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Writing a LiteraryDr EberleUpdated Fall 2019 Pre writingWhen responding to an essay prompt or working without one remember.
that it is up to you to design a well supported argument An essay prompt merely gives you a place to begin it is your job toconstruct a thesis which can be longer than a single sentence Best tostart thinking about your first paragraph as a thesis paragraph Sometimes you actually might start off with a tentative thesis but.
most of the time you only have an idea What do you do when you startoff with an idea What is the difference between a thesis and an idea we might also think of this as a topic Re read take notes formulate grounds of argumentWhat kinds of topics are good ones .
https owl english purdue edu o... One Strategy which will work either with an essay prompt or whenworking without one Pick up to three larger topics that might be fruitful for analysis What sinteresting significant strange or revealing in this text NOTE.
that you won t be writing on all of these topics Ultimately you shouldpick one or maybe two if they re related as the focus of your essay but ifyou re casting about for ideas you can explore each topic to see which one Now make a list of details evidence from the story that relate to one ofthese larger topics Quote specifics from your text .
Now fill in the blank as many times as possible for the first piece ofevidence This detail might suggest THIS is the interpretation When you re finished move on to the next piece of evidence and soon Now look over your work Which topic seems to have the most.
interesting evidence Remember that it s better in the body of your essayto have ten statements about one piece of evidence than ten pieces ofevidence with one statement You may not want to choose the topic with the MOST evidence but the onethat interests you the most when you wrote your interpretation .
Ultimately use this work to help you generate a thesis statement that zooms in on a feature of the text and makes a claim about it i e The author uses in order to You ll want your thesis tobe specific and complex You need to be prepared to revise your thesis after you ve finished drafting.
your essay The act of writing itself generates new ideas and newarguments but the finished essay needs to present a focused and consistent Integrating Secondary Sources into your argumentUnless your thesis begins by responding quite specifically to a criticalessay you should start with the primary source material i e Pride and.
Prejudice as noted above After you ve developed your argument into athesis you can put your analysis in conversation with other voices enriching and complicating your own assertions about the text When your thesis begins as a response to another argument you willfind yourself working back and forth between primary and secondary.
sources Your goal is to both articulate your point of departure from thesecondary source s and draw from the primary source for evidence thatsupports your analysis of the text Thesis Statement and First ParagraphsAt this point in your writing career a thesis sentence is usually inadequate Instead your.
thesis statement might consist of the entire first paragraph in which you describe yourargument to the reader Remember you might not find out what your thesis is until you get to the end of yourfirst draft Once you have a specific argument go back to that first paragraph and revise itto indicate what your paper argues .
A thesis statement is not Elizabeth and Darcy are both proud and prejudiced nor is Pride and Prejudice is about nineteenth century England Use textual evidence to support your thesis even in the first paragraph You must drawupon specific details from the text to prove your argument On some occasions this mightrequire a lengthy quote sometimes you might need to simply drop in a phrase Never get.
so caught up in the idea of creating suspense that you fail to articulate your argument in thefirst paragraph In the first paragraph or the first time you mention a work you must note theauthor s name the title of the work and the date which might appear inparentheses There are many different methods of getting this information into the first.
paragraph but you must do it in some manner A thesis is always a two part proposition It has a major premise which is your position on the subject Do notoversimplify that premise You might begin with the following Pride and Prejudice is a novel about nineteenth century England .
But you need to to be more specific and more complex in your thesis and inthe essay as a whole Make sure that you also answer the how and the sowhat which moves the thesis in the direction of argument and analysis Pride and Prejudice critiques nineteenth century England s genderedlegal practices specifically entailment and coverture It does so by deploying.
a narrative voice that both overtly and covertly satirizes things as they are and in its conclusion which positions the teasing Elizabeth Bennettwithin the halls of power A statement of your reading of a work of literature but it must answerthe so what question and how question .
Three Checks of Your Draft Thesis 1 Is it limited enough in scope for your assigned paper length Or the corollaryquestion Can this thesis sustain itself for the assigned paper length Thisquestion should get answered in the prewriting phase as you accumulate your data 2 Are you specific enough in the thesis itself .
Always go beyond an observation When writing a comparative essay go beyond noting the ways that two events or characters are similar or different and instead say exactly why theyshare some elements and differ in others and then discuss what thesignificance of those shared or differing element actually is according to your.
Don t worry about signaling your argument to the reader you should signpostyour argument You want to give the reader something to read for specifically you want to set up the grounds of your argument and then go on tosystematically prove it3 Is your thesis arguable Is there evidence to support your reading again this.
gets answered in the prewriting phase DO NOT LET THE DRAFT THESIS DETERMINE WHAT YOU FIND Yourargument should emerge out of what you find in the text or texts It may bethat after writing your first few drafts you determine that your thesis needs Problems in Thesis Statements .
The Safari thesis A thesis statement that takes us on a tour of a novel s patterns For example Anne Radcliffe s novel uses supernatural imagery to make the novel mysterious The Safari thesis takes the reader on a tour of the text s themes AnneFinch and Mary Astell are interested in improving education for women The Low Hanging Fruit thesis A thesis statement with a claim but.
it s too obvious For example Early eighteenth century poets wrote in avery different environment than late eighteenth century poets The Just the Facts thesis Closely related to the Safari thesis buteven worse You can t develop a fact so you have no where to go exceptsummary For example Lady Mary Wortley Montagu s published.
letters describe her travels in Turkey Specify specify specify Don t focus on what s going on in the text or what it says In other words don t summarize The vaguebooking thesis A thesis statement that relies on.
sweeping generalizations society cliches eternal power oflove or unspecified literary devices X is conveyed byimagery and careful diction Like vaguebooking it leaves thereader with more questions than answers about the argument What do you mean by society What kind of love What kind of.
imagery All poems use diction so what are you really tryingto pinpoint One suggestion for working on your essay s outline draft1 Write your draft thesis statement on the top of your page Then break yourthesis into its natural parts thinking about the overall structure of the essay .
2 Ask yourself What is it that I m going to argue in the first paragraph Then draft a sentence that expresses that argument 3 Now choose the best most effective quotation s to express your point Every paragraph of a literary critical essay should refer directly to the text atleast once This does not mean reproducing large chunks of the text every time.
but moving between longer quotes sentences or simply phrases For everytwo sentences of prose or 2 3 lines of poetry you must have at least onesentence of analysis 3 When you re working with textual evidence you will need to Introduce the quotation locate it or begin analysis .
Reproduce the quotation in your own sentence either in its entiretyor in select sentences phases or lines Depending on the length ofthe quote you may need to offset the quotation If you do this youomit the quotation marks See the MLA guidelines Explain the significance of your quotation Ask yourself What.
does this detail suggest and How does this relate to the claim inmy topic sentence and then answer those questions in youranalysis of the quote Paragraph Structure and ArgumentEach sentence should be linked in terms of argument to the ones.
that precede it and follow it Eventually revise for continuity of argument and effectivetransitions between sentences and between paragraphs In a critical essay your job is to analyze the text and construct atheory as to what it all means .
There is consequently little room if any for the three most commonevils of the critical essay 1 summarizing when you want toanalyze 2 describing your feelings rather than laying out youranalytical proofs and 3 relying upon a very broad and generaldiscussion which never settles down to serious textual analysis never.
assume anything is obvious MLA Documentation Best to own the most recent edition of the MLAHandbook which is currently in its EighthEdition 2016 They do have.
a MLA Style Center However the Purdue Owl website can answermany questions although not all QuotationsCiting textual evidence is crucial to proving an.
argument in a literary essay in terms of bothprimary and secondary sourcesIt is very tempting to believe that the quotationscan do all of the work in a critical essay In order to avoid this particular temptation you.
should set yourself a general rule for every twosentences of prose or 2 3 lines of poetry youmust have at least one sentence of analysis Never end a paragraph with an unanalyzed Shorter Quotations At the end of an embedded quotation a period or comma.
is placed outside of the parentheses that contain the citation Longer Quotations Make sure that if your quote is offset from the paragraphin which it appears See MLA guidelines for margins and tab settings Usually you ll use a colon to introduce a quote in this way but you maysometimes need a different type of grammatical notation .
No quotation marks around the passage If you have quoted speech withinthe passage use double quotation marks The period comes after the final sentence quoted and not after theparenthetical citation In both cases you need 3 pieces of information when citing a text 1 .
author 2 title and 3 location of the quote If you note the name and title in thepassage or it is otherwise obvious from context than it does not appear in theparenthetical citation https owl english purdue edu o... Useful Purdue Owl Links.
Overview and Workshop https owl english purdue edu o... Works Cited Sample Page https owl english purdue edu o... Sample Paper .
https owl english purdue edu o... FormattingAll essays should be double spaced 12 point Times New RomanThe following information should be on the top left hand of theDr Eberle.
English 4460 Date of submission Format your required Works Cited page according to MLAguidelines Don t forget to include primary texts in your list ofsources https owl english purdue edu o... .
When uploading an essay make sure that you still have the properMLA formatting i e double spaced centered hanging indents How to cite anexcerpt in EnglishAstell Mary From The Spleen A Pindaric.
Poem Course packet The Broadview Anthologyof British Literature edited by Joseph Black Leonard Conolly et al Broadview Press pp 2 LanguageUse Active Language As a general rule of thumb avoid the to be .
verb whenever possible Weak The reason I like the play is because Nora walks out theStrong I like the play because Nora walks out the door Weak In the afternoon a sharp drop in the temperature occurred Strong The temperature dropped sharply in the afternoon .
Weak It is said that power is corrupting Pride and Prejudice. is a novel about nineteenth-century England. But you need to to be more specific and more complex in your thesis and in the essay as a whole. Make sure that you also answer the “how" and the “so what,” which moves the thesis in the direction of argument and analysis. Pride and Prejudice

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