ENGL 2327: Early Colonial American Literature


ENGL 2327: WRITING ASSIGNMENT: PORTRAIT OF NATIVE PEOPLES (Use only primary sources – that means use only the readings assigned in this class) This essay serves as a kind of wrap-up to our foray into Early Colonial American Literature before we delve into writings from the 17th and 18th Century. Question: How do the first-hand accounts of early explorers and colonists such as John Smith, William Bradford, and Mary Rowlandson (primary sources) portray the indigenous peoples of Virginia and Massachusetts in the 1600s? Write an essay in which you answer the question above by looking specifically at the writings of Smith about his Jamestown experience, Bradford about the Plymouth experience, and Rowlandson about her captivity. Your task is to consider all the details about the native peoples provided, and then use the details to create a portrait of these native peoples. You may also draw from the writings of Pontiac and Tecumseh. Use the writers to support or contrast the observations of each one. When you summarize a detail or an event from a source, place the writer’s name and the page number of your text in parentheses (Smith 61) to document the idea. For web articles, use only the author’s last name in parentheses (Rowlandson) if page numbers are not given. You may use short quotes but keep them to a minimum. DO NOT quote lengthy passages from a text. Summarize, perhaps including a pertinent phrase from the text. Document each detail whether you include a quote or not. Include a separate Works Cited page. Example: Rowlandson, Mary. “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature: Shorter, 8th ed. Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. A: 127-143. Your essay should be 4-5 typed pages (plus the Works Cited page) in MLA style and answer the question above.

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