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In the early works of the course, we see Naturepresented in multiple ways. For instance, the elements, animals, and nature are portrayed mythically by the Iroquois as they outline their core principles of man living harmoniously and fruitfully in nature; “nature” has a very different meaning to Jonathan Edwards—a Puritan discussing philosophical and religious living— in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; later, American writers present nature in unique ways when discussing their spiritual beliefs and how to go about living in the world.

In this assignment, you will compare and contrast the concept of “nature” from the earliest writings (The Native American creation narratives & the work of Jonathan Edwards) to the later American idea of nature found in the works of writers such as Emerson, Poe, and Whitman.

This assignment should reflect your understanding of the works:

“Iroquois Creation Narrative.”

Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Nature”

Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”

explain—based on research—how the earlier work influences the later pieces, and analyze how the literature reflected the culture of the time.
Historical context is discussed in the textbook and can be used as supporting material in your paper.

The Final Paper must include a thesis—this is a statement which you will be supporting throughout your paper. You will make claims and provide evidence to show those claims are true. Support your claims by citing research, quotes, or ideas from other authors. When citing an author, it’s best to explain how the quote supports your original idea; present the quote and then show how that quote advances your claims. (Resources for how to use quotes and other research can be found in the Ashford Writing Center.)

This paper should focus on the ideas, beliefs, values, images, and writing of the literature at hand in the context of the selected works. Your personal life experiences should not be used as evidence in making your claims. Keep your ideas rooted in the text. For sources other than the primary works found in the textbook, it is recommended you turn to the Recommended Readings, all found in JSTOR through the Ashford Online Library. Feel free to search for other articles in that database—they are all credible and recognized for academic integrity.

Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:

  • Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length (excluding the title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a cover page that includes:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must include an introductory paragraph with a succinct thesis statement.
  • Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  • Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  • Must use at least five scholarly sources, including a minimum of two from the Ashford University Library.
  • Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include, on the final page, a Reference Page that is completed according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

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