Those marked with dark bullets () are required and can be found inyour seminar copy pack, with the exception of Jane Tompkins essaySentimental Power, which is included in your edition of .
Ultimately I don’t see that your essay has yet presented a clear and precise argument but there are two definite possibilities which you have already unveiled that could work. The first is the argument about how first vs. secondhand sources are different both in themselves and as they are perceived and treated by the researchers who find and use them. The second argument may be more interesting but also more complex. If this is related to the idea that a researcher is often blind to his or her own limitations in perspective. Tompkins makes mention of this and demonstrates it with Perry Miller. You do as well with your Fitzhugh example. Note that your perspective is no less biased than either of the heirs or hers. You might also notes that while Frederick Douglass is point of view is certainly a firsthand account, and while you might perceive it as more honest, it is no less biased either. This might be a way in which you can combine both arguments into one essay. Whatever you decide, understand that you must be more clear and direct in speaking to your own audience about what you are trying to accomplish and how what you provide your reader and supports that purpose.
"Tompkins" – WriteWork - Essays and Papers for Students
Your essay doesn’t mention Jane Tompkins until the very last paragraph and then really does not explain, site, or develop a discussion of her text that is useful to your essay. I would suggest that you first of all present her text more thoroughly and sooner in your own essay perhaps even in the introduction but certainly by the second paragraph. This might allow you to as you say demonstrate how her work is spawned a channel to your own work which you could then demonstrate in very specific ways. Once you introduce for text, then you will be able to make a reference to her own work or thinking throughout your essay where it’s appropriate to support your ideas or experience.