Final Paper: Research Paper
Use contextual analysis and research skills to develop an original interpretation of Homegoing. You have three broad goals in this paper: (1) to develop an argument about a specific topic; (2) to support this argument with textual evidence; (3) to respond to other scholars’ arguments about your topic.
Analyze the novel Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and Joys of Motherhood Buchi Emecheta. See if you can make an argument about how Christianity emerges across these texts and how folks resist its influence. Be sure to use quotes.
● When Africans were colonized they were coerced into adapting to the new systems and beliefs in order to hold a social status within the new Christian dominated society. Within the texts of Joys of Motherhood and Homegoing, Christianity is embraced, adopted, and used as a mode of control. Each text portrays this differently. In some texts, Christianity is more easily embraced while there is a stronger resistance in others. Nonetheless, each novel discusses the effect of Christian society on Africans. How do these authors use their novels to portray Christianity as a controlling device used to oppress Africans? How do Africans adopt and adapt to these ideals or how do they resist them?
● In Homegoing Akua perceives religion as a symbol of colonialism. The missionary who comes to convert the Ghanaian People is also there to force upon British imperialism. It is apparent that the British colonizers are more centered on converting the Africans for economic power rather than purely advocating for spiritual cultivation. I will also focus on arguing that as well as finding many other passages in Homegoing where Christianity is used to control the African people.
● Also, I will incorporate Nnu Ego’s transition to Lagos and her and other African character’s adoption of Christian practices as a means of social advancement in the modern colonial system. As Christian marriages advanced the status of Men, women did not receive the same advancement. Nnu Ego was used to a more supportive economic system back home where polygamy was practiced. Back home women could seek and work to provide to the household with the assistance of other wives who mutually supported the home, husband, and children. Now because of marriage and converting to Christianity Nnu Ego has to be more dependent on her husband which ultimately is not enough and leads to her downfall.
Research information that supports the thesis and the supporting evidence from the book.
● You may use the SAN JOSE STATE LIBRARY, JSTOR, and/or PROJECT MUSE to find supporting evidence to support your claims of the novel
The Thesis must be a traditional thesis. One argument with three supporting points.
● Develop the thesis however you think is best. Just be sure it coincides with the topic of Christianity in the novels Homegoing and The Joys of Motherhood, you use supporting evidence from the novels, and you can find supporting research evidence.
● *you don’t have to answer all of the questions I provided (they were more to help you get an idea of what to write about). Form your own thesis just be sure you incorporate all the basic components of a research essay.
In your introduction, introduce the topic and texts your paper will focus on, and concisely explain why this topic matters: why is it central to the text you’re analyzing? Next, briefly summarize what other scholars have argued about your topic. You don’t need to use specific quotations here; just give readers a general sense of the controversy that surrounds your topic. (Ex. “Critiques of slavery narratives, including those of X and Y argue that reproducing the violence of slavery carries with it its own harm and violence”) This summary of a scholarly controversy should set the stage for your own argument. (“However, in Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi is able to represent the unfreedoms of slavery in the US without falling into the aforementioned pitfalls by focusing on Y rather than Z as was the case in B.) Conclude your introduction with a thesis statement that identifies your main argument and previews the evidence you will use to support it.
Each of your body paragraphs should provide support for your argument. Be sure to include a detailed analysis of the specifics of the author’s language, using close reading techniques to demonstrate what they do, and further, how each passage or phrase you analyze supports your argument. The body of your paper should include an in-depth analysis of literary passages. As you present your analysis, cite the arguments that other scholars have made about your topic, and indicate which parts of their arguments you agree and disagree with. Be selective and precise when incorporating other critics’ positions; the majority of each paragraph should consist of your own analysis.
Your essay should incorporate at least three scholarly sources: book chapters or articles from peer-reviewed academic publications. (These will be the background on the literary debates into which you are entering – you may also need some contextual, historical, or biographical texts to supplement your research depending on your topic).
You may use the SAN JOSE STATE LIBRARY, JSTOR, and/or PROJECT MUSE
Develop an argument, include original analysis of specific passages from your literary text, and incorporate at least three scholarly sources. If your paper meets these basic requirements, I will assess your grade based on the following factors in order of importance:
● Argument: Does your paper make an interesting and debatable claim about the text or texts you’re analyzing? Does the analysis in your body paragraphs support your thesis? When responding to other critics, do you clearly indicate how their arguments relate to yours?
● Organization: Are your paragraphs divided by topic? Do you use topic sentences to signal how each paragraph relates to your central argument? Does the argument of the paper develop logically, and have an effective introduction and conclusion?
● Integrating research: Do you frame each quotation/paraphrase with an explanation of its significance? Have you attributed ideas to their sources using in-text citations?
● Presentation: Is your paper free of grammatical errors and edited for style? For more information on Christianity in Africa visit this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Africa
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