1301 Frederick Douglass Essay Prompts
Potential essay topics. Choose one:
• Slave narratives provocatively asserted- in defiance of white racism- that black men, women, and children were human and that slavery inhumanely repressed their basic human rights. How does Douglass convey his humanity, and that of his fellow slaves, to his reading audience?
• Conventional novels and autobiographies in the 19th century tracked the moral progress or coming-of-age experiences of the major character from youth to maturity. How does Douglass use and/or undermine this model?
• What role does religion play in the lives of slaves and slaveholders? To what purpose is Scripture used to both discipline and offer emancipatory hope to the enslaved?
10 or 12 point font
Standard written English
One inch margins
Chicago Style footnotes
Your paper must have a main idea/thesis/argument. It cannot be a summary of the reading.
Your paper must be carefully edited. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling count. No paper will receive and A if it has more than 5 basic writing errors.
This is not a research paper; you do not need to consult anything in print or online except A Narrative by Frederick Douglass. A paper that is a summary or patchwork of paraphrased secondary sources found online but that demonstrates no reading or thinking about Douglass will not receive a passing grade.
Meet the format requirements
Have a strong main idea
Write clearly and edit your work
“A” papers do these three tasks strongly, “B” papers may be weak in one area, “C” papers may be weak in two areas, “D” papers may be week in all three areas.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the theft of words or ideas from another writer and dishonestly passing them off as your own. Any plagiarism, even a few sentences or a single paragraph, will result in an F on the paper. Do not be tempted to submit work you did not create