19th-Century Transcendentalism

In a 750-1000 word essay (roughly 3-4 pages) address the following prompt:

How could important tenets of 19th-century Transcendentalism apply to an issue facing modern-day society? In other words: how would a traditional Transcendentalist apply major tenets to a problem facing our world today?

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Your essay should involve the examination of THREE of the major tenets of Transcendentalism.

Tenets of Transcendentalism can be found here.

You will need to pull quotes and evidence from the readings Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Nature” and “Self-Reliance,” Margaret Fuller’s “Woman in the Nineteenth Century,” Henry David Thoreau’s “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” Emily Dickinson’s poems and Walt Whitman’s poems.


Paragraph 1: Introduction: Provide background on the topic/modern issue you selected; create a bridge between that background the tenets of Transcendentalism; in your thesis (1-2 sentences), answer the prompt.

Paragraph 2: Body: Using the readings, analyze how one tenet of Transcendentalism may apply to your prompt.

Paragraph 3: Body: Again, using the readings, analyze how an additional tenet of Transcendentalism may apply to your prompt.

Paragraph 3: Body: Again, using the readings, analyze how an additional tenet of Transcendentalism may apply to your prompt.

Paragraph 4: Conclusion: Briefly summarize the body of your paper and reiterate the importance of your thesis. Then, explain the importance of Transcendentalism in modern times.

Works Cited Page: This is its own page and must be accurately formatted in MLA style. That means in alphabetical order and with appropriate hanging indents. You should include any outside research article or articles, your Transcendentalism tenet PowerPoint, and the readings from Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Whitman, and Dickinson.


MLA Format: One-inch margins, double-spaced content, and appropriate heading on the first line of the page! The only things in the header are your last name and page number Don’t forget about your Works Cited page. Check the OWL at Purdue if you get confused. Use MyBib (Links to an external site.) to create your works cited entries. Your entries should look like this (the hanging indent should be larger on the second line):
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Nature.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature, edited by Paul Lauter, 14th ed., vol. B,          Boston, Ma, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2014, pp. 1825–1854.

In-text citations: The in-text citations should be the author’s last name followed by the page number in parentheses then the period: (Emerson 1826).
Thesis: Make sure your thesis is specific and answers the question. I should be able to tell what your paper is going to focus on.
Body Paragraph Format: Each body paragraph should have: a topic sentence, related claim, evidence, analysis, transition.
Quote Integration: No stand-alone quotes. Don’t drop it in and let it stink up everything around it. Make it fit in with the flow of your writing. Use signal phrases and transitions for smooth readability.
NO PERSONAL PRONOUNS: NO “I,” “me,” “we,” “you,” “my.” This is a formal essay.

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