Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, American Literature Final Paper, English homework help

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Assignment Instructions:

After reading Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman (pp. 1208-1279), write a 3-4 page paper in

which you react or respond to the play. In other words, don’t just summarize the text; offer some kind

of perspective or opinion about it. This perspective or opinion can take on a variety of forms, as

exemplified by the following three prompts (you may choose one of the following three prompts, if you

like, or you may develop your own central, controlling idea):

1. In what ways is this story timeless, and in what ways does it relate specifically to the time in which it

was written? For this prompt, be certain to research the historical, social, and cultural time period in

which the play was written, and in addition, consider how the play relates to the human experience

more generally. See Chapter 31 (pages 1565-1567) of Literature by DiYanni for more information.

2. Examine three of the play’s main characters. How are they different, how are they alike, and how does

each relate to the play’s overarching themes? For more information, see Chapter 24 (pp. 922-925) of

Literature by DiYanni.

3. What is typically “American” about Miller’s play? What cultural attitudes and values displayed by the

characters make it “feel” American? How does the theme relate to the American experience of the

American Dream? See Chapter 31 (pages 1565-1567) of Literature by DiYanni for more information.

4. What is the overarching theme of the play, and how does Miller express that theme using the elements

of drama (characterization, setting, staging, imagery, etc.)? For more information, see Chapter 24 of

Literature by DiYanni.

For more information on reading and writing about drama, see Chapters 21-25 of Literature by DiYanni.

Grading:

Write a structured, organized essay with a clear thesis statement; paragraphs with unity,

development, and coherence; an engaging introduction; and an effective conclusion that reiterates

your main points. In other words, write a strong, detailed essay about the play. Revise and edit your


paper thoroughly before turning it in.

Remember, also, to use quotes and otherwise reference the play, and be sure to cite any outside

sources that you reference with both in-text citations and reference page citations. Failure to cite

properly is considered plagiarism, a serious academic offense with severe penalties (as discussed in the

Hondros Catalog). Be sure to follow standard APA formatting, and remember the 3-4 page length


requirement.

The rubric below details

Reaction Paper Rubric Possible

Points

Points

Earned

Essay indicates a controlling idea: A clear thesis statement

indicates the essay’s argument, which answers the question about

the analyzed poem.

7

Essay develops a controlling idea: This thesis statement is

developed throughout the paper, without digressions, into a

thoughtful, careful, precise analysis. This includes specific, cited

quotations and paraphrases from the poem and any relevant outside

sources, as well as a discussion of critical theory, literary elements,

and/or biographical and historical information.

20

Essay develops a strong and logical structure: The essay as a

whole has a unified, coherent, and developed point of view, with a

thesis statement, introduction that contextualizes the discussion,

properly ordered body paragraphs, and a conclusion that ties

together the main points of the essay. Transitions connect sentences

and paragraphs throughout the essay.

8

Essay paragraphs are unified, coherent, and developed:

Paragraphs make one single, coherent point that fits within the

structure of the essay. Topic sentences and concluding sentences

are used appropriately.

7

Essay is edited and revised properly: The essay is written with

clear, interesting, sound sentences; appropriate tone; a lack of

grammatical, mechanical, typographical, and punctuation errors.

8

Essay meets APA formatting guidelines: The essay has an APAstyle

title page, uses Times New Roman 12 font, has appropriate

margins, offers a correctly formatted References Page and in-text

citations, and otherwise acceptably meets APA standards.

5

Essay meets length guidelines: The essay should be about 3-4

pages in length

5

TOTAL: 60

the breakdown of points for this assignment.

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