8 double-spaced pages
Choose ONE of the prompts below, or select a topic of your own relevant to the themes of this
course. (If you opt to choose your own topic, it is a good idea to check with the professor
before starting work on the assignment.) Write a well-organized and well-evidenced essay to
prove a well-defined thesis.
We asked for workers. We got people instead. Max Frisch (1986)
The Swiss poet and playwright Max Frisch, commenting on the Swiss guest worker program,
pointed out that migrants are often acceptedor even actively invited, recruited, or
demandedfor their labor and nothing else. The migrants, however, are not machines that do
work, but human beings with their own experiences, cultures, and beliefs.
Focus your paper on a specific, concrete case, of labor migration (it need not be to or within the United States) and
the people who migrated. What were their experiences of migration like? How did they
respond to their treatment in the receiving area? How did they influence the receiving society
culturally or politically? How did members of the receiving society respond?
These are the most famous lines of Emma Lazaruss poem The New Colossus, inscribed on a
plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus (1883)
Focus your paper on one or more specific cases, considering how they relate to broader
patterns in U.S. history. Was the U.S. open to immigrantsor to potential immigrants of
particular characteristicsin the case that you are studying? If members of the group you are
studying were able to come to the United States, what kind of treatment did they receive when
they got here? In the case you studied, did the United States live up toor fail to live up to
the principles described in this poem?
I still know this place and its people to the marrow of their bones, to their soft, unguarded core,
which had once sustained my own life, yet I am as much of an outsider here as I am on the other
side of the world, in my adopted country. The truth is that there is no bridge between the two
livesthe past and the presentthat would conveniently span the memory of loss and the
promise of an onward search. There is only a wound, the inner divide of exile.
Elena Gorokhova, Russian Tattoo: A Memoir (2015).
All voluntary migration contains elements of relief (leaving what is not desired) and hope
(heading toward what is desired), but also loss (leaving what is desired) and disappointment
(not finding what is desired). Focus your paper on a specific, concrete case, considering this
complexity in explaining why people door do notchoose to migrate.
Length: The final research paper should be 8-10 typed, double spaced pages (using ordinary font, size, and margins).
Research: You are required to do outside research
Number of sources: There is no formal minimum number of sources required, but you should
avoid overreliance on one or a few sources. As a general rule, the number of sources tends to
be about equal to the length of the paper in pages.
Kinds of sources: Make sure that your sources are carefully collected. A good way to think of
the research process is as a pyramididentify about 30 sources (books, articles, etc.), find
about 20 of those sources, skim the 10-15 sources that look good, carefully study about 5 best
sources. (You may end up using the best sources extensively, and others for a particular fact or
quotation.) If you start this process early, you can avoid the common problem of random
Writing the paper: Make sure your paper includes: 1) a strong introduction (about 1 page) that
draws in the reader and explains the overall themes of the paper, 2) a body composed of 3-4
main points, each clearly stated and supported by evidence (about 2 pages each), and each
related to the overall themes, and 3) a conclusion (1-2 pages) summing up you main ideas.
Citations and bibliography: Your paper must include citations (whether in the form of in-text
notes, footnotes, or endnotes) for all pieces of information that you draw from outside sources.
Your bibliography (or works cited) must include all the sources you used in your paper.
Modern Language Association (MLA) style is preferred. See a guide here:
Quotations should be used sparingly. Quotations must be in quotation marks and accompanied
by a citation. All other instances where you use someone elses ideas but not their words also
must be accompanied by a citation. Quote only another authors words when those are really
indispensable. All other ideas should be put into your own words (paraphrased).
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