“For this assignment, you will write a two-page paper (directions below). The paper should not read like a summary of the book. You should provide an argument and prove it, using evidence from the novel. Thus, you will not need to include a conclusion for the rough draft. You are, however, responsible for a clear and concise thesis statement in your introductory paragraph.  


Please write a two-page, typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12, and with one-inch margin paper.
This assignment constitutes the first two pages of your paper. Although you do not need a conclusion, you do need a strong introductory paragraph where you clearly write your thesis statement.
Be sure your name, section number
Be sure to number your pages at the bottom, right hand corner.
Every paragraph, with the exception of the introduction and conclusion, should have one quotation or citation from novel to support your argument. Be careful not to overquote, limit one or two short quotes per paragraph. You will be penalized for having too many quotes. Nobody wants to read a paper full of quotes.
Do not use outside sources.
Have a topic sentence for every paragraph. A topic sentence informs the reader what you will be addressing in the paragraph.
Please submit paper on Canvas.
Use Following Texts: Luis Rodríguez, Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. (East Haven, CT: Curbstone Press, 1993).

Citations: Properly cite sources using MLA style when quoting from book. For example: (Rodríguez, 23). Also, place quotation marks when using direct wording from a primary or secondary document.  

Essay Prompt:

In his memoir, Luis Rodríguez walks us through his life from childhood through young adulthood. The harsh realities around him shape his world view:

“By the time I turned 18 years old, 25 of my friends had been killed by rival gangs, police, drugs, car crashes and suicides.” (Rodríguez, 4).

Rodríguez sees himself as “lucky” because he was able to escape death, prison, or a crime driven existence. He, unlike many of his peers, was able to get out—to escape.

Young men, especially young men of color, in improvised neighbors are often lured into gang life. For some, partaking in gang activities is not an option—often times they are forced to and failing to do so could result in a beating or death. There are few alternatives or positive outlets for them and consequently gangs gain the upper hand.

According to Rodríguez, who is ultimately to blame for his involvement in gangs and who/what does he credit for “saving” him from gangs? Why are gangs so appealing to some?

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