American Literature


Your entry should be 4 paragraphs in length.

FORMAT: Think of your entry as a mini-essay. Assume that you are writing for a general audience of

fellow college students. The reader may not have viewed the documentary you are discussing. You will

need to provide enough background information for your analysis to make sense to someone who has

not seen the film.

American Literature

In your first paragraph, you will introduce the documentary series you will discuss. State

specifically what you see as an important purpose or intent of “The Downward Spiral.” For example the

purpose of the film is to show how different colonies used the law to gradually make slavery a racialized

system. OR the purpose of “The Downward Spiral” is to shows the different ways that enslaved people

sought to resist the system, etc. Conclude the introduction with a specifically stated thesis statement.

Everything you include in the entry should clearly support your thesis.

Using the SIEL method of paragraph development, discuss supporting examples in paragraphs 2 and

3. For each example, clearly establish WHERE the historical event occurred. For example, “half-

freedom” was specific to the colony of New Amsterdam. The Stono Rebellion took place in the colony of

South Carolina. You must discuss history specifically to be accurate.

Outline before you write your final draft. Use the two major supporting points from the outline as

topic sentences for paragraphs 2 and 3. The topic sentence will support your thesis and introduce

the supporting example you will discuss in that paragraph. In paragraphs 2 and 3, describe and discuss

two examples of historical events or facts presented in the documentary that support your thesis. There

was a great deal of information presented. Choose carefully. Establish in your discussion HOW these two

examples support your thesis.

Paragraph 4 should be your conclusion.

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