Essay: looking backward
Would you want to live in Edward Bellamy’s utopia?
Based on your reading of Looking Backward, what was Bellamy’s critique of the world of Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller? Why do you think that Bellamy’s vision of the future was so popular in the late 19th-century United States of America?
How to write your class essays
You are responsible for five responses to the five primary source books. Each of these should be around 750 words long, double spaced. They should consist of three parts.
1. Exposition. Your first paragraph should describe the book, and briefly explain what you have decided about one or more of questions that I have posed.
2. Development. The middle of your essay should explain your answer. It should offer details about the main arguments and content of the book to support your claims. It should also offer background from Give Me Liberty!
3. Conclusion. Your last paragraph should recapitulate your argument, and add some final point that you think bolsters your perspective.
Don’t be reluctant to use phases like “in this essay I argue . . . ” or “I think that . . . ” or “in conclusion, I believe that . . . ”
Quote from the book when you find some passage that illustrates your points. Use your Give Me Liberty! textbook to provide background, or to add additional quotes. But don’t over-quote from either of the books. Use your own words. And don’t just copy passages from the books or other sources verbatim as if they were your own, that’s plagiarism.
As for your reference style, just use a paragraph format (Bellamy, 125) or (Foner, 353).
Your teaching assistants will grade your papers from 100 to zero.
High grades (90+) will go to focused papers that emphasize a strong argument backed by clear references. These papers also pay attention to correct spelling and grammar.
Medium grades (80-99) will go to competent papers that touch on the questions, but with less focus, organization, or reference backing.