2000 words, not including bibliography (include the word count in the upper corner)
ASSIGNMENT: Choose from one of the texts we?ve covered in the final 5 weeks of class: Black Arts
poetry, Twilight: Los Angeles, Citizen 13660, or ?Don?t Let Me Be Lonely.? As with previous papers, your ultimate goal is to make a historically informed claim about what this particular example of protest literature is, in fact, protesting. In this assignment, we will put the four main elements together; we?ve been practicing them all semester. These are:
1) A clear, original, and interpretive thesis that does not state the obvious or offer a truism or fact. It must be a statement that depends upon looking closely at the text for support. It should contain the logic for the entire paper; every aspect of your paper should directly relate to your thesis.
2) Close readings. You must include ample and interpretive close readings of the text under consideration. Quotations and references must be properly introduced, cited, formatted, and explained. The majority of your close readings must be of passages we did NOT cover in class.
3) Historical context with use of a primary and secondary sources. If the poem is about ?race? in 1989 in some ways, then you must educate yourself about the state of the public debate about race in 1989. This should be done with both primary and secondary reading. You must include a bibliography with at least one primary source that you?ve found and at least one scholarly secondary source that you?ve found. Your paper will then clearly establish the very specific issues under debate at the time in order to then explain how your chosen work is engaging with them.
Secondary research must include an actual article-length essay on a certain topic. The essay should NOT be about the literature you?re analyzing. It should be about an issue from that time period. Remember: ANY information you get from ANY source must be fully documented.
Good databases for research include America: History and Life, JSTOR, Literature Resource Center, and News: Pro Quest Newspapers.
4) A consideration of genre. There is a major difference between a poem and a one-woman stage performance and a graphic novel. Thus, part of your analysis must overtly consider how the form of the text is related to its meaning. This can be particularly helpful in explaining the ?how? part of your thesis: a text makes a certain argument (the what) and it does so, in part, through the various formal elements of the genre (the how).
? You are encouraged to meet with me in advance to discuss your idea (or to help generate ideas). Waiting until the day or two before the paper is due is not recommended.
? Clearly establish the issue you see the text engaging with in your introduction by referencing another primary text from the time period that you have found.
? Your overall question must have some clear connection to ?protest literature? and some of the themes/ideas/questions we?ve been discussing this semester.
? Before sitting down to write, look at the comments on your first two papers (both the typed comments and the marks I?ve made on the pages themselves). Make a list of all the aspects to keep in mind, from thesis development to topic sentences to properly introducing quotations. Be sure to review that list as you write your draft.
? Remember: your analysis should contain a ?what? and a ?how?: WHAT exact and specific issue is a text protesting or in some way exploring, challenging, or otherwise engaging with? What beliefs or assumptions does the text support or challenge, or both? And HOW is the text making its argument? That is, what formal strategies does the text use? Specific line breaks or diction or rhythm or meter? Visual cues? Blank spaces on the page? Images that contrast or supplement the text? Does it shock? Does it demand reader involvement? Etc.
? Formatting: Most important are your ideas and argument, but for this paper, your grade will suffer if you do not follow the instructions and formatting guidelines I?ve listed on the syllabus and the paper assignments. For each formatting error, however minor, you will lose a point. Example: no staple, no header with last name and page number on each page, not using 12-point font or 1-inch margins, using faint or blue ink, etc. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. One way to avoid losing these points: finish your paper early and meet with another student to review each other?s papers.
? Reminder from syllabus on formatting: All written assignments must be typed using 12-point Times New Roman or Times font, on 8.5? X 11? white paper, double-spaced. Margins should be one inch. Papers must be stapled. No folders, binders, or cover sheets are necessary. No need for a separate title page; the first page includes, single-spaced in the upper corner, your name, assignment identification, course number, instructor?s name, and date. Below that, centered, is a title, and then four lines below, begin the text. On subsequent pages, include only your last name and the page number.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: You must include a separate sheet with the heading of ?Bibliography,? and you must follow the MLA format as established very clearly on the Purdue OWL site for the Works Cited page: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/05/ or as outlined in the IUSB writing handouts; scroll down to ?The Works Cited Page?MLA Format? at http://www.iusb.edu/~sbeng/fyw.shtml. Remember: ANY source you look at in preparation for this paper must be listed on the bibliography. And ANY information you use in the paper itself must be appropriately attributed and cited. Good rule of thumb: if you mention something that you did not know before joining this class, it needs to be attributed and cited. This includes secondary readings we?ve looked at together as a class.
YOU WILL BE GRADED ON THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
? Clear, original argument. Your paper needs a clear, identifiable thesis statement. What exactly will you argue? Remember that the most successful arguments show us something about the text we would not have otherwise noticed if it weren?t for your excellent close readings and interpretation.
? Relevant, specific primary and secondary research that directly relates to your reading of the text.
? Consideration of genre.
? Proper and complete citation and attribution, both in-text and on Bibliography page.
? Ample, well-explained evidence. Your paper needs support: how will you support your argument with specific passages from the text, which you interpret and unpack?
? Focused, clear paragraphs that directly support the thesis. Refer to the Guidelines for important information on the AXES paragraph, unpacking a quotation, etc.
? Clear incorporation and introduction (and citation) of evidence. Assume the reader of your paper is only somewhat familiar with the novel. When discussing evidence, introduce it in advance so your reader understands what the context is, who is speaking, when, etc.
? Originality. Feature evidence and argumentation that we did not exhaust in class.
? Attention to detail. Remember, every sentence should be as clear as possible. Every paragraph should be focused on one main idea. The paper should have an interesting title. And the paper must be well-proofread and spell-checked.
? Following all formatting guidelines, such as a header on each
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