Who do you think you are?

| March 16, 2014

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Who do you think you are?
You have a choice of options for your final paper. Each option provides a general topic for your thesis but you’ll need to narrow the topic accordingly. Think about your existing work and how to best approach the task at hand.
In all cases, I am looking for a critical perspective on identity that you have developed throughout the quarter based upon your personal exploration and class readings.
I am looking for a significant rewrite. That means that you must use your work as the basis for the assignment but you must refocus, reshape and restructure it for the final paper.
You must also find, integrate and provide analysis of two secondary sources. The sources should inform and support your ideas about identity.
Options:
• Rewrite your personal essay, expanding it to 8 pages. You must rewrite, not simply edit, the paper and apply a critical perspective to your work in which you discuss the notion of identity, or a sense of self, as you understand it.
• Rewrite your critical essay, expanding it to 8 pages. You must rewrite the paper and apply a critical perspective to your work in which you discuss the notion of identity as it relates to the uncanny.
• Combine and rewrite your two essays to develop an 8 page paper in which you discuss the familiar/unfamiliar or home/homelessness and otherness as they relate to a sense of self, or identity. For this option you can engage your final reading of the short story by Anthony Doerr.
• 8 pages, double-spaced, 12 pt. font
• Give your work a unique title
• Include a Works Cited page
• Use MLA formatting standards
• Properly cite your sources (in-text and on the Works Cited page)
• Online sources are acceptable provided that they are credible and reliable.
Criteria for Evaluation
Questions: Can the writer answer the question, “so what?” That is, how interesting are the questions raised by the essay? How are they presented? Would those questions allow someone unfamiliar with the texts we’ve engaged in class to get at some of the works’ intricacies? Raising good questions is more important than coming up with particular answers.
Definitions: Think about major terms (identity, home, uncanny). Are the main issues focuses, narrowed and defined?
Argument: First, can I find a thesis? How well is the argument laid out in the opening? Does the body of the essay follow and extend the thesis? Does each paragraph extend the argument, working from least important to most important issues? Are paragraphs dynamic, that is, do they create a sense of direction for the reader? If I look at a paragraph, does it focus on and develop a single idea (the paragraph topic)?
Analysis: Does the essay analyze the texts rather than restate them? If you engage a source do you provide your analysis? Don’t expect the reader to do the work of analysis for you. Remember, information from texts is not considered evidence until you clearly link the summary, paraphrase or quote, to your own ideas.
Integrating sources: Evidence from class readings as well as two secondary sources is integrated in support of your views. You utilize summary, paraphrases or quotes appropriately and provide your own analysis, linking the source to your own ideas. You provide correctly formatted in-text citations and a bibliographic entry on your Works Cited page for each source.
Formatting, MLA citations, bibliography: Your essay is formatted according to MLA guidelines. Your in-text citations and Works Cited page conform to MLA standards.
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