Benchmark #4: Research Project

Gatsby Research Project


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Students will analyze The Great Gatsby as a social commentary.
Students will use a variety of resources (print, reference, electronic) to research selected sub-topics related to the 1920s and The Great Gatsby.
Students will link literary analysis with historical research.

You will be creating a google slides presentation that integrates The Great Gatsby with historical research. The prompt for your project is:

             How/Why is The Great Gatsby an accurate portrayal of the 1920s in regards to corruption and the pursuit of the American Dream?

To answer this prompt, you will read and analyze Fitzgerald’s novel, as well as conduct independent research. You will select 2 of the following 5 sub-topics to research, and ultimately prove your thesis.

Organized Crime                                  
Ethnic Prejudice
Gender Roles
*You will choose one subtopic to tie to the American Dream and one subtopic to tie to corruption in the 1920s.

*NOTE: You may not choose both Organized Crime and Prohibition as your two subtopics- they are too similar*

The focus of your project is to show how/why The Great Gatsby is considered the best social commentary of the 1920s. Once the research component is complete, you will be prepared to start the putting together your slide show.  

Slide 1 – Title, Name, Date

Slide 2 – Subtopic 1 historical background information (research)

Slide 3 – Examples of subtopic 1 in novel – quotes w/page number

Slide 4 – Subtopic 2 historical background information (research)

Slide 5 – Examples of subtopic 2 in the novel – quotes w/page number

Slides 6 & 7 – Response to the prompt (How/Why is The Great Gatsby an accurate portrayal of the 1920s in regards to corruption and the pursuit of the American Dream?) – This is your analysis or the reasoning explaining the connections of the historical topic you chose and Gatsby.

Slide 8 – Works Cited Page ( can help)

Slides 2 & 4 will be the historical background facts. These slides will cover historical information you found in your research and prepare the reader for the literary analysis.
Slides 3 & 5 will be the literary quotes that show that this subtopic is a part of the The Great Gatsby.
Slides 6 & 7 are the final analysis that will link the historical facts to the characters and/or the plot of Gatsby, once again proving how/why the novel is a successful social commentary.

For this paper you will be writing about history, as well as literature, so you must remember the rules:

             ~When writing about history, you must use the past tense.

             ~When writing about literature, you must use present tense.


Length: 8 slides minimum (it can be more)

Font: Times or Times New Roman

Font size: 14

Parenthetical Documentation: The Analysis slide will follow MLA format                       

Number of sources: 3 total (1 per sub-topic): The Great Gatsby will be your 3rd source.


This is not all about facts on the 1920s; your ultimate job is to show how Fitzgerald exposes corruption and/or the illusion of the American Dream in the 1920s.

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