Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah examines the way gender, class, and race intersect to create complex identities. Adichie challenges readers to see black women in America, specifically, as a diverse group composed of vastly different sorts of people and experiences. Ifemelu is often uneasy with the restrictions placed on her, and she frequently attempts to move beyond the categories in which she finds herself. One might say that while the novel appears to be the story of Ifemelu’s migrations between America and Nigeria, it is also the story of her movement between careers, social classes, relationships, and ethnic communities.


With the above in mind, write a thesis-driven research essay in which you compare how Ifemelu and another character of your choosing feel the effects of race, class and gender in the United States. 

What do the differences between these two characters’ experiences suggest to readers about life in the US? You should form a strong argument based on your research and your analysis of the novel and should sustain that argument throughout the paper.

Remember: Essays should be focused on the novel—its events, characters, and language—and discussion of topics like race and class should be in service of that focus.


Please respond to this prompt with a 9-page essay unified around a clear thesis. The essay should be formatted according to APA guidelines. The page count includes title page, abstract, and reference pages.

Keep in mind that an effective literary analysis demonstrates close reading; this means you should pay careful attention to the text itself and quote frequently to support your claims.


You are required to use APA-style documentation throughout the essay for both in-text citations and the reference page.

Research:  You must incorporate three credible secondary sources (at least one of which must be from a peer-reviewed scholarly journal) from an College library database. Sources found via search engine are not acceptable for the purposes of this assignment.

Library Database Suggestions for Scholarly Journals: EBSCOHost, ProQuest, Project Muse

These sources must appear in your references page in proper APA format.

Types of Sources: Your research will be a way of learning more about race, class, gender or the immigrant experience. While Adichie’s text uses fiction to explore these topics, your research is an opportunity to see what relevant discoveries scholars and thinkers have made. Choose a topic you would like to know more about and that you plan to address in your essay.  Your instructor will guide you in the research process.

Annotated Bibliography

Prior to submitting your first draft, you will submit an annotated bibliography that includes five potential research sources (including at least two peer-reviewed scholarly journal sources). The bibliography should be formatted according to APA standards for reference pages and annotations for each source should include:

  • A brief summary of key points
  • Why a given source is credible
  • What purpose the source will serve in your essay

Final essays will not be accepted by students who have not submitted an annotated bibliography.

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