John Updike's A&P

Instructions for Paper Three Research Essay

All of your papers must be in doc or docx format. If you don’t have MS Word, please click the Office 365 link to the left. You must upload this paper to the dropbox using a desktop or laptop. If you do not follow these instructions, and Canvas can’t open it, it’s a zero. 

PROMPT = Answer this question: How hard would it really have been for Sammy to find another job?

Let’s assume Sammy went out looking for another job the day after quitting the A&P in the Summer of 1961. Using Updike’s story and peer-reviewed research from our College’s online library databases, write a five-paragraph essay that looks at the job market, region, and job seeker (in this case Sammy) or any other relevant circumstance within the context of 1960’s America to answer the writing prompt question. TIP: a report on the American economy in the 1960’s will not earn a very high grade. The 50’s – 60’s is only a small part of the assignment. You need to combine this context with Sammy’s life.


At least 500 words.
Format your paper according to current MLA guidelines: heading, title, page numbers, font, and line spacing. There is an example in the paper one module. 
You must use appropriate college-level vocabulary.
Must be written in 3rd-person (no I, me, or my and no you, your, yourself) 5pts off each.
5 paragraphs: intro, three-body, and conclusion. Aside from block formatting long quotes, you MUST limit this analysis to five paragraphs. I will count your first paragraph as your intro and your fifth paragraph as your conclusion. I will not read beyond the fifth paragraph. This is an exercise in clear, effective, efficient, concise writing. 
Make your thesis focus on the question in the prompt.
Make your thesis the last sentence of your intro.

Your thesis must be a three prong thesis
Must cite lines from the story or poem (your primary source) in EACH BODY PARAGRAPH.
Must cite at least THREE peer-reviewed articles (your secondary sources) from our library’s online databases at least ONE IN EACH BODY PARAGRAPH.
Must use MLA format for the entire paper: heading, page numbers, title, line spacing, in-text citations and works cited page.
Must have a Works Cited page. Include database names in your citations! No database = no credit for the source. Remember, EBSCO is not a database name. Listing it as such will impact your MLA score. 


While the vocab we learned in this course is helpful in discussing literature/art, this paper is NOT about those concepts. You may use those words/concepts to help enrich your analysis, but do not make this paper about the literary devices. 

This is NOT a report!!! You have a specific question to answer, so work that into your thesis and EVERY body paragraph. 

I would pick three key scenes, events, or lines from the story (or poem) and develop claims around those. I would work quotations from those three scenes into the body paragraphs as support.

Use quotes from THREE peer-reviewed sources IN YOUR BODY. Don’t limit yourself to researching the story. Each prompt relies on a secondary topic: social injustice in the 40’s, economy of the 60’s, or WWI. Do some research on these topics too.

Follow quotations with commentary and interpretation in your own words. Warrant is important, so use it to link your research back to scenes from the story.

End body paragraphs with a tie-in to your thesis statement.

Finish the essay with a thoughtful conclusion.

Don’t forget to cite your primary source – the one you are writing about – on your works cited list. Failure to do this will net you a BENCHMARK NOT MET on your MLA score. 

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