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Nunnally-April 2021

Writing Prompts

This is a research paper, which means you must use outside information to form your opinion. You must use at least three outside sources. Out of those three, at least one source must be academic (so, not a website. The academic source can be from a book, a journal article, or other academic text.

Sources you can use as a primary text:

Victory Lap by George Saunders

The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman


The Lottery

  1. How does The Lottery’s historical context affect its meaning? Research when The Lottery was published, for example, and what social events during that time could affect its messaging.
  2. What feminist undertones are in The Lottery, if any? Does it engage in any feminist critiques of gender roles or patriarchy? What have scholars/critics written about this element of the text? How do this impact the understanding of Jackson’s story as a whole?
  3. How do symbols (for example, the author’s use of colors, names of villagers, and numbers) affect the text? What do they suggest about the story’s larger themes (for example, themes of ritual, conformity and/or tradition)?

The Nickel Boys

  1. You can do a different prompt than the one you did for Paper 3, but you must include 3 outside sources for it.

Other Texts

  1. Create your own research question for any other text of your choosing (besides Ted Talks and podcasts). You MUST run this by me for approval before you begin your research paper.


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