Writing Prompts


Generating Ideas and Content for an Essay
Objective for this Page: To generate ideas and organize content for an essay or discussion.

Re-read “No Name Woman” and use the following prompts to write a first draft of a paper. Copy and paste these questions on a Word document. As you answer, carefully note examples from the text, quoting parts, and then work to summarize your observations.

Of course these same questions may be used for class and Web discussions.

  What do we learn about growing up in America as the daughter of Chinese immigrants?  What Chinese cultural forces shape the narrator of “No Name Woman”?


What do we learn about Chinese culture from the aunt’s story? What was the role of women versus that of men?


The aunt crossed boundaries and you might argue that Kingston does as well in this essay. How and why does Kingston break a family taboo?


Identity issues abound in “No Name Woman.” You might consider that we never learn the aunt’s name; however, Kingston does tell her story.  Kingston also shares examples from her life as she negotiates two cultures: American and Chinese. Come to some conclusions regarding Kingston’s identity as a Chinese American.

Drafting an Essay

Assessment: After responding to these questions, formulate a thesis: a main point that you would like to share with your readers. Then pull from your above responses to support your thesis, remembering to organize the points. Use examples from the text to support your assertions. Good luck!



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Click to the VCCS home page.This website was developed by Dr. Kelli Olson at Piedmont Virginia Community College with the assistance of Mary Clare DiGiacomo, Coordinator of Distance Learning and Instructional Technology Design. It was funded by a grant from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) in the Spring Semester, 2004.  © 2004 by the Virginia Community College System.