Directions: Compose a close-reading and literary analysis of any of the texts we read on our syllabus after Frankenstein (options include: Pygmalion, An Inspector Calls, Anglophone Poetry, Waiting for Godot, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, or Father Comes Home from the Wars). Your essay should advance a clear, convincing, and interesting argument, buttressed by judiciously chosen, carefully analyzed, and properly cited textual evidence. You are free to compose an argument about any aspect of the work. However, I am evaluating you on the strength of your claim and your analysis of textual evidence used to support your claim about one of the “projects” of the work. The best papers will be intellectually interesting, have an organizational structure that centers around the overarching claim, will flow organically from paragraph to paragraph assisted by carefully constructed transitions, and be free of grammatical and formatting errors. Strong arguments or claims will be cognizant of the text as a whole yet grounded in specific components of it. Things to Remember/Self-Assessment: Title: A good title specifies the nature and purpose of your essay. A good title hints at your argument or the main idea/ideas in which your paper is engaged. Thesis Statements: The thesis statement presents the central argument of the essay in clear and specific language. In this class, your argument MUST be about the text. Lastly, remember that while a topic clarifies your general focus or line of inquiry, the thesis statement makes a specific and debatable claim about the topic. Try asking the following questions as you work towards a claim: What is the text asking us to consider? Why do these ideas matter? Is the artist complicating our understanding of something? If so, how? -Avoid claims that are statements of opinions, general observations, obvious claims, and repeating the exact points from class. Body Paragraphs/Transitions: The success of your body paragraphs will depend not only on how well they support the essay’s overarching argument or claim, but also how well they connect to each other. Each body paragraph should focus on one main idea and advance or explain your argument in a single, clear step. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that announces its purpose in the essay, and it should connect to the paragraphs that precede and follow it. *Think back to our workshop on reverse outlining. Assess your own drafts. Does every paragraph have a purpose? Does every paragraph advance your argument or claim in some way?
Are the paragraphs in the order that makes the logical sense in terms of an argument? Evidence: The most important aspect of your paper besides your overarching claim is the evidence you use to support your claim. Every time you include textual evidence in your paper, ask yourself “how” or “why” the author, the narrator, or character is presenting these ideas in this specific way. How does the language or some formal element create meaning? How does this meaning relate to your overall argument? Think about the quotation sandwich, and frame very quote. Be sure to introduce the quote by explaining who is speaking and set up what the quotation says in your own words. Then, insert your textual evidence, making sure to use a proper in-text citation. Your follow-up statements should explain what about the quotation is important and what you take it to say. It’s always a good idea to tell you reader what specific words or phrases from your evidence really point to the ideas you are working with. Finally, explain why this quotation is important to your argument. What about the evidence you have selected proves your argument is valid? *Be sure to asses all the pieces of evidence you have included. Is your evidence supporting a claim or explaining/describing what happened in the plot of the work? If your evidence is being used to support plot summary, you are not making an argument. You are making an observation. Essays of observation are less successful than essays of analysis and argumentation. Suspense for EI: Lesson 39 (6 Dec) is the last day I will offer EI for Essay 3. I am more than happy to answer questions about your ideas via email or bounce ideas about your paper. Face-to-face meetings are more productive for discussing drafts or draft material. Be sure you have specific questions if you want me to read a draft or partial draft. I will not read a draft without specific questions. Length: 1750-2000 words. Format: For formatting guidance, see the “MLA Template for Core Courses,” which will be posted on the course Blackboard site. Your paper should have one-inch margins, and your prose should be double-spaced. Please use Times New Roman size 12 or a similar font. Follow MLA guidelines when paraphrasing, quoting, and/or citing. Remember to include a complete and accurate documentation statement and a correct list of works cited. Restrictions: For this assignment, the only resource that you are permitted to use outside of the text is a good dictionary, such as the Oxford English Dictionary (www.oed.com) or the American Heritage Dictionary (www.ahdictionary.com). The OED is by far the best dictionary of the English dictionary, but the AHD may also be useful. Do NOT use any biographical information. Do NOT consult any secondary sources or aids, such as online analyses. Collaboration: While your analysis must be your own, you are welcome to discuss your ideas with other students in English 211. Be sure to document all help received while working on this essay. If you have any questions about the honor code or my expectations concerning academic integrity, please speak with me. Value: 25% of your final grade