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Prof. Packer - Eng. 102 SPRING 2023: Home / Your Assignment

Your Assignment

Welcome! This research guide was created for students in Prof. Packer's English 102 Writing and Literature class and is a customized resource for this assignment.

You are to write a paper that connects an author's work to their life and times through historical and biographical sources and shows how their work is reflected and influenced by their life and times.

Discuss this by incorporating two of the following elements: 

  • theme
  • setting
  • storytelling technique
  • language
  • character development or conflict
  • dialogue
  • imagery
  • symbolism
  • motif
  • metaphor
  • simile
  • the problems their characters face
  • the author's obsessions, concerns, activism 

Your essay should include parenthetical (in-text) citations and a Works Cited page using MLA 9 style formatting.

If you have any questions about research and citations, please get in touch with me at 

Writers to Research

  • Toni Morrison
  • James Baldwin
  • Junot Diaz
  • Amy Tan
  • Lorraine Hansberry
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Langston Hughes
  • Marge Piercy
  • Tracy K. Smith
  • Martin Espada
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Shonda Rhimes
  • Sandra Cisneros
  • Jamaica Kincaid
  • Kurt Vonnegut. Jr.
  • T. Coraghessan Boyle
  • Mariana Enriquez
  • Bob Kaufman

Themes to Write About

  • ethnic background
  • race and racism
  • the outsider
  • the immigrant experience
  • the role of:
    • gender
    • nature
    • society
  • the family
  • sibling relationships / sibling rivalry
  • the American dream
  • self-expression
  • gender roles and stereotypes
  • music
  • food
  • the Bible
  • use of language
    • simile and metaphor
    • symbolism
    • figurative language
    • narrative voice

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