Jan. 7, 2004
Courses and Syllabi
Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 301J
Office hours: S 04
T 1-2pm; Th 2-4pm;
And By Appt.
ENG ENL 3230 -- Essay 2
For students to demonstrate writing skills and critical thinking in a critical research paper of 6-8 pages;
For students to research the life of a single author from the syllabus ; or
For students to analyze the content and form of one or more works in an extended essay; or
For students to make an argument on the relevance of one or more aspects of the
material in class to contemporary life based on research and examples.
After you choose a writer who interests you, read at least one book-length biography on
that author. I strongly encourage you to read more than one biography, if
available, in order to judge the representations more objectively. These extras need not
be book-length biographies. THere are many references that include article length biographies.
(You'd be surprised how differently two biographers will present the same person!)
If you choose an author for whom there is no major biography, you will have
to be more resourceful. Try any one of the variety of indexes available in
the Reference section of the library; also try the Dictionary of Literary
Biography. I have created a list of eighteenth-century
to our library that will point you in the right direction.
Also, do not forget to use the Internet. My homepage also has a
list of links to relevant sites as well as links to search engines where
you can find an abundance of resources.
Your paper should summarize the life of the author and use that biography as
a way to understand his or her literature. Therefore, you should incorporate
an understanding of the author's literature in your biography. Make an argument
for how the biography enhances your understanding of a specific aspect of his or her work.
Following Birenbaum's guidelines in Chapter 1, "Analysis examines ways in
which the work achieves its particular effects, demonsrating its technical
features" (11). He highlights questions of style, genre and conventions (pp. 31-39),
but other issues of representation are also germane. Your goal is to
articulate a reasoned response to a literary work or more than one work
that involves analyzing how the effects were achieved. Consequently,
this paper moves us beyond technical appreciation to a more comprehensive
appreciation of the composite project of the work.
If you choose this option, you should be writing about one of the authors
from the syllabus and any number of works by that author. You might read
further into the canon of works by that author than directed by the syllabus.
You need not, but if you choose to do outside research, be careful to cite appropriately.
DO NOT SUBSTITUTE A CRITIC'S OPINION FOR YOUR OWN.
Because so much of the literature of the eighteenth century has
bearing on our own social and political ideas, one could make an
argument for the relevance of a particular work (or works) of art
as a lens through which to view our own social or political problems.
For instance, Swift's attitudes toward politics or lawyers
or Cowper, Behn and Equiano on issues of race may have relevance for
enduring patterns of behavior in society today. Whatever issue or
literature you choose, be clear in defining the ways in which the
eighteenth-century literature helps you to understand your own society.
Be certain to ground your arguments about the contemporary world
in a source outside your own opinion. For this, you may want to
do research in media or references. At any event, do not simply
state a problem as self-evident; always support your claims, whether
for the eighteenth or for the twentieth century.
FOR ALL OPTIONS:
Be sure to include a thesis that summarizes your argument or theme.
A thesis is an essential element (even in a research paper) that
tells the reader what he or she can expect to find in the following essay.
Include a bibliography written according to MLA standards. If you
need a reference for these rules, the MLA Handbook for Writers of
Research Papers is available in the bookstore; or you can find a
quick-reference sheet to these rules in the Library and in the back of The Happy Critic.
For your topic statement due March 23, include as much of the actual paper draft
you have composed at that time. This will allow me to give you
detailed critical feedback before the final paper is due. Also
include your preliminary bibliography.
Back to Top of Page
Back to ENL 3230 Syllabus