confirmed it in some way)?



Part 3.  Start Research Report: At least 5 substantial paragraphs with 2+ outside sources (& possible class-text sources) toward your Research Report (to be completed on Final Exam)


Models of Research Report Starts 2018, Research Report Starts 2016, & Research Report Starts 2013

Assignment: Introduce your topic and describe your research from at least two outside sources plus possible references to class-texts. Also possible: preview materials to be added or researched for Final Research Report on Final Exam (8-10 paragraphs).


Your research report is not a typical literary essay in which you analyze the language, form, or meaning of individual stories or poems. Instead, your topic must concern a factual figure, phenomenon, or movement in literary or cultural history about which you will learn and share what you learn.


Put another way, your report will find research about a literary or cultural topic and summarize what you learned about your subject of interest. 



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 for your final research report?

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


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 or identity? What question are you trying to answer?


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


Conclusion: Summarize learning so far, preview final research report.


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.

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. (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 Anzia Yezierska, 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.

Dr. White's Instructional Materials