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English 111 - Lukomski: Home

This guide provides search strategies and recommended resources for research in English 111 with Wendy Lukomski.

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Your Assignment


For your Final Research Paper, you will write a minimum 2000 word paper about BOTH The Piano Lesson by August Wilson and Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, addressing one of the following prompts:

  1. Both plays explore the long-term effects of slavery in America on the contemporary family. Based on a careful reading of both plays, evaluate and analyze the impact on family. Start with a consideration of what these plays suggest about the effects? Then, develop your interpretation by using outside research. The research may include sociological or psychological studies on the effects of slavery on the American family. However, you also MUST include literary scholarly/peer-reviewed sources. You might consider the similarities and differences between the impact on a Black family versus the impact on a White or biracial family. Further, consider how the American family overcomes this national trauma; how do the playwrights reveal this in their works, and how does that relate to sociological studies?
  2. A scholar wrote of August Wilson's Piano Lesson, "One has to come to terms with the past; it does not go away; it will haunt you." We've looked at a variety of ways that the characters of both plays, African Americans and white Americans, try to cope with the painful past of slavery. Based on a deep understanding of what both plays express, write a research paper that explores how and if Americans can comes to terms with this ugly past. Focus on the plays themselves to develop your analysis, and include scholarly/peer-reviewed literary, psychological and/or sociological or race studies. At least one literary peer reviewed source is required. Consider exploring both plays' use of ghosts as a literal haunting.


Your research should incorporate a minimum of four sources, including at least three peer-reviewed sources from the SBCC Luria Library. You may use a peer-reviewed psychological or historical article; however, you must also use at least one work of literary criticism.

Guide Creator

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Ellen Carey
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