I’m trying to learn for my English class and I’m stuck. Can you help?
Essay #4 The American Dream in Memoir
Topic Question: How do the lives of Vargas, Iguadala, Senghor, Chung, Westover and Grande
as told in their memoirs relate to the ideas of the American Dream?
Here are some questions to think about to help form an answer/thesis to this topic question:
• What elements of the American Dream does this person pursue and/or achieve?
• In what ways are these dreams embodied in particular incidents and achievements?
• Is this person pursuing this dream consciously?
• Does this person pursue this dream throughout his/her life or just in parts of it?
• What other dreams does this person have that are not related to the American Dream?
• What other people, institutions, organizations help this person?
• What people, institutions or organizations create obstacles for this person?
• Did the person achieve the American Dream? In what way? Achieve parts of it?
• Did achieving the American Dream lead this person to being happy? Why or why not?
• Does this person’s achievement of the American Dream prove that it is possible for
• Includes a brief, relevant summary of the person’s life story in the introduction.
• Answers the topic question in a clear thesis statement.
• All of the topic paragraphs contribute to supporting the thesis.
• Demonstrates understanding of relevant events and people from the memoir and the
American Dream ideas from the readings.
• Uses standard essay structure.
• Appropriately divides the essay into effective TEA topic paragraphs.
• unified around one sub-topic, example, reason, or part through the use of a strong topic
sentence and clear transitions.
• includes examples, evidence, quotes, paraphrases from the memoir and readings
• contains analysis
• Has an effective introduction and conclusion.
• Includes relevant examples and evidence from the memoir to support the thesis.
• Includes effective analysis that links the examples and evidence to the thesis and explains
the importance of the supporting material to the main point and other points in the essay.
• Uses specifics throughout—names, numbers, sensory descriptions, actions.
• Uses appropriate, relevant quotes and paraphrases from the memoir and the American
• Sentences are correctly constructed in standard English.
• A variety of sentence structures are used.
• Wording is clear, concise and specific.
• Few errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation.
• Correct MLA format.
• Correct use of MLA citations for quotes and paraphrases.
• 1000-1200 words.
Memoir - Educated by Tara Westover
Movies (choose one) - Glass Castle / On the Basis of Sex / Marshall