5 pg paper

5 page paper on the analysis of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Using the resources listed) 

ENG 209 Paper 2 Assignment, Spring 2022

This paper needs to be 4.5 to 5 pages long, double-spaced, not counting the Works Cited. We will work on it a bit in class on April 14, finding sources. The final paper is due on Canvas on April 26 by 11:59 p.m.. I welcome draft conferences and will provide a schedule in Canvas.

Your basic task is this one: pick several points from each of THREE sources listed below that develop your deeper understanding of The Underground Railroad. In each body paragraph in your paper, focus on one point the critic makes that enhances your understanding or, perhaps, that you disagree with. In that paragraph, explain the critic’s point and then go back to the story to add your own details or arguments concerning that point. (Neither Whitehead nor Gross in the NPR interview is a critic, but you may treat them as you do the other article authors in organizing your paper if you wish.)

Cite quotations and paraphrases from the articles by author’s name and page number in parenthesis. Articles accessed through Gale will not have page numbers, so cite author’s name. If you cite Whitehead’s words from his interview with Terry Gross, mention his name in your sentence.

Cite quotations from the novel by author’s last name and page number.

If you choose NOT to set up your paper to move according to critics’ points, you may create a thesis to prove and then incorporate at least three of the secondary sources to help you to prove it.

Locate the articles following this process: In our Canvas course, choose Library Resources in the left sidebar. You will go to the English/Spanish page. Choose Articles to find the databases specific to humanities/literature. Limit your search to Full-Text and Peer-Reviewed for all databases except

. Open articles in Full-Text pdf to find original page numbers to cite in your paper, except for articles located through Gale.

Peruse the articles to decide which three you wish to examine for your paper. Then read those articles closely, making notes, recording quotations and paraphrases, putting the authors’ central arguments into your own words and finding the main arguments that you want to explore in your paper.


Enter the ProQuest The Arts
database to find these articles by entering Colson Whitehead in one search box and The Underground Railroad in the other search box.

Martin Salvia, Paula. “Narrative Structure and the Unnarrated in Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.” Spanish Journal of English Studies, vol. 41, 2020, pp. 11-33. ProQuest The Arts. doi: 10.24197/ersies.41.2020. 11-33.

Mellis, James. “Continuing Conjure: African-Based Spiritual Traditions in Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied Sing.Religions, vol. 10, no 7, 2019. ProQuest The Arts. doi 10.3390/rel10070403. {Note: open this article in Full-Text pdf to use page numbers 1-14 for in-text citations.}

Enter Gale Literary Sources to find these articles:

Dischinger, Matthew. “States of Possibility in Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.” Contemporary Literary Criticism, edited by Jennifer Stock, vol. 478, Gale, 2021. Gale Literature Resource Center. Gale Document Number: 1100129625/GLS. Originally published in The Global South, vol. 11, no. 1, 2017, pp. 82-99.

Taoua, Phyllis. “The Chance of Freedom: Of Storytelling and Memory in Neo-Slave Narratives.” Transition: An International Review, no. 131, Jan. 2022, pp. 194+. Gale Literature Resource Center Gale Document Number: A690452349.

[Note: this article covers three novels but includes several solid, well-developed paragraphs on The Underground Railroad in several spots. Find all those paragraphs and read them closely after reading the article’s introductory paragraphs.]

Enter ProQuest Literature and Language to find this interview:

Gross, Terry. “Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is a Literal Train to Freedom.”

Fresh Air. Philadelphia. NPR. Nov. 18, 2016. ProQuest Literature and Language.

Enter Academic Search Complete to find this review:

Bennett, Brit. “Ripping the Veil.” New Republic, Sept 1, 2016, pp. 48-51. Academic Search Complete.


Please organize your paper in this way, after your heading and a centered title for your paper.

Introductory paragraph—introduce the novel in some way that reveals your particular interest in it (a specific character? its showing of history?) Move to a clarification that your paper will examine critical essays on the work(s). End with a thesis sentence capturing the gist of the critics’ argument or at least letting your reader know that your reading of the articles will be the central point of your paper. {If you decide to organize your paper around your own thesis rather than by moving from article to article, compose an introduction preparing the reader for your thesis.}

Body paragraphs—begin each with a topic sentence identifying the critic and his or her argument that you will explore in the paragraph (or a topic sentence telling what you will prove). Use short quotations from the article and the novel to ground your discussion with specifics. Add a concluding sentence to each paragraph.

Concluding paragraph—let your reader know that you have learned something important by reading the literary criticism and writing the paper. And, feel free to add here or in a body paragraph points that you wish to make about the novel that you have not made previously/that sources do not mention.

Works Cited—center this term on your last page and then list in alphabetical order the primary literature (the novel) as well as the secondary sources. Follow the models I provided for the articles and the syllabus listing of the novel (if you need to look at that model).

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