Essay Prompts for “Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros

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Essay Writing Prompts – Choose one of the following:

  1. In Woman Hollering Creek, Sandra Cisneros explores the connections between gender, culture and language and its impact on our identity. Choose one or more of the following short stories listed below. What is the theme (lesson/message) or recurring themes of these stories? Explain using textual details.
  2. How does Sandra Cisneros challenge stereotypes of Latina women in her stories from Woman Hollering Creek? Explain using examples from the texts below.
  3. Gloria Anzaldúa once wrote in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, that “To survive the Borderlands you must live sin fronteras, be a crossroads.” How are the characters in Cisneros’s stories living in the “borderlands” of language, gender and culture? Explain using examples from the texts.

Choose one or more of the following short stories from Woman Hollering Creek:

  • “Eleven” (6)
  • “Barbie-Q” (14)
  • “One Holy Night” (27)
  • “My Tocaya” (36)
  • “Woman Hollering Creek” (43)
  • “Never Marry a Mexican” (68)
  • “Bien Pretty” (137)

You may also choose to use the following texts below in your essay:

Writing Criteria:

  • Well-organized multiple-paragraph essay.
  • A clear thesis statement (main argument).
  • Textual evidence with analysis (quotes must be cited with page numbers in MLA Format).
  • Checked for spelling/grammar/mechanics.

Handouts and  Resources:

Editing/Revision Resources:

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“Inside the Nightmare” Essay

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Writing Prompt: Why are our brains drawn to fear (the gothic/sublime)? Why do we dream of things that frighten us? What can we learn about ourselves through scary experiences?

Resources Online:

Editing Resources:

Dystopian Worlds Essay

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“Escaping the Dome.” Image courtesy of yumikrum (Flickr)

Writing Prompt: The short stories, “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin, and “the Lottery” by Shirley Jackson present seemingly perfect worlds that hide injustice under the surface. Societies sacrifice the joy of the individual for the benefit of all. What can we as readers learn from these stories about our own world? In at least a five-paragraph essay, describe a central theme (lesson, moral) in at least one of the stories. Include textual evidence to support your ideas. What lessons can we apply to our world today?

Writing Criteria:

  • Well-organized multiple-paragraph essay.
  • A clear thesis statement (main argument).
  • Textual evidence with analysis (quotes must be cited with page numbers in MLA Format).
  • Creativity and sentence variety.
  • Checked for spelling/grammar/mechanics.

Texts and Online Resources:

Handouts and Writing Resources:

Editing/Revision Resources: