ENG 112. Extra credit. 10 to 15 dollars

This assignment is optional. You may complete it any time in this week or the next to earn extra credit points but before the end of the course. It will not count against your grade if you skip it. Read the poem, America, America by Saadi Youssef.pdf 

  1. Choose ONE of the these two options: 
    1. Put yourself in the place of the Iraqi narrator of this poem and write a narrative persuasive essay, resurrecting your way of life as it is described in this poem, and defending it against the American influences mentioned in the poem. Your essay must include a clear argument in favor of Iraqi life, past and present, and against American militarization. Some of the things you can discuss in this essay are: 
      • The ancient culture of the Iraqi world as mentioned in the poem (“god of bull/ gods of fire “).
      • The contemporary culture in the Iraqi world which also includes good and bad western influences, such as mentioned in the poem (“jeans and jazz, and Treasure Island”).
      • The American impositions that you denounce (such as, “James Bond s Golden pistol” and “blueprint of penitentiaries”). Don t forget to state why you denounce these.
      • The desire to live the simple Iraqi life (such as, “the village homes” and “the god of the poor/ who emerges out of farmer’s ribs” ).
      • The devastation that America and its soldiers have wrought upon the freedom of your world.
      • When referring to the lines from the poem, you must go beyond rewriting the poem as a prose piece. In other words, the words from the poem should be an inspiration for the perspective you provide, not the entire perspective. You need to use your imagination to create the voice of the speaker in your essay.
    2. Put yourself in the place of the American reading this poem and write a persuasive essay providing thoughts and reactions to the images and examples in the poem. You need not offer your own perspective; you may choose to respond using an invented American persona. Your essay must include a clear argument and perspective and should address, when appropriate, the items listed above.
  2. With either choice, your essay should meet these criteria: 
    • Words limit: 200-250 words.
    • This is a first person perspective essay. Therefore, you must use words such as I , We , etc.
    • This is a narrative; therefore, you must create ‘mood’ by using both subjective and objective details.
    • However, it is also a persuasive essay; therefore, it must have a clear argument.
    • You must show a clear relation to the poem and must use specific examples stated in the poem.
    • Don’t forget to support all claims and to give justification of why you desire and why you denounce.
    • You might have to do some research to learn about the pre-war internal politics of Iraq and also the ancient Iraqi culture. If you do, please DO NOT include in-text citations, since this is a narrative, but please DO include a Works Cited page.
  3. Submit your essay using the BLUE link above.


This assignment gives you practice using the narrative style for presenting an argument.