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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 2200-2400 word paper about 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. Your research might start with sociological or psychological studies on the effects of slavery on the American family. 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. Both plays evoke ghosts. Compare the similarities and contrast the differences in the ways ghosts are used in these plays. Your research might delve into issues of ghosts in slave history and common metaphors of ghosts in literature. As with all metaphors, ghosts have many complex meanings, which your research should dig into.


Your research should incorporate a minimum of three sources, including:

  • At least two relevant works of literary criticism from the library, such as scholarly books or peer-reviewed articles from literary journals
  • At least one play review or other source that discusses the play in production

Guide Creator

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Ellen Carey
Any of the SBCC librarians can help you! Use the online chat to reach a librarian right away during open hours. Reach me personally by sending an email, scheduling an appointment, stopping by my office in the Library (L133), or calling 805-730-4434.