Begin your essay by introducing the Laramie Project as a play. Who wrote the play? Why did the author want to write and perform this play? Mentioning and explaining just one reason is enough.
Then discuss how the play was developed? Indeed, this play was developed in a most unusual way. Explain. Provide a carefully written topic sentence.
Next, in a new third paragraph say that one can identify several themes in the play. Of those, certainly one is prejudice, in particular, prejudice against homosexuals. Explain this theme and give examples of how this theme has been presented in the play.
Note: There is a discussion of this theme in your study guide of the play. You must refer to this material by title and author, but do not copy any of it. However, you must quote from it. Remember that because you do quote from it, the study guide must be listed on the Works Cited page along with the play.
In the fourth paragraph, either copy this or put it into your own words. This entire paragraph is your thesis.
In addition to the theme of prejudice suggested by the play, the author wants to present the varying perspectives toward homosexuality in the Laramie Community at the time of Matthew’s death. Three are easy to identify. There are those that hate homosexuals and homosexuality. They have extreme prejudice. There are those who accept and even embrace homosexuals and then there are those somewhat in the middle. They believe in a live and let live attitude towards homosexuals and homosexuality. These last two perspectives have little prejudice. Next say that in addition to exploring these perspectives, the author also wants to explore how these perspectives may have changed as a result of Matthew’s death.
After copying or rewording the above paragraph that has the thesis, write about each perspective in its own paragraph. When you write about each perspective, you need to explain the perspective and then give an example of someone who holds this perspective. Comment on why might this person have this perspective.
When writing about each perspective and its adherents, pay attention to paragraph length. It may be that you will need more than one paragraph when writing about a single perspective and the individual who follows it. A good rule for paragraphing is don’t make them too long and don’t make them too short.
After writing about these three perspectives, in a new paragraph write about a character in the play who changed their perspective after Shepherd’s death? Who changed their perspective? Why did this character change perspective in your opinion?
Continue in an additional paragraph telling about a character whose perspective did not change after Shepherd’s death. Who did not change their perspective? Why didn’t this character change perspective, in your opinion?
Conclude by discussing whether you believe the author(s) of the play achieved his(their) objectives or reasons for writing the play (See the first paragraph. You may want to link this paragraph to the first paragraph.) How were the objectives achieved?
Finally, write a paragraph or two where you refer to your own perspectives towards gays and homosexuality before reading the play and whether they changed after having read it. If so, why? If not, why not?
1. Write eleven or more paragraphs.
2. Include six or more quotes from the play (One quote per paragraph is really expected). Include at least one quote from the study guide.
When you quote from a literary work, you will quote a character in a play or novel or short story. When the character quotes, the character’s name goes into the signal phrase. The author of the work goes in the parenthesis in front of the page number. Like this:
Reggie Flutie says, “I found Matthew still alive and tied to a fence. I was surprised he didn’t have shoes” (Kaufman 27). Regi Flutie says is the signal phrase. There are many ways to write a signal phrase. Vary the verb in the signal phrase. Then make sure you paraphrase the quote, explain it, and comment on it. You need at least three sentences after every quote.
This is similar to the way you quoted from The End of October.
When you quote from the study guide, you are quoting the author of the study guide and you should quote in the same way you quote from an article by Rose or Frederick Douglass.
According to Rose, “Takagaki was an excellent instructor” (57).
3. Develop a Works Cited Page:
Here is the information you need for your Works Cited. The information is not presented in the correct order. You must present the citation with the information in the correct order and correctly formatted.
Title: The Laramie Project
Author: Kaufman, Moisés.
Publisher: Vintage Books.
Place of Publication: New York
Date of Publication: 2001
If you read an online version state: Online. Give the URL.
If you read a print version state: Print.
Title: The Laramie Project: A Reading and Research Guide
Author: Dr. Dean Yohnk
Place of Publication: Parkside, Wisconsin
Date of Publication: 2007.
Publisher: University of Wisconsin: Parkside Theatre Arts Department