Do they portray that society as more religious or more secular?

Document Analysis Assignment
This exercise in close reading asks you to compare assigned primary sources and substantiate a clear argument based on internal evidence:
J. Riis, How the Other Half Lives (
M. Antin, The Promised Land (
A. Crosland, The Jazz Singer (
Answer one of the following questions in 400-500 words:
1. How do Antin and Crosland present the role of religion in the society that European immigrants encountered upon their arrival in the early twentieth century? Do they portray that society as more religious or more secular?
2. Compare the representation of New York’s Lower East Side in Riis’s photojournalism in 1880 and Crosland’s film from the 1920s. Consider both interior and exterior space in finding interesting points of similarity or difference between the two.
3. Compare the views of Riis and Antin on the question of whether and how Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe might integrate into the social and economic life of the United States
Other instructions:
• Make sure that your argument appears clearly in the first paragraph.
• Support your argument exclusively with evidence from the assigned texts.
• Consider the entirety of each reading assignment in making your argument –
showcase your grasp of the reading by reaching beyond obvious examples.
Avoid elaborate introductions; get straight to the point.
Do not waste your word allotment on lengthy quotations. Try to break up quotations, and to incorporate them into your own sentences.
Make sure you understand the meaning of every word you choose.
You need not include a title page or an essay title.
You need not use footnotes or endnotes. Whenever you quote from the assigned reading or refer to a specific moment in the text, simply indicate the page # from the original text (rather the pagination of the Reader) in brackets after the quotation or after the closing punctuation of your sentence.
Do not refer to these documents as novels (even though one of them is indeed a work of fiction).
Essays should be double-spaced, proof-read, and submitted by 5 pm on Wednesday March 16.
Late papers will be penalized by one partial grade (e.g., a B becomes a B-). No papers will be accepted after Friday March 18 at 5 pm.
Grading rubric:
A papers
1. answer the question as posed;
2. make a clear argument;
3. provide compelling evidence from the texts;
4. show a good grasp of the texts;
5. are clearly and correctly written.
Pluses and minuses reflect how interesting, original, or insightful the argument is.
B papers do some but not all of the five things listed above
C papers do no more than one of the four things and may show some misunderstanding of the texts or the assigned question
D papers don’t make sense and are sloppy and perfunctory
F papers are not even submitted

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