Who decides what books should be banned in the United States?

Choose a book that has been banned in the United States of America. Write a research paper recording your findings about and arguing for or against the practice of censorship.

Consider the following questions to get yourself started:

Who decides what books should be banned in the United States? When did book banning begin? What is the most common reason for banning a book? How does this coincide with freedom of speech in our country? What are the significant historical and social events of the time period the book is banned? How does book banning affect the author of the book? Are bans on books ever recalled? If so, how and why?


Include the following ideas/paragraphs in your argument essay:


Brief History of Book Banning

Intersections of History and Literature

Literary Criticism of Banned Book

Evaluation of Book Banning/Counterpoint and Rebuttal



Research the terms “banned book” and “censorship” and provide background and definition.

Look up your chosen title and author. Consider how the time period and important historical and social events of the author’s lifetime may have influenced his or her literature.

Read what literary critics have to say about the banned book as a whole.

Consider why the book was banned and include specific reasons.

Arrive at a conclusion as to whether it was a fair decision and refer to factual evidence.

Keep neat notes and cite your sources carefully throughout according to Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines (8th edition).

Proofread for correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Make sure you do not use the pronoun “I” in your argument essay.

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