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Reading Response Essay Assignment Important info:

Write: no fewer than 750 words (that is about 3 double-spaced pages)

Cite: all Howard Zinn quotes must be properly cited in text with their accompanying CHAPTER number (THERE ARE NO PAGE NUMBERS WITHIN THE ONLINE TEXT). 

In Nikole Hannah-Jones’s introductory essay to the 1619 Project, she writes about her complicated relationship to concept of “being American” and the pain she felt as a child watching her father take such good care of this American flag. Using information and direct quotes from Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, write your response to the following question: Why might it be, for many people, a painful and complicated thing to call themselves American?Notes for the successful completion of this essay:

1. Begin your essay with a clear and concise response to the above question. -There’s no single answer to this question, which means that whatever you write will necessarily be an argument. The first few sentences of your response must make it clear to the reader (me) exactly what point you plan to argue. 

2. Support your argument with knowledge you’ve gained from reading chapters 1-5 of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER RESOURCES. 

3. You MAY make aspects of this response personal, but please balance that with the fact that a major component of this assignment is to prove you’ve done the assigned reading. The name of the game with testing is always: PROVE YOUR KNOWLEDGE.

4. Please focus on what genuinely interests you from these first four chapters of our textbook and explain those topics clearly and well. You can’t (and please don’t try) cover every point Zinn makes in chapters 1-5, so narrow the scope of your writing down to what you feel is most crucial in order to support your argument. 

5. Do not try to meet the word count by mainly dropping massive quotes into this text. Passing grades will be given to the responses that genuinely engage with the question, our text, and the writer’s own intellect, insight, and experience. This question is important, so please find a way to respond to it from a place of sincere belief and urgency.

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