Mandatory Writing Assignment:
FAMU 2011 Freshman Summer Reading Program
All incoming freshman students are required to read Wench and complete a writing assignment during the summer preceding the Fall 2011 term.
Participation in this activity will help to facilitate the students’ transition from high school to college by giving them an early introduction to the academic expectations of the University, and by allowing them to interact with FAMU faculty and staff before classes begin. In addition, this activity will also serve to enhance the students’ critical thinking and communication skills.
- Students will subsequently participate in small book discussion groups during Welcome Week in August.
- The book author, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, will visit the campus during the Fall 2011 term to facilitate the campus-wide forum.
- Students will also be given assignments in various courses throughout the academic year based on the assigned reading.
Select one of the three prompts below and use it to write a well-organized and well-reasoned 500–700-word essay.
Essay Prompt #1: Describe your modern interpretation of what slavery was and how it impacted African Americans. Also, critically discuss how Perkins-Valdez’s novel, a fictional interpretation of slavery, may have provided additional insight for you about this historic era in American history. (Narrative)Essay Evaluation Criteria:
Essay Prompt #2: Based on your reading, do all of the slave women—Lizzie, Mawu, Sweet, Reenie—desire and/or value freedom the same way? Describe the similarities and differences between these women and their ideas about freedom. (Comparison/Contrast)
Essay Prompt #3: Power is a central idea in this novel. Based on your reading, do the slaves, specifically the slave women, possess any power? If so, describe this power and how they may be empowered to bring about change for themselves as well as other slaves. Are any of the slave men empowered? If so, how? (Argument)
You essay will be evaluated and scored using the following criteria:
Guidelines for Submission
- Clarity and focus: Are the ideas presented logically and coherently? Does the thesis statement clearly address the writing prompt?
- Organization: Does the essay contain an introduction, body, and conclusion?
- Style and mechanics: Is the essay written using good grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
- Analysis: Is sufficient evidence and information presented to support the main conclusion(s) of the essay?
Please adhere to the following guidelines for submitting your essay:
- Submit the essay in MS Word or pdf format ONLY.
- Include a cover page with the following information:
- Title: “FAMU 2011 Freshman Summer Reading Essay.”
- Your name, submission date, FAMU ID#, phone number, and email address.
- The essay prompt that you selected.
- The essay should be double-spaced.
- Use 12-point Times or Arial font.
- The essay length should be 500-700 words.
- Margins: 1-inch top and bottom, 1.25-inch left and right.
Email the essay (MS Word or pdf format only) and cover page to: QEP@famu.edu by 11:59 p.m. on August 20, 2011.