The American Dream

Assignment: “The American Dream” is the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative, as well as an upward social mobility for families and children. In other words, we all have an equal chance for success regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. Do you believe this ideal still exists in this country? Did it ever truly exist in the first place? Write a research essay in which you examine the validity of the American Dream. Is the American Dream a reality, a falsehood, or something in between? Explain your reasoning using at least 3 outside sources to back up your argument. Expectations: Your essay will consist of the following elements: an original title, an introduction that defines and provides context for your topic, a clear thesis statement (this should state whether or not you believe the American Dream really exists), body paragraphs that provide specific examples to support your thesis and engage with outside sources, a conclusion paragraph to sum up your thoughts on the subject matter. Advice: Start by clearly defining the traditional ideal of the American Dream before you begin to critique and/or defend it. Think about what might complicate this notion of “equal opportunity.” Is race/gender a factor? Is socioeconomic status a factor? Also think about how this issue may have changed over time. Was there ever a time when the American Dream was a reality, or has it always been somewhat of a fantasy? Carefully organize your essay around the various aspects of the American Dream you may or may not find problematic. Purpose: Demonstrate your ability to support a thesis statement and use outside sources in a clear, well-organized essay.

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