LITR 4340 American Immigrant Literature
Final Exam 2018

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

official date:
, 1 May 2018

email exams deadline: Thursday, 3 May 2018 noon

(This webpage is the assignment for our course's final exam, to be updated until last class meeting, 24 April, when paper copies will be distributed.)

Email submission window: 25 April-3 May noon. If your exam will be late (within reasonable limits), no automatic discredit if you communicate.

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

Official Exam Date: Monday, 1 May 2018, 1-3:50pm; No regular class meeting. Classroom available for student use. Instructor keeps office hours, Bayou 2529-7, 281 283 3380.


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 and one Final Research Report from 2016 or 2013 final exams.(5+ paragraphs)

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



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


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


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


Possible prompts: (You can't cover all of these, but you should 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?


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


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


How were the dominant culture's values formed by distinct waves or groups of British immigrants? What are the dominant culture's attitudes toward assimilation, and how did the dominant / settler culture create minorities? (African Americans, American Indians, ± Mexican Americans)?


How does the dominant / settler culture relate to later immigrants, including New World Immigrants and "Model Minority" immigrants? What advantages or challenges does the dominant / settler culture offer?  


What balances do educators make between teaching assimilation to the dominant culture or teaching multiculturalism


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?


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?


To include readings from our final class on South Asian Model Minorities, consider how Model Minorities meet and match with the dominant culture, or integrate with earlier discussions of Model Minorities.


Required: references to Primary Course Objectives 1 & 2 and Detailed 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 one or two poems from poetry presentations for your text selections.

Poems (since second midterm): Hamod (Sam), “After the Funeral of Assam Hamady”; Enid Dame, “On the Road to Damascus, Maryland"; Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, “Restroom"; for other poems scan syllabus or see listings at Midterm1 & Midterm2.


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 immigrant, minority or human status? How does the literary device make the text live or matter more for the reader?



Part 2.  Web Highlights: Write an essay reviewing a total of three Model Assignments from previous semesters, including at least one Final Exam Essay and one Final Research Report from 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 2016 final exam essay samples or 2013 essay samples


  Review at least one Final Research Report from 2016 final research reports or 2013 final research reports


  Your third item may be another final exam essay, another final research report, or any other Model Assignment.


“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.


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.





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

Models of 2016 final research reports and 2013 final research reports


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 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.


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 terms and 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.