Select a topic from below.

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Choose one (1) of the two (2) reading selections from the list of topic choices below. The focus is on brief but important primary source material written by important authors. In each case, the subject relates to the problems of certain people who are oppressed or impoverished. In each topic, a different genre or approach is adopted to help readers see and perhaps address the problem. Read the selections as identified with each topic below. Write a four-to-five (4-5) paragraph essay (350 words minimum) which analyzes the work following the list of four things “your paper should cover” given just after the topics.

Topic Choices

  • Reading selection of Swift’s A Modest Proposal. The selection should be read in full at http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html. It is essential to recognize the genre of this work. The context is the plight of the very poor in Ireland in the early 1700s.
  • Reading selection of Olympe de Gouges’ Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female citizen (written in 1791). The selection should be read in full at http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/293/ . You should also look at the revolutionary document of 1789 that she is “correcting”, called Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/rightsof.asp ). Olympe de Gouge has the status of women as her main concern. The general context is the French Revolution and the attempts to redefine rights and status once one replaces monarchy.

For the reading selection and topic you choose, your paper should cover the following:

  1. Briefly introduce the writer and the situation that this reading is about. Identify the genre or nature of the reading.
  2. Using specific examples or lines within the reading, suggest the author’s key views and key aims for the reading audience.
  3. Evaluate the author’s strategy and what you see as the work’s likely effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) for the target audience. If there is any known historical result, discuss that.
  4. Evaluate how the reading impacted you. Identify any analogous situations today, and also key lessons you get from the reading that could be relevant to one’s professional and personal life.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Include a title page containing the title of the assignment, your name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date of submission. The cover page and the source list are not included in the required assignment length (350 words minimum).
  • You must the class text and also any source(s) identified (with links) above for the topic you choose, focusing on the main primary source of that author. If you use any additional source (optional), it must be from the university’s online Library and of good academic quality for college work.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Explain how key social, cultural, and artistic contributions contribute to historical changes.
  • Explain the importance of situating a society’s cultural and artistic expressions within a historical context.
  • Examine the influences of intellectual, religious, political, and socio-economic forces on social, cultural, and artistic expressions.
  • Identify major historical developments in world cultures from the Renaissance to the contemporary period.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in the study of world cultures.
  • Write clearly and concisely about world cultures using proper writing mechanics.
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