"The American Dream and the American Negro Essay Sample"

Edited by The New Yorker's much-loved Adam Gopnik, this year's Best American Essays includes contributions by such writers as Albert Goldbarth, Anthony Lane, Louis Menand, and Ander Monson.

"Sectional Conflicts in the American Community Essay"

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Compared to its counterparts, the United States of America is considered young – both as a country and as a nation. However, despite their youth, America remains to be one of the most influential countries in the world. Their influence is further radiated with the American culture’s influence on other countries’ way of life. If you are writing an American culture essay, then looking into their presence in other nation’s customs can be a very interesting essay topic. Need help in writing this type of essay? Buy high quality custom made essay paper at !

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I know the name The Best American Essays sounds a little dry and textbook-y. At least that’s what I thought when it was assigned to me in a writing class this term. Well, the title does not do the collection justice; this was one of the best reads I’ve ever been handed as homework.

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In its broadest denotation, the essay has existed in America almost from the arrival of the first English settlers in 1607. While 17th-century colonists had little or no leisure time in which to produce belles-lettres, there did exist what we might now call nonfictional literature, ranging from a paragraph or two of the almanac—short expositions that questioned natural phenomena—to the long chronicle histories. Growing out of the almanacs were early science essays, primarily on astronomical observations but also on other branches of science such as agriculture, zoology, botany, mineralogy, and meteorology. The clergy of the time, who were often the most educated of the colonists, generally adopted the belief that while God’s mysteries were forever unknowable to humans, it was still their duty to ponder those mysteries. Hence, the end aim of science was contemplation. This purpose meant that their scientific writings (which appeared not only in almanacs but also in journals and letters to members of ) were not coldly scientific but tended toward moral interpretation.
The short prose works of the time, in fact, fell into definite literary types, including the “pamphlet of newes” (which described the new country), papers of timely interest on witchcraft and matters of immediate concern, the almanac (which contained short pieces of a moral or scientific nature), and the sermon—in which, apart from spiritual matters, ethics, manners, and social and national progress were also discussed—as well as its related form, the meditation, in which was displayed the most prolific and perhaps most creative prose of the time.
(1663–1728) wrote what is considered the first verifiable book of American essays, Bonifacius (1710; the later edition was called ). The book is divided into sections which are similar to 17th-century essays in being axiomatic and didactic philosophical reflections on abstract subjects, commentaries emerging from the wisdom and experience of the author. Nevertheless, the book is a departure from the writings of the early Puritans in that it contains no tedious laudatory biographies of ministers, no accusations of witchcraft, not even the display of pedantry and scriptural learning ordinarily associated with Mather. Instead it provides, in brief, simple, and forthright prose, a discussion of daily conduct, rules of behavior for ministers, doctors, and teachers, and objections to intemperance and corporal punishment. Each essay (and Mather uses the word literally, meaning “attempts to do good”) is complete in itself, and each is suggestive rather than exhaustive; the work is unique for its time in both spirit and method.

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Most kids dreaded essays in high school, but perhaps they just weren't inspired by good ones. I can't image a kid falling asleep while reading about kids dying from cancer at MD Anderson or from the following quote "Fuck filial piety. Fuck grade grubbing. Fuck Ivy League mania. Fuck deference to authority. Fuck humility and hard work. Fuck harmonious relations. Fuck sacrificing for the future. Fuck earnest, striving, middle-class servility." I bet that last one broke a few rules set out by the English teacher, who I doubt could even get nominated for one of the Best American Essays of the year.

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Through the annual Department of Pennsylvania American Legion Essay scholarship contest, students are provided an opportunity to showcase their talents and abilities in English by using originality, accuracy and research as evidence, while learning that the responsibilities and duties of good citizenship can be both rewarding and fun.