The American Dream: Dead or Alive? and the long work we’re using for this course, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich. You must include at least (10) academic research sources cited in the research paper, following MLA guidelines including in-text citations within paragraphs and a separate Works Cited page. The American Dream: Dead or Alive?” Research Essay Topic, Instructions and Dated Assignments The Epic of America, published in 1933 by businessman and historian James Truslow Adams (1878 – 1949), attempted to address the historic development and philosophic vision of America. It was in this book that Adams coined the term “The American Dream” which he defined as, “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”* Written during the height of the Great Depression, Adams still felt confident enough in the opportunities inherent in the American way of life to espouse this “American Dream” vision of our society. But is it still true today? If yes, why? If not, why not? Taking into consideration the text we are reading for this semester, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich, think about the following questions: Can you attain the American Dream by simply working hard? Is college really necessary? And what then after college? Is the job market the same as it was for your parents or grandparents, or how has it changed? Does the government have a role in creating jobs in today’s economy, or should it stay out of the way so businesses could grow with less regulation? Does economic standing, gender, race, immigrant or non-immigrant status, or sexual orientation matter in achieving the American Dream? And in order to make that American Dream come true for yourself, is it more important to do what you love, or do what you can to make money? Consider the argument outlined in the required long work, Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich. TAKE A STAND Pro or Con on an Idea or Issue raised by the book and/or the course theme “The American Dream – Dead or Alive?” though a THESIS STATEMENT (argument). Outline the basic Idea or Issue the reading and theme addresses, compare/contrast the political, economic, social, and cultural climate, plight, and issues surrounding the topic involved. GO DEEP into the issue, proving your point though analysis backed up by Research. Include specific passages in the readings to support a reasoned argument or interpretation, as well as academic sources that support your main thesis. Tie all points together in a ‘conclusion’ statement that “proves” the thesis (argument). WORD ON FORMATTING: Please follow all MLA guidelines for formatting, but especially: no extra spaces between paragraphs, if using citation makers please proofread, and NO URLs in your Works Cited citations, as they just make your essay look sloppy.
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