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UE: HTY 110HA: Immigration: The Changing Face of America: Instructors Only: Essay Topic Suggestions

This is University Exploration that explores the history of immigration process in America

Essay Requirements

All essays should be:

1. 5-7 Pages

2. Double Spaced

3. 12-Point Font

Plagiarism Information

Plagiarism is using another person's or website's words or ideas as your own. This is cheating and there are heavy consequences for engaging in this behavior. Please follow these links to learn how to avoid plagiarism.

Tutorial for avoiding Plagiarism                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Plagiarism Quiz

Poem Analysis Essay Topic

Module 5 Essay

HTY 110HA Immigration: The Changing Face of America

5-7 Pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, MLA citations


In 1903 the following famous poem by Emma Lazarus was engraved and placed upon the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Think about this poem’s message. Did immigrants’ experiences reflect the hope and promise of this poem? 

The New Colossus

By Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


In order to prepare and write this essay effectively, please address the following:

1.      What is the message of this poem?

Click on this link to help you analyze the poem. After clicking on the link, click on the “Commentary” tab to learn about the meaning of the poem.


2.      Which immigrants’ experiences reflected the message of the poem? Provide specific examples from the readings, films, assignments, and AVPs.

3.      Which immigrants’ experiences did not reflect the message of the poem? Provide specific examples from the readings, films, assignments, and AVPs.


Following is a template for writing the essay that you may use if you wish. Parts 2 and 3 can have as many paragraphs as you wish.

Part 1: Introductory paragraph

·         State your thesis. For example:  The poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus promises hope for immigrants coming to America, but did America really live up to the promise of this poem?

·         Explain the meaning of the poem

·         Let the reader know where you stand on this question. Did immigrants’ experiences reflect the promises of the poem or not. Or did some immigrants have different experiences than others? Make sure your ending sentence lets the reader know what you plan to argue. Remember you do not have to choose one side or the other, you can argue that both sides are true if you wish.

Part 2:  How did America live up to the poem’s promises? Provide specific examples

Part 3:  How did America fail to live up the poem’s promises? Provide specific examples

Part 5:  Closing paragraph. Restate your introduction in different words and make a final pronouncement    about what the promise of the poem really meant for immigrants.

General Immigration Essay Assignment


Read the article “Immigration Then and Now” By Gwenyth Swain; Cobblestone, May/Jun2013, Vol. 34 Issue 5, p. 13, 4p. This article can be accessed by the following link. You will need your Saint Leo Login information:

How do the backgrounds and experiences of the recent immigrants in this article compare to the backgrounds and experiences of European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Provide specific examples.

Additional Essay Topic Recommendations

Other Possible Essay Topics (Instructors will need to create specific questions related to these broad topics)

Push and/or Pull Factors

Ethnic Enclaves

Immigrant Occupations

Immigrant Settlement Patterns

Immigrant Assimilation Process

Immigrant influence on American Culture (e.g. food, music, traditions, etc.)

Nativism and Immigration Restriction

Relation between War and Immigration

Relation between the Economy and Immigration

Relation between Oppression and Immigration

Comparison between East Coast and West Coast Immigration

Comparison between 19th and 20th-Century Immigration

Subject Guide