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March 9, 2024

Afro-American Family Assignment

Afro-American Family Assignment


What you’re going to do:

You will write a brief research paper (page length choices are below) regarding one specific issue from the list of topics below. You will analyze (explain) one of challenges and/or opportunities this issue presents for African Americans and (if you want to add) also for one of the related ethnic, gendered or immigrant groups mentioned in class (maximum possible: African American and one other group, if necessary. You cannot substitute the other group for African Americans). Then you will propose a possible original solution or substantial update to an existing solution to the issue regarding your chosen topic.

To Do

Due Date:    Sunday 3/17 by 11:59pm

(May be turned in as early as Sunday 3/10. If emergency, may be turned in no later than Sunday 3/31 by 11:59pm.)

Submission: To turn in: upload to Canvas in Week 8 assignment portal.

                  See the Checklist/Rubric below and in the Canvas module for more details and examples.

Afro-American Family Assignment

Afro-American Family Assignment

Pages:       Choose:

–5–6 full (not partial) pages in Canvas, not including citation page (minimum 3-4 verifiable sources) – Maximum possible -100 points or less


                  —4-4 3/4 full (not partial) pages in Canvas, not including citation page; (with minimum 2-3 verifiable sources) – Maximum possible-75 points or less


–2 ½- 3 3/4 full (not partial) pages in Canvas, (with minimum 1-2 verifiable sources) – Maximum possible-50 points or less.

Format:     Papers should be (a) double-spaced, (b) use a small font, such as Calibri or Times New Roman 12 point, (c) use the academic format you are familiar with (APA, Chicago, or MLA).

 Afro-American Family Assignment

Purpose Skill Development: This assignment will help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success both in this course and in your life beyond school: By the end of this assignment, you will be able to:

Skill Development: This assignment will help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success both in this course and in your life beyond school:

By the end of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Construct an appropriate research paper.
  • Organize a logical, comprehensive analysis in your paper and potential solution to the main issue.
  • Utilize (correctly) an appropriate number of relevant outside sources for your research paper.

Knowledge Development: Your research paper will analyze (explain) the specific issue you chose from your topic. This will include a specific thesis (argument) and original solution of your own or substantial update of an existing one, per the instructions and the Checklist/Rubric in the Canvas module.

Afro-American Family Assignment

Paper Topics:

  1. Choose ONE.
  2. Do NOT try to cover the entire topic. Fewer points if you do.

Specific Issue: 

Then pick ONE specific issue to focus on.

  1. Your issue should be related to African American familiesin some clearly identifiable way.
  2. You can also compare to a similar group such as Latinx, gendered or immigrant but then you must have two separate sets of sources, quotes, word definitions; cannot re-use one for both groups. Fewer points if you do.

Example of a thesis statement for a specific issue with a specific proposed solution:


Specific Issue: Free breakfast programs in the Los Angeles Unified School District

Thesis Statement – In many schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), free breakfasts are provided for students. But items such as cows milk are often included. Frequently, African American, Latinx and other students of color are lactose intolerant. Currently, students and/or parents must inform the school’s Food Service Manager if they want to request a substitute beverage. But many parents are not knowledgeable about the possible substitutes and/or may have trouble filling out forms, if English is not their first language. Therefore, the breakfast programs should be updated so that on school counseling days, the form could be offered to parents and explained right there.

Afro-American Family Assignment


  • TOPIC–Select your topic.
  • PICK A SPECIFIC ISSUE–Narrow it down to a specific issue from that overall topic.
  • TITLE– Provide an original one, relevant to your issue. (“Research Paper” is not relevant or original.)
  • INTRODUCTION–Provide a brief general overview of the issue. (No quotes should be here.)
  • THESIS STATEMENT –Should be the last one or two sentences at the end of the introduction, NOT in the body of the paper. (Other professors may have different instructions for their thesis statement requirements.)
    1. For this course, the thesis statement (your argument) should be in TWO parts:
      1. Brief statement of the problem or opportunity. (For this course, phrase it as a statement, even though, if using APA, you may begin this project with a research question.)
      2. Brief statement of your specific original solution or what you built substantially and specifically on from an existing solution.

Afro-American Family Assignment

BODY OF THE PAPER (in three parts)

(Body-first third)

  • HISTORICAL INFORMATION–Give key relevant historical background of your specific issue. Be specific, not vague. Also include in this historical section of the paper:
    1. At least one full relevant quote from an outside source.
    2. Do NOT use a video, social media, or class textbook as outside sources.

(Body-second third)

  • CONTEMPORARY INFORMATION –Give an explanation of the key elements of the issue today. (Contemporary analysis.)
    1. Explain an important current aspect or aspects of your issue. Be specific.
    2. Provide examples. Be specific. Fewer points for vague, overly broad general explanations.
  • OUTSIDE SOURCES—In the body of the paper, also provide full quotes from outside verifiable scholarly and/or news sources—as timely as possible, but NOT more than ten years old.
    1. The quotes should not just be a few words.
    2. Check the paper page length you chose to see how many full in-text quote(s) and in-text citation(s) are required from outside verifiable scholarly and/or news sources (that a reader can double-check are timely and accurate.).
    3. Do NOT use ChatGPT or any other AI assistance, social media, videos, or personal blogs.

Afro-American Family Assignment

  • DEFINITIONS–Provide dictionary or encyclopedia definition(s) for at least three (3) key words or terms within your body paragraphs (in-text).
    1. Work these dictionary or encyclopedia definitions into your paragraphs where appropriate. Do NOT just list the definitions at the end of your paper.
    2. Indicate the title of the dictionary or encyclopedia with each
    3. Also include the titles and complete citation information on your separate citation page at the end of your paper. (See below.)
    4. Do NOT make up your own definitions or use social media definitions.

(Body-last third)

  • SOLUTION—Provide an original solution of your own to your specific issue. Or provide a substantial original update to a SPECIFIC existing solution from an organization, cultural, political or educational entity, or a foundation. Include the name and specific details about the organization or entity in the body of your paper.
    1. Provide an original new solution. (Fewer points if your proposed original solution is something already being done.)
    2. Or provide a substantial original update to an existing solution.
    3. Do NOT give vague generalities. Fewer points if you do.
    4. Provide only ONE solution, not just a string of vague ideas.
    5. Do NOT put the solution in the conclusion. Fewer points if you do.

 Afro-American Family Assignment

  • CONCLUSION- Wrap up the paper with a brief reminder of what you have covered and the significance of your solution.
  • CITATION PAGE-Provide a separate page with all of the sources you used in the academic format you chose.
    1. (This is a separate page, NOT part of your paper page count.)
    2. APA (7thedition)- References (note “s” on the end)
    3. Chicago Manual of Style (17thedition)- Bibliography
    4. MLA (9thedition)- Works Cited (note “s” on the end)

(Revised in part from: TILTHigherEd.com, © 2014 Mary-Ann Winkelmes, and Palmer et al. (2016), Measuring transparency: A learning-focused assignment rubric)

TURNITIN.COM– Your paper automatically goes through the TurnItIn.com plagiarism/AI checker.

A paper receiving a red TurnItIn.com “flag” cannot be graded as is, and

Needs to be revised before the deadline, so no red flag continues to show.

Do NOT submit a paper or part(s) of a paper from another source, such as from copying or purchasing all or part(s) of a paper(s) or sources from online. Fewer or possibly no points if you do.

Do NOT resubmit a paper you have already used for another class. That is called “self plagiarism.”

 Afro-American Family Assignment

Tips for Success

Write full pages in Canvas. For example, a 3 ½ page paper will not be counted as 4 pages).

Use one of these academic formats that you know: APA, Chicago or MLA, your choice.

Do not add extra spacing to make the paper seem longer.

Fewer points for overly large font or overly wide spacing.

Grading Rubric: Grading is based on the length/quality of your paper (see above)

Writing Resources:

Africana Studies Department Writing Center (tutors are available)


Sign up early for tutor assistance. (Click on the Africana Studies Department webpage.)

Two Writing Center webpages at other universities—

Thesis Statements https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/Links to an external site.

Research and Citation Resources- Purdue Online Writing Lab

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/resources.htmlLinks to an external site.