Youve already written an essay on the Romantic poets in Essay 1. This assignment asks you to analyze a text from among the other authors weve read this semester. Which novel, short story, poem, and/or play have you wanted to think more about? In an essay of 4 pages, perform an analysis that develops a thesis or claim about a text or texts which the rest of your essay seeks to support through close-reading, providing textual evidence, argument, and explanation. Be bold in developing your claim and strive to advance our understanding of the literary work. The idea here is that you
1) develop in your thesis an original argument/interpretation about the text through your careful attention and reading,
2) show your readers how you arrived at that interpretation, and
3) persuade your audience that your argument is valid and defend your claims about the text.
Your essay should focus not on describing or summarizing a literary text but on advancing an argument about the literature. Take a debatable position in your thesis on what the text or a part of it means, or how we should read it, etc. (Can someone agree or disagree? If not, you likely dont have an argument). Consider testing out your thesis on your peers or myself (feel free to email, come to office hours, etc.) or take your essay to the Writing Center: https://www.una.edu/writingcenter/
To remind you, the use of topic sentences (claims about parts of the text that usually appear at the beginning of body paragraphs) are key to help you stay on task of making a persuasive argument and to offering a clear, organized essay. Again, because of the brevity of the essay, avoid summarizing and focus on persuading. Consider thinking of yourself as a lawyer, persuading your audience how the evidence (quotes and other observations about the text) and your analysis of it confirms and supports your thesis.
One way to emphasize close-reading is to spend some time/space quoting an important passage and to analyze it in detail considering things like word choice, repetition, imagery, tension, metaphor, allusions, and any other literary devices as you see fit. You need not discuss all of these elements in the passage, but should analyze those that you find most interesting and that help to develop and support your thesis. After you provide this close reading, your essay should spend some time developing and explaining the significance of your analysis. Lastly, be sure to properly quote and cite borrowed passages according to MLA style. See OWL at Purdue online for guidance with MLA style and writing about literature:
*Review Essay 1 Notes in Canvas.
Research While not required, if youd like to do research for this essay, be sure to use scholarly sources like those you can locate through UNA library. Sources like scholarly journal articles and/or scholarly books (usually from university presses) are peer-reviewed and are therefore more academically rigorous than other non-reviewed sources. Consider consulting these literature databases through UNA library: http://libguides.una.edu/databases-subject/literature (See especially Literature Resource Center and Literary Criticism Online)
If you include research, remember to focus on developing and defending your own interpretation of a literary text. Avoid the pitfall of simply reporting what others have said about your text or reporting on other information. Generally, each part of your essay should work to persuade your audience that your thesis is valid. If you find yourself reporting on information in a way that doesnt advance your argument, omit or revise the passage to make it more persuasive. Your own thinking about the literary text should constitute the majority of your essay.
T.S. Eliot \”the hollow men\”Tags: eliot, explain, hollow, poets, romantic, write