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ENGL 102 Estrella - The New Jim Crow: Home

ENGL 102: The "Difficulty Paper"

Description: Your “Difficulty Essay” will present a personal account of the challenges and processes you

faced while thinking through a particular concept, problem, and/or idea in Michelle Alexander’s The New

Jim Crow. You will practice asking not only “What am I learning?” but “How am I learning?” in order to

confront yourself with the effectiveness (and ineffectiveness) of your approaches. The essay’s

introduction should set-up the context for a specific question that you pose for further investigation and/or

clarification. Then Part I of your analysis will describe the challenges, points of clarification, and/or

conceptual obstacles in detail. Part II of your analysis will describe the steps you took to overcome those

difficulties and challenges—including doing some additional research and offering multiple perspectives

on the concept, problem, and/or idea to clear up your conceptual confusions. The conclusion of your

analysis will describe the results, positive and negative, of these efforts. Note that your page-one

introduction and thesis will present a brief comprehensive overview of all parts of this analysis before

plunging the reader into an in-depth discussion of each one sequentially in the body of the essay.

Ultimately, this assignment focuses on raising awareness of the processes one goes through as readers,

writers, and researchers (metacognitive awareness).

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Your friendly librarian:

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Amy Herman
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