Analytical Essay

Due in class on Monday, November 29, 80 points

Three to Five Pages, Printed Out and Stapled

Plan due via e-mail before Monday, November 22, 20 points

For this assignment you will analyze any of the course texts except for The Latehomecomer. Your essay should focus on a short block of text (a full poem or about a page of prose), and your thesis should describe what you find interesting about the short block of text. Much of your essay should consist of "back-story," the events, forces and characters that are not present that shape the block of text.

Here are steps that you should follow in writing this essay.

1. Look over all of the texts in the course reader, especially the ones we have not yet covered in class.

2. Read what you find interesting, and mark what you think are really interesting points.

3. Select one reading to focus on for your paper. Send me a plan via e-mail about what you want to write about before Monday, November 22. The plan should include the title of the text as well as the page number(s) of the short block of text you selected. You should also explain in about one paragraph what you find interesting about the text you have selected.

4. Do research and then formulate a thesis and an outline.

5. Expand your outline into paragraphs.

6. Write/rewrite an intro and conclusion.

Your thesis should be grounded in the text, and it should explain as accurately as possible what is happening. You should pay attention both to what makes the situation unique and what it has in common with other situations. In the body of your paper you should explain the situation and tell the back-stories. The back-stories consist of events outside of the short block of text you are focusing on as well as events, characters and forces that are beyond the text. For example, a significant part of the back-story for most of us in ICS24/ELIT24 is the passage of the 1965 Immigration Act, which allowed most of our families to migrate to the US.

Look up what you do not already know, and cite your sources.

Finally, remember that this is a formal, academic essay and that you are writing for an academic audience. Here are things I will pay attention to as I read your paper:

  1. Introduction, conclusion, and overall unity and coherence of the paper
  2. Clearly identifiable thesis
  3. Paragraphs with transitions
  4. Grammar and mechanics
  5. Citations
  6. 12pt font, double-spaced, 1 to 1.25" margins, 3-5 pages, stapled
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