American Slavery

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this is diagnostic essay, you will need to write only three paragraphs: an introduction paragraph, one body paragraph, and a conclusion.

Be as clear, specific, and concise as possible. Avoid unnecessary wordiness (trim the fat), and avoid vague generalizations. Use persuasive language.

In your first paragraph, introduce, in your own words, the historical and cultural context/background of this speech. Read the intro above the speech for useful information. What was going on in the country at the time? Why did Frederick Douglass say “Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Your thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. In your thesis, you need to make a claim about 1) what you see as Douglass’ main argument is, and 2) why and/or how does he make his argument.

Here is a thesis model you can use if you want (fill in the blanks): In “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery,” Douglass emphasizes ____________________ in order to argue that _____________________.

Your one body paragraph needs to begin with a claim (topic sentence) that expands upon your thesis. After this, you need to provide direct quotes from the speech as well as your own commentary/analysis about how this evidence supports your topic sentence and thesis. Give at least two quotes from the speech.

Here is a topic sentence model you can use if you want (fill in the blanks): Throughout his speech, Douglass references ____________ to reinforce his point that ________________. (Use different language than in your thesis; don’t be redundant.)

In your conclusion paragraph, explain whether you think Douglass’ ideas in the speech are still relevant to our world today. If so, how so? If not, why? You can also mention, if you want, any factors of American history after the time of the speech to explain how relevant the speech has remained after Douglass’ time.

Here is a list of strong active verbs you could use: highlights, examines, claims, states, implies, challenges, questions, suggests, contrasts, exemplifies, embodies, characterizes, describes, evaluates, investigates, argues, amplifies, associates, compares, shifts, illustrates, juxtaposes, acknowledges, references, oppresses, imprisons, considers, contains…

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