Discuss a major theme in American Literature and where it is shown in the writings of the last half of your semester.


This is your final paper for the semester. It should show your understanding of American Literature to 1865. I should see examples from the text and evidence of research and reading.

The Assignment

Module Five presents a series of possible topics for the second paper of substantial length for you to complete. Module six emphasizes the essays, poetry, and short stories of Walt Whitman, Dickinson and Melville.

The thesis of the second paper will be developed based on one of the topics listed below or suggested topics in the discussion forums for modules five and six.

You may also choose a writing topic from the following list:

  • Summarize Poe’s theory of aesthetics as he expresses it in “The Philosophy of Composition” and discuss his application of that philosophy in “The Raven.”
  • Write an analysis of Poe’s narrative technique in his short stories.
  • Discuss a major theme in American Literature and where it is shown in the writings of the last half of your semester.
  • Discuss Whitman’s poetry as a climatic point in the development of the American identity. How does Whitman contribute to the ongoing process of self-reliance? of the freedom of man? of democratic concepts?


Refer to the Lecture Notes and Study Guide, Module Six.  Also see External Links for useful links throughout the course and for additional thoughts on the stories as well as the writing process.

Consult relevant essays in CLIVE. Also, see the evaluation guide for the essay in Module Six “Writing Assignments.”

Acceptable Length

3-5 pages

Formatting Requirements

  • Use ML format.
  • Put your name, course and section number, and assignment title at the top of the document.
  • Use one-inch margins.
  • Use a 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Use double line spacing in the document.

To earn a top score, your paper should:

Follow the guidelines established within the evaluation guide in Module Five, “Writing Assignments.”

To Submit

Using Microsoft Word , save the document with a filename that includes the assignment title, your first initial, and last name.

100% ORIGINAL WORK, ALL INFORMATION USED FROM INTERNET **MUST** BE CITED IN ML FORMAT. (University uses ‘Safe Assign’ to check for plagiarism)

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