Mainstream Predictions


“It did not take me long to discover that we were all absolutely and mercilessly united by our ambitions to stay afloat on our parents’ dreams-the American Dream. We were, after all, the good immigrants” (Dennis -Benn 4).

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“When we look at more mainstream predictions, however, there doesn’t seem to be much reason for hope” (Lynch 2).

“I had considered this fate too-the expectation to pass as a straight in order to be successful” (Dennis-Benn 5).

“…its hopeful conclusion also avoids the pessimism necessary for confronting the reality of the changes ahead” (Lynch 3).

“Lauren Berlant describes the way people hope for something that is impossible or fantastical. What makes this cruel, rather than just tragic, is that the hope is itself part of the problem” (Lynch 2).

“At the time, there were no visible examples of black lesbians, much less Jamaican lesbians, doing well professionally back home or abroad” (Dennis-Benn 5).


Your Paper Title (Capitalized, Centered, No Underline, No Bold!)

Your paper will begin here with an indent of 1 tab (or 10 spaces) and should start with your hook, and then continue typing underneath. Make sure you are double-spaced with 1-inch margins in Times New Roman font, etc. etc.

2. Number your pages in the upper right-hand corner, LAST name and page number: Brown [insert page#]

3. Choose which of the three assignment questions your draft is mostly answering. Make sure your thesis responds specifically to that question as it reflects the content and arc of your body paragraphs. Make sure your Introduction paragraph has all the elements it needs. Use the How to Write an Introduction



4. Read through the last sentence and the first sentence of each body paragraph. Focus on the key words that are used in each sentence. Add a transition sentence to bridge the gap, or consider whether your body paragraphs might work better in a different order. Move them if it works better! Then edit at the ends of the paragraphs to create a direction and narrative to your body paragraphs. Resist revising your topic sentences because they are what is holding the paragraph together.





Most of the body paragraphs of your second paper will be structured around quotations drawn from essays by Tommy Lynch and Nicole Dennis-Benn. For this assignment, you will be selecting sets of “quote-pairs” to get you started. A quote-pair is simply one quote from one essay connected to one quote from another essay. We call this pairing of quotes from two different essays around a connection a quote-pair. For this paper focus your quote-pairs around one or more of these questions:

· Is hope or pessimism a more powerful motivator to make change for the better?

· Are we more likely, as human beings, to solve problems in our lives by focusing on the potential danger or focusing on the hope for change?

· How does our concept of the “American Dream” affect the way we approach challenges, difficulties, even dangers in life?

Your homework for THURSDAY is:

1. Re-read Nicole Dennis-Benn’s essay focusing on any connections you see with Tommy Lynch’s essay. As you re-read Dennis-Benn, write “Lynch” in the margin next to all possible connections OR annotate electronically (highlight, etc.) in any way that helps you visualize the connections you see. Do the same with Tommy Lynch’s essay: annotate connections with Dennis-Benn.

2. Find 3 quote-pairs from Dennis-Benn and Lynch (that means 6 quotes: 3 from Dennis-Benn and 3 from Lynch). Each quote should be no more than 2 sentences. Type them into a Word doc, Google doc, or an electronic format that you can attach as a file. Make sure they are “pairs:” one quote that goes with one quote, and not just a mess of 6 quotes that are all interchangeable. So you’ll have 6 quotes paired like this (either author can come first):

o 1st quote-pair: Dennis-Benn quote / Lynch quote

o 2nd quote-pair: Dennis-Benn quote / Lynch quote

o 3rd quote-pair: Dennis-Benn quote / Lynch quote

NOTE: All quote-pairs can be in either order: Dennis-Benn / Lynch OR Lynch / Dennis-Benn.

· MLA citation.Use correct punctuation and citation when you pull your quotes out of the text. For each quote-pair, type the first quote, then type the second one underneath. Then do the next quote-pair. (The typed assignment will look similar to your Claims / Examples homework, but organized around the quote-pairs from both essays rather than 2 claims and 2 examples from the same essay.)

· Key words are your friends. Identify the key words in the quotes you think are relevant and use them to find connections with a quote in the other text. Here is a list of keywords from both essays to help anchor your quote-pairs:

Keywords/terms from Dennis-Benn: home, good, imposter, family, freedom, Black America, student, independence, memories, medicine/doctor, American dream, immigrant, father, “ride the waves,” “swimming,” upward mobility, “the responsible one,” desire, passions, aspirations, future, college, young, mistakes, rejection, dilemma, abandonment, “no longer welcome,” life lessons, education.

Keywords/terms from Lynch: hope, alarmism, future, ecocitizenship, pessimism, optimism, coming together, collective response, climate change, solutions, risks, consequences, nature, fear, class mobility, “cruel optimism,” American dream, challenging, determination, success, wealth, “cheap nature,” Anthropocene, Capitalocene, environment, “uncertain hope,” “naive optimism,” production, consumption, capitalist, havoc, despair, acceptance, disappointment, “alternative hopes.”

· Claims & Examples. Remember to think of the quotes you choose as either “claims” or “examples” and be strategic. If you can use one of your Eichhorn’ “claims” or “examples” quotes (from yesterday’s homework) to connect with “claims” and “examples” you identify in Dennis-Benn, all the better. But you may also choose new quotes from either or both of the essays to make the connections.

· Quote Connections. They can be any kind of connection. Be prepared to explain the connection you see (to explain why you chose these two quotes), but you don’t need to write that down for homework. Be prepared to explain the connection you see (to explain why you chose these two quotes), but you don’t need to write that down for this assignment. That comes in the next one!

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