Friday, April 30, 2010

American Literature Critical Essay #2 Updated

American Literature Critical Essay 2 (Updated 1 May 2010)

This assignment sheet contains added information about the second critical essay and the seminar paper. It has been updated as a result of discussion with students at the week 8 classes. Add this sheet to the original instructions or view the new combined version on the web site.

Special note on seminar papers: as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, either of these topic choices could also be turned into a possible seminar paper by expanding the topics (maybe more works, authors, or depth, such as a study of multiple Hughes or cummings poems—or those of another appropriate poet with whom you are familiar--as social criticism or a study of domestic and family conflict in multiple works by Hemingway and/or Faulkner or other writers of fiction). Unlike simple project papers, seminar papers do require use of the primary texts and at least 2-3 reputable research sources to support your generalization. You don’t have to do this topic if you choose to do a seminar paper; this is only a possible suggestion. Also, you don’t have to do your seminar paper with me. If you turn in a seminar paper, it will also be graded and scored as critical paper #2—you’re not required to do an added paper. Many other seminar topics are possible, of course.

Clearly label the paper you submit as to how you want it counted: Paper #2, Seminar Paper, or Both. Put this note right under your name. If you don’t label the paper, I will assume it is a paper #2 submission.

Deadlines: Paper #2 as shown on schedule (for printout) or 21 May (electronic submission). For Both or Seminar Paper, 11 May (printout) or 27 May (electronic submission). Any forms you need completed by me should be given to me at the American Literature colloquium or by appointment during earlier times when I am on campus. E-mail me to set up appointments, but remember that I am not on campus on an every day basis. I do expect to be on campus in Skopje on 3-4 and 10-11 May. I will be at Struga 13 May.

Specific situations:

3. If you plan to turn in project #2, but NOT a seminar paper.
• Just turn in the essay as shown on the schedule, in either print-out or electronic form.
• No research is required.
• The % average of your two papers will determine your project/assignment points.
4. If you plan to do a seminar paper AND project #2.
• Just turn in the seminar paper as explained above; it will count for both assignments. As a project, it gets graded; as a seminar paper, it’s evaluated pass/fail. (Warning: plagiarized papers fail.)
• Research as explained on the seminar paper handout is required. See section 4, below, for added topic choice information.
• Seminar papers must demonstrate at least limited command of the following skills: literary analysis; use of primary and secondary research; writing ability; English language use; producing a document of appropriate development and length (about 5-10 pages).
5. If you plan to do a seminar paper, but NOT project #2.
• Follow the instructions shown above in section 4.
• Research is required; must demonstrate the four skills; pass/fail (no grade).
6. Topic Information for seminar papers (See special note above.) Choose from four options.
• Develop your own expanded version of the topics of either critical essay, as described above.
• Begin with a study guide question from those I’ve provided— one that can be developed further into a seminar paper that demonstrates the skills listed in section 4, above.
• Choose any of the topic suggestions on the seminar paper guide sheet, and develop the paper from that starting point.
• If you wish, propose an alternative topic to me in a short written proposal that tells me the topic, explains exactly what you plan to do with that topic [for example, “the paper will show that ….”], and give citations for any primary sources and 3 or more of the specific secondary sources you have examined that you plan to use.

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