WORLD LITERATURE WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
Critical essay. In the critical essay, I am looking primarily for your ability to synthesize scholarly criticism with your own analysis in a well-organized, well-supported four-to-five-page essay. You should generate a stimulating thesis sentence that controls and unifies your development of supporting evidence. You should generate sufficiently broad topic sentences under which you can arrange in an orderly and sensible way the sequence of your ideas along with the textual evidence to support your thesis. You should document your sources accurately and review the accepted techniques of writing about literature, using a recent edition of a college handbook. Assume that I know the work; offer analysis, not summary. Stay in literary (present) tense when "in the work."
In addition to your primary source, you are to include at least THREE excerpts (quotations or paraphrases) from at least THREE authors (no "length requirement" here). In this manner, you are lending authority to your paper. (Failure to include three secondary sources will result in a failing grade.)
You may choose from any reading we have done to date.
Choose one of the following options:
- Read an outside work by one of the following authors:
from France--Balzac, Flaubert, Maupassant, Mérimée, Zola, Colette, Gide, Camus, Sartre, Duras; from Germany--Kleist, Hoffmann, Tieck, Keller, Hauptmann, Zweig, Kafka, T. Mann, Handke, Böll, Wolf; from Africa--Bâ, Laye, Ousmane, Achebe. From Canada: Yves Thériault, Michel Tremblay.
- The work you choose must be in PROSE, but may be a novel, novella, or group of short stories, if they total 50 pages or more.
- Include in your paper these 5 components
- a short plot summary (1-2 pages maximum)
- a discussion or extended reference to an in-class work
- your interpretation of the work or one aspect of the work
- a short report on one piece of criticism. If you are unable to find criticism on your chosen work, you may substitute relevant historical or social background, or relevant a report on criticism of another work by the author, with instructor permission.
- (required!) A list of sources used, with quotations properly attributed.
Show how the literature of a specific time period reflects the political, social and/or religious climate of that time.
Create an annotated bibliography of works that are relevant to your travels.
Students will be asked to select a topic up and gather information from
a minimum of four (4) sources including video tapes and other a/v materials,
interviews, the text book, reference books, journals, etc. The paper should
include a minimum of 1,000 words and a works cited page with at least four
sources Papers that meet these minimum requirements will receive a C.
Higher grades will be given to papers that exceed the minimum requirements.
You should use the MLA format for your documentation.
Subjects for the paper or project may be varied. The only requirements
are that the topic must fall within the time period of the course and
it must be of interest to the class and to the reader. Topics may reflect
the student's major, such as education in early Greece, medicine in the
Middle Ages, the influence of the Crusades on trade and business, music
of the Renaissance, or the architecture of the Romans. They may also
reflect the student's interests, such as early inventions, comparing
creation myths of the Egyptians and the Hebrews, Renaissance fashion,
slavery among the Hebrews, the brutality of the Spanish Inquisition,
or women's issues.
Please pick another culture besides the United States to research.
Our focus should be on learning about cultures other than our own.
Your success with this paper will be determined by the topic you
choose--so choose something you are interested in learning more
about because of your major, career choice, or personal interest.
You might want to look at art or sports in a particular time period,
marriage or education in the Middle Ages, how a cathedral was built,
the genealogy of a family name, how religion impacted music, or any
other subject that would combine your own interests with the time period.
Avoid the following:
- Topics that are too broad - almost anything about Shakespeare, any
mere biography or history paper. These papers are too boring.
- Topics that are too technical - if you are interested in mechanical
engineering, you may write a paper about the topic only if you can make
the topic interesting to the rest of the class and teacher. Avoid using
jargon or vocabulary that normal adults would not be familiar with.