English 101—Essay #1 Identity Rough Draft Due: Wednesday September 17th

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English 101—Essay #1


Rough Draft Due: Wednesday September 17th (Please type and print out a rough draft of your essay for Peer Review. If you do not have a draft on this day, you will lose 10 points towards your essay’s final grade.

Final Draft Due: Wednesday September 24th (Please submit your final draft online through www.turnitin.com). You have to create an account.

COURSE ID: 8498670 Password: writing (all lower case)

Choose one of the following prompts for your essay:

  1. What external influences have shaped who you are today? Is your experience comparable to Sherman Alexie or Jimmy Santiago Baca? If so use one of their essays (or both) to convince readers of the circumstances that shaped your identity.

  1. In Fredrick Douglas’ essay “Learning to Read” he tells us of his journey to literacy. Through this journey, however, he discovers a painful truth about his circumstance as a slave. Using his essay to support your point of view, do you think knowledge and awareness causes pain and suffering for Douglas or do you believe that this knowledge helps him transcend to a greater understanding of his identity?

  1. Gloria Anzaldua’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” discusses her experiences growing up straddling many cultures: Mexican, Mexican-American and Anglo. As a woman of many identities, and despite some of her struggles, however, she discovers her cultural identity as a Chicana.

In a well-organized essay, explain how Anzaldua’s story helps readers define what it means to be Chicana in America. In other words, explain her points to someone who does not know anything about being Chicana.


  • Your essay should have an introduction with the thesis statement (your topic and opinion) as the last sentence of your intro, several body paragraphs and a conclusion, using MLA format.

  • Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and support from texts, observations, and/or personal experience.

  • You should include a works cited page as your last page.

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