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Assignment: Slave Narrative <
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by | Feb 28, 2022 | English | 0 comments

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Assignment: Slave Narrative
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Requirements:
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For this assignment you will write your own slave narrative in which you will become one of the characters in your narrative (e.g. slave, slave master, slave mistress, slave trader, slave soldier, etc.).
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Research:
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The major grading component of this assignment is research. Aside from being an imaginative account of slavery, your narrative will need to demonstrate how well you have researched this issue in order to accurately convey your story. You should see this as an opportunity to speak on behalf of the millions of slaves whose stories were never told. The research components that will substantiate your story are listed below:
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Dates: your story must take place in either the 17th, 18th, 19th century
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Plantation: your story will take place on an authentic plantation
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Places: your story will take place in one or more authentic slave states
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Historical Events: the use of historical events will validate your story’s authenticity (e.g. Stono Rebellion, Nat Turner’s Revolt, Harper’s Ferry, Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation, etc.) See eCourseware for more examples.
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Authentic names: slaves who come over from Africa will need authentic tribal names. Authentic African names can be found at this website: http://www.behindthename.com/ (Links to an external site.)
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**Authentic language:
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Many of you will want to use broken English to give your story authenticity. However, it should be noted that the slaves whose stories were published were either educated or they utilized the service of a ghostwriter. As our anthology notes in its introduction, “African American slaves, remarkably, sought to write themselves out of slavery by mastering the Anglo-American belletristic tradition” (xxxvi). In keeping with that tradition, your slave narrative will need to demonstrate a mastery of English. It will display your slave’s ability to write using the best English.
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The only occasion for using broken English in your slave narrative is when your slave is recounting a conversation with another slave –an illiterate slave.
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Point of View:
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Alternative approaches to writing your narrative include writing in the voice of a slave owner, a slave mistress, an abolitionist or a Christian missionary. Other approaches may be approved upon request, as well.
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Citation Requirements:
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Research for your paper will be cited on a final Reference page in place of a Works Cited page. No in-text citations are required or allowed in your narrative.
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Factual information will be noted at the bottom of your paper in the form of a footnote. They must be used throughout your paper as per the example. The best papers usually have around ten or more footnotes. You are required to have no less than six footnotes.
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*Do not use footnotes to explain common information (e.g. mulatto, buck, slave cabin, mammy, hanging, lynching or any other self-explanatory terms.)
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NOTE: The Footnote function in your computer program is a separate function from the Header/Footer function. (See Sample Paper)
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Required Components:
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In keeping consistent with the conventions of writing during slavery, your narrative must begin with an apology[1]. It should acknowledge why you chose to write your story and it must give credit to your ghostwriter if you have chosen not to write or publish it on your own. For clarity of these conventions, you can reference the following texts from your anthology:
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“The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano …”
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“Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself”
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“Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”
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Narrative Content:
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Yes, this is a fictitious narrative but your challenge is to write it in such a way that it seems believable. To achieve this you must give your narrative some authenticity. As such, you will need to include * authentic names, ** authentic language, authentic dates, authentic places, events, etc. For instance, if you use the name Abraham Lincoln in your narrative, then I will know that your story takes place around the time of the Civil War.
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Footnotes:
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No in-text or parenthetical citations are required or allowed in your narrative. In place of using in-text citations, your narrative will use footnotes and a Reference page. Footnotes serve the purpose of authenticating your narrative with factual research; footnotes are not meant to provide additional plot material. Footnotes are not a replacement for the citations on your Reference page. Your narrative should employ six or more good footnotes.
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Appropriate footnotes:
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Examples of appropriate footnotes can be found in the following places in our anthology:
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Excellent footnoting:
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
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p. 117 (vol. 1), footnote 9
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p. 124 (vol. 1), footnote 7
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Twelve Years a Slave
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p. 190 (vol. 1), footnote 1
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p. 193 (vol. 1), footnote 5
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Sufficient footnoting:
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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
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p. 229 (vol. 1), footnote 5
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p. 229 (vol. 1), footnote 6
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The first four footnotes above indicate the level of research that supports Equiano and Northup’s narratives. The latter two footnotes only bring clarity to Jacob’s use of vocabulary. They are not as impressive as the former four footnotes.
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You should also note that the Footnote function in your computer program is a separate function from the Header/Footer function. Do not use the Header/Footer function. (See Sample Paper)
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Sources:
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In order to successfully write this narrative you will need to use five or more sources—one of which must be books. Your Norton Anthology textbook will be accepted as a book source. Online books are acceptable, as well. Personal interviews, history museums, maps, charts, film or video and lectures are excellent resources as well.
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Value:
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This paper is worth 15% of your final grade.
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Grading Criteria: (See the Grading Rubric in eCourseware for more details)
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5% of this narrative will be graded on formatting: Cover page, presentation, and illustration (illustration is optional but preferred).
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5% of this narrative will be graded on how authentic your title is.
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45% of this narrative will be graded on its plot—your actual story. This includes the apology, the drama, the imagery and how well you include details into your story.
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25% of this narrative will be graded on authenticity. This includes dates, places, plantation name(s), authentic language, historical events, and historical accuracy. Narratives that lack authenticity are easily distinguishable from narratives that are well researched. Narratives that lack authentic dates, authentic names, authentic places, and/or historical events will receive a low grade. Avoid letting your narrative become an Internet paper.
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20% of this narrative will be graded on research.
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This includes 10% for your footnotes and 10% for your reference page.
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Deductions:
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Proofreading—up to (-10 points)
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Late Submission—up to (-10 points)
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Required Length:
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One (1) cover page
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Full four to four and a half (4—4 ½ ) page story
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A Reference page (6 pages total)
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YOU DO NOT HAVE TO INCLUDE COVER PAGE
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