Assignment: Write an essay about an issue of your choice using two texts we have studied. You also need to include research from at least two scholarly sources related to the texts you choose to write about. Ideally, you use at least one source about each text. These sources should be literature sources, written about the texts you have chosen to write about for your final essay.
Your essay must have a thesis; you need to make a claim about a debatable issue that reasonable, intelligent people can disagree with.
Think about it in these terms: what do you want to argue for or against? What point do you want to prove through examples from the text? Remember that you’re not simply comparing or contrasting two textual elements or reporting what happens in the texts; you’re making a point.
Don’t forget to ask yourself, “So what?” (in other words: Why should your reader care/Why does what you’re saying matter in terms of the texts?).
Feel free to discuss your ideas with me either in person or via e-mail. If you’re unsure if your sources are scholarly, see the Scholarly Sources handout on SNoodle under General Handouts, or ask me. Remember that a review of a text is not a scholarly source, even if the review is found in a journal.
In this essay you will
- identify and articulate the issue you find most interesting in the texts and construct an argument about that issue
- support that argument with specific textual evidence from both the texts and the scholarly sources that you choose
- express your point of view with detailed, coherent explanation
- Do not simply regurgitate what the scholarly articles say or our class discussions
- The scholarly sources should be used as support: the scholarly sources are backing up claims that you are making (i.e., the sources help you communicate to your audience, “See, I’m not the only one who thinks this – so does this expert”)
- While you may use our class discussions as a starting point, your paper needs to demonstrate that you have individually reflected on the issue about which you’re interested