American Literature

| May 19, 2015

The essay should be 4-5pages in length. Minimum word count: 1500

Write the word count at the end of the essay to avoid a point deduction.

Make sure to include the peer-reviews and the cover letter (points will be deducted if you fail to include them).

Observe the MLA handbook guidelines for citation.

Focus on one text.

You can choose to write on any of the text we’ve covered from Monday, 3/16 (Washington Irving) to Monday 5/11 (Rebecca Harding Davis).

You should focus on doing close textual analysis; please do not use secondary sources.

Pay attention to the aesthetic and formal qualities of the text as you address the thematic concerns in your paper:

Notice ways in which the author uses particular imagery, metaphor, simile, irony, and other literary tropes to convey his/her points.

Focus on the author’s use of language and word choice.

You will need to have a clear thesis in the introductory paragraph.

If you fail to include a strong thesis, your grade will suffer.

Stay away from obvious thesis; probe beneath the surface meaning of the text.

If you can think of many textual evidences right away, your thesis may not be a strong one.

Provide strong supportive arguments for your thesis in each paragraph.

Provide explanatory statements for your supportive arguments.

Include textual evidences to back up the claims you are making in each body paragraph.

You should provide more than one textual evidence in each body paragraph.

Stay away from plot summary. Every sentence should prove your thesis directly.

Avoid generalizations.

Address the text right away and prepare the reader for your thesis.


MATERIALS:  Nina Baym, Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volume B; 8th Edition. SPECIFICALLY FROM PAGE 1039-1048 (Thoreau chapter 4 sounds), 1071-1085 (Thoreau chapter 9 The Ponds, 1136-1155 (Thoreau chapter 17-18).

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