LbSt 101: Explorations
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Maus Essay

Due: 5:00pm, Wednesday, October 14. Value: 200 points.

Select one of the following prompts, and write an essay response of two to three pages (double-spaced).

  1. How does the graphic novel, as a form of story-telling, affect our understanding of the topic? Be sure to discuss how the pictures accompanying the words affect our perception of three different events or characters. You might discuss, but are not limited to, characters' relationships, characters' sense of identity, events leading up to the holocaust, age, social status, the use of black and white (as opposed to color), or anything else that strikes you as important. Make sure that you use one concrete, critically-chosen example to support each event or character you discuss (for a total of three examples).

  2. In a post-racial society such as ours where one's race or ethnicity should no longer be viewed as culturally threatening, why should students read and discuss Maus? Support your answer with three concrete, critically-chosen examples of scenes or topics that support the reading of Maus.

Your paper should contain the following:

Grading rubric

40 pts Focus: Paper deals with one topic or idea, and thesis is clear and controls subsequent paragraphs.
40 pts Organization: Ideas follow in a clear, logical order. Paragraphs are coherent, and the paper makes good use of transitions
40 pts Development: Statements are supported through the correct number of examples, vivid details, and/or facts. Examples/evidence provided is strong.
30 pts Engagement: The opening paragraph captures the reader's interest and indicates the author's purpose in writing; body is consistently reaching out to the reader; and the conclusion sufficiently wraps up information, leaving the reader with something to think about.
50 pts Mechanics: The paper avoids errors such as sentence fragments, run-on sentences, subject-verb disagreement, inconsistent verb tense, comma problems, apostrophe misuse, bad punctuation for quotations, and spelling errors.
200 pts Total point value of assignment