The essay (1,000-1,200 words) should share insights into the episode of Finding
Your Roots and connect the show with at least TWO of our course readings. Your essay should omit personal
reflection and instead offer a compelling argument that connects the episode and the articles you are drawing from.
The essay must support assertions with relevant examples from the show and our readings (ideally in the form of
direct quotations). Simply summarizing the works or relying on personal reaction will result in a lowered score or a
zero. In other words, this assignment requires you to demonstrate not only your understanding of the show but also
extend your understanding by providing textual support and extensive analysis. Essays that fall short of the
minimum word count and/or fail to incorporate at least two of our course readings will suffer a significant grade
As you watch the episode of Finding Your Roots, take note of what stands out to you. What is interesting? Moving?
Troubling? What messages are being communicated to the audience and how? What connections can you make to
our course content? Once you have given this some thought, work on generating an original argument that makes
novel connections. I encourage you to take a stance and force yourself to move from observation to argument. Your
essay should not offer plot summary but should instead present an argument or debatable assertion that is situated
in the introduction and supported throughout the essay.
The essay should include parenthetical citations, proper formatting, and a Works Cited page. Criteria for grading
include completeness, thoughtfulness and development and support of a particular argument. The essay should
present a clear, coherent, and specific thesis that is consistently and thoroughly developed. Your work will be graded
on the quality of your ideas as well as your writing. The essay should be submitted to the proper folders in our D2L
Dropbox by the respective deadlines. Essays must be submitted in .doc or .docx format. Essays submitted in
alternate formats will be considered late (and lose one letter grade per 24-hour period) until resubmitted in the
This is the book that you need to read: Prou, Marc L. Introduction to Africana Studies: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the African Experience. Boston, MA: Cognella
Academic Publishing, 2015. Print. (ISBN: 978-1-62131-550-6).
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