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timer Asked: Nov 8th, 2016

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The second thing for my English class 3-6

Lecture Notes: Writing a Literary Paper 1. A research paper about a literary topic will focus on the works used more than on any other source. A. For example, if you are writing a paper on rap music as poetry, your paper will focus on the individual rap songs much more than on any source that will explain modern music. B. If you write a paper on Wally Lamb's She Comes Undone, the paper will use the novel to the extent that it may be the only source used in writing the paper. 2. The first step in writing the paper is then to decide on what work that you want to write and read that work so thoroughly that you understand it enough to write on it. A. If you need to use other sources to help you understand the work and you use those sources in writing the paper, remember that you have to cite those sources. 3. Once you have read the works, decide what you want to do with the paper. A. Come up with a topic that will give you enough material for a 5-7 page paper. B. For example, if you read James’s “The Beast in the Jungle,” you may decide that you want to write about James’s description of the destructive nature of materialism on personal relationships. C. If you read Willa Cather's One of Ours, you may decide to write about how WWI becomes a type of redemption for Claude’s life. 4. Once you have a topic, arrive at a thesis that will make a point about your topic. A. Make sure the thesis is specific enough that you can write 5-7 pages about that thesis. 1. As you have learned in composition classes, the more specific your thesis is the easier your paper is to write. 2. Mention the author and the work in the initial thesis. B. Here are some sample thesis statements: 1) Mark Twain shows how racism can corrupt good people in Huckleberry Finn. 2) The climax of Stephen King’s The Stand represents the classic struggle of good versus evil. 3) Theodore Roethke’s “Elegy for Jane” illustrates how powerful the single image of an act is in influencing the imagination. 4) In "The Swimmer," John Cheever uses the metaphor of the swimmer to describe the escape of a modern man from his personal life. 5) In Hondo, Louis L’Amour’s title character represents the idealized hero in western literature. 6) Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honor is a classic modern hero. 7) The main character in “To Build a Fire” has the man versus nature struggle that characterizes naturalist writings. 5. Gather evidence to support your thesis. A. As you read the work, underline what will fit your point and write marginal comments about how the evidence fits. B. A second method is to take notes on the text. 1. Following each quotation (note) from the text, you will want to have the page reference and your comment about the material’s significance. C. Your comments—whether as marginal notes or as comments on note cards—will help you remember how you may want to use the material when the time comes. It may also provide explanation if you use that material in your paper. D. If you can’t find support for your thesis, you will have to change your thesis. 6. Follow the standard procedure for writing a paper using sources. A. Have an introduction that gets the readers’ attention in your paper as well as presents the thesis. B. The body of the paper contains the textual evidence and explains to your reader how your thesis applies to the work. 1. It is not enough to say that your evidence or quotation is an example of a particular point. 2. You must explain how it is an example. C. Have a conclusion that summarizes your main points and keeps the readers interested. 7. Begin your paragraphs with good topic sentences that directly reflect the idea of your thesis and repeat key ideas and words from the thesis. 8. Make sure you do not summarize the plot of the work. References to plot should only occur when you are backing up a topic sentence that makes a point about your thesis. 9. The content of your essay should be complete. A. Provide enough explanation so that your readers can understand your thesis. B. Your paper should explain itself without making readers feel the need to ask you for additional information to understand your point. C. For example, in a paper based on Sinclair Ross’s As For Me and My House, the writer is examining how a character’s attitudes toward the landscape, his work, and his wife illustrate his inability to relate to people. D. The thesis for the paper is “Philip Bentley’s inability to relate to people can be seen in his attitude toward his environment, his congregations, or his own wife.” E. A sample paragraph from that paper: Philip’s drawings of the small towns represent his incapacity for seeing beyond the building and to the people who occupy them. For example, when Philip is making a drawing of Horizon, he shows it as bleak and lifeless: A cold, hopeless little thing— . . . The solitary street lamp, pitted feebly and uselessly against the over-hanging darkness. A little false-fronted store, still and blank and white— another—another—in retreating, steplike sequence—a stairway into the night. The insolent patch of the store is unabashed by the loom of darkness over it. The dark windows are like sockets of unlidded eyes, letting more of the night gape through. (218) The picture is what Philip sees with his mental eye, as well as his physical eye. He weakens the light from the street lamp and accentuates the darkness because that is the way he sees life in Horizon. He lacks the ability to connect with people to the extent that he can’t add life and warmth to the picture and to the town as a whole. 10. In the above paragraph, notice how the writer makes a point about the thesis in the topic sentence. A. Then she follows that topic sentence with a lead-in to a specific quote from the book to illustrate how Philip’s drawings are bleak. B. Finally, she explains that quote by describing how the drawings show that Philip doesn’t connect to people. 11. Use present tense when writing about literature. A. In the above paragraph and in the sample papers, notice how writers use present tense verbs when referring to the works. B. However, do not change the tense in quotes. 12. Punctuate titles correctly. A. Titles of novels or longer works are italicized. B. Titles of short stories, poems, and essays are put in quotation marks. 13. Use direct quotations A. Remember that anything that appears in quotation marks in the work will produce a quote within a quote in your paper. B. Quotations longer than 4-typed lines should be set off as long direct quotations. 1) Remember not to put quotation marks around long direct quotations unless they represent a quote within a quote. 2) Remember to indent long, direct quotations 10 spaces from the left margin only. C. In a 5-7 page paper, try to use no more than two long, direct quotations 14. Cite all direct quotations and paraphrases with a parenthetical citation that contains the page number from which the material came. 15. Have a works cited page that lists all sources used in writing the paper.
Lecture Notes Determining the Audience and Purpose How do you write an effective argumentative essay Step 1: Prepare your argument  Identify your purpose and audience. Who is your audience and what is your goal? Do you want to take a position? In an argument, you must appeal to readers who are neutral or even hostile to your position, and you must influence those readers so that they are more receptive to your viewpoints.  Purpose- what you expect your argument to accomplish and how you wish your audience to respond. If your topic is so far-reaching that you cannot identify what you want to convince readers to think, or if your purpose is so idealistic that your expectations of their response are impossible or unreasonable, your essay will suffer.  Audience- How you approach your subject will depend on your audience-your readers. Are you writing for your professor, classmates, boss, closest friend, youngsters in the community, or the editor of a newspaper? Keep your audience in mind helps you know what information to include and what to leave out. To focus on your audience, ask yourself:  For whom am I writing? Who will read this?  How much do they know about the subject? Are they beginners or experts?  Will they likely agree or disagree with my ideas?  Next, generate ideas and gather solid evidence. You can’t base an argument on opinions. Find accurate, pertinent information about the issue and uncover all viewpoints on it.  All the points in your paper must be supported. If they are not, your audience will dismiss them as unfounded, irrelevant, or unclear. Sometimes you can support a statement with appeals to emotion, but most of the time you support your argument’s points by appealing to reason by providing evidence, facts and opinions in support of your position.  Argumentation is the appeal to reason. In an argument, a writer connects a series of statements so that they lead logically to a conclusion. Argumentation is different from persuasion in that it does not try to move an audience to action; its primary purpose is top demonstrate that certain ideas are valid and others are not. Moreover, unlike persuasion, argumentation has a formal structure: an argument makes points, supplies evidence, establishes a logical chain of reasoning, refutes opposing arguments, and accommodates the audience’s views.

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