Critical Essay (Brief)
Select a work of fiction (a popular novel or short story) that you have already read or that you would like to read. Discuss it briefly according to one of the elements of the narrative which we have reviewed: plot, characters, setting, time sequence, symbol, irony, theme, situation, structure, point of view, dialogue, style or some other perspective. In addition to your own comments and quotes from the work, you will incorporate comments of other literary critics as your supporting information. You will get these comments from library research including books, periodicals, reference works, internet sources.
Your paper will have a title page, sentence outline page, an expository essay of at least five paragraphs, an endnote page with at least five entries (to say where each quote was taken from in sequential order) and a bibliography page of at least five sources including all of the works you quoted from, the work which is the subject of your paper, and any other works which would be of interest to your reader for further reference. Of course, the paper will have the usual parts: introduction with thesis statement, body and conclusion.
Critical Essay (Detailed)
The Critical Essay will be the culmination of all that you have learned this term. It will combine your knowledge of two forms of discourse: the exposition and the narrative. Your task is to choose a narrative work (novel after 1500 or short story after 1900 only) and to analyze it according to one of the narrative elements as discussed in Say It With Style pp 198-199. You should carefully read over pages 1-6 of the back book (after the divider) of Say It With Style and follow the instructions to the letter.
The hardest part of this assignment is often the choice of subject. The best advice is to choose a popular and well known author and to use his best known novel or short story (no plays or poems). This will simplify your research task.
For example, you could choose Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” as your subject work and do your exposition explaining what each ghost symbolizes.You will structure the essay in five paragraphs ONLY (in sandwich format) and the subject work (“Christmas Carol” in this instance) will be used for quotes that prove your point. You will also include quotes from the critics (at least four sources plus the subject work) that support your ideas. Be sure that your essay does not just tell the story line of your subject work. This assignment is NOT a book report; rather, it is an analysis of some aspect of the work. Doing a book report will give you less credit on this assignment.
Think of this paper as summarizing what critics have to say about your work. Make sure you put quotes around anything taken directly and that you source (endnote) even what you have paraphrased in your own words. The total of quoted material should not exceed 25% of your essay and you should be careful about this because turnitin.com will flag your essay if it has too much that is not YOUR ORIGINAL work.
Be sure to include all of the pages necessary to this formal, documented research report: title page, outline, essay of no more than 5 paragraphs with at least 5 quotes from the subject work and critics, and at least 5 bibliographical sources. Both endnotes and bibliography will include the work which is the subject of the paper. Also, make sure that you underline the thesis and the preview of the essay.
You can choose your subject work from any free database of online works and download a copyright-free printout. “Christmas Carol” is only one of many choices. Here is a useful database to find a copy of your subject work: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/
You can search by subject, author or title and download any or all of a work.
The database that has the best criticism (and a capsule biography of the author) to use for critics’ quotes is part of the Miami-Dade Library. It is the Gale Literature Database at:
Follow the link that says “Find Articles.” These databases may require you to log in using your Miami-Dade ID and password. Choose Gale Databases. Log in as kendallcampus (lower case, all one word).Then, from the list of Gale Electronic Resources find Literature. When you open the Literature database, state your author and hit the tab marked “Criticism.” This should give you more than enough sources. You may also draw from the other tabs in Gale like Biography etc.
You can supplement these sources with the MDC database called Academic Search Premier that is at LINCCWEB from the “Find Articles” tab. For this one, log in with your authentication number (the one on your college ID card) and the password is the last 4 digits of your social security card OR the last four of your login id.
You MUST use these MDC databases so that I can check your sources. You may NOT use any proprietary or login or credit card database that I can’t get into. I must be able to check all sources. You may use a Google source ONLY if I can get there and check it.
You should take a minute and open Say It With Style (the back book) to page 62 where you will find Tracee Connors’ essay “Critical Review of Symbolism in the Novel, Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.” Read over this essay as the best example of the Critical Essay. Note how Tracee has supported her thesis that there is symbolism in three areas: symbols of Christ, symbols of nature and symbols of the code hero. See how she supports each with quotes from the work and from the critics.
In Collegiate Reader under the Term Paper chapter you will find two additional examples which you are responsible for reading as examples: pp 179 and 189. Be sure to flip through the rest of the back book of Say IWS also because I have included much information and many forms that will assist you. I will expect that you have read over this for the Final.
Remember that this is a double grade and that it is required by ALL students in ENC 1102. Therefore, you MUST submit this paper to pass this class. Send to our drop box by the due date.
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