Intro to Literary Study (2005)

2 Feb 2005
Ex 1-2: Comparative Analysis

Read three articles (to be chosen by your instructor), and assess their relative merits as sources for a literary research paper. (2-3 pages, with a properly-formatted MLA works cited list.)

Article 1 Finnegan, Lora. "London in Oakland - attractions of Jack London's hometown in Oakland, California." Sunset
Article 2 Askin, Denise T. "Anagogical Vision and Comedic Form in Flannery O'Connor: The Reasonable Use of the Unreasonable." Renascence
Article 3 Barash Nanelle R. and David P. Barash, "Biology, Culutre, and Persistent Literary Dystopias." Chronicle of Higher Education

Intended Audience: A high school senior whose idea of literary research is visiting

Come up with a clear thesis statement -- a single main idea. Choose supporting points that build a case for your main idea.

Support all your claims with brief quotations -- usually no more than a few crucial words -- from the assigned readings. You must cite each reading at least once; you may cite additional readings, if you wish.

Write for a reader who has ready access to the readings, and is not interested in reading your summary of the articles' main points.

Avoid starting with a general introduction, spending one paragraph on each reading, and then tacking on a conclusion. The result will almost certainly be robotic and awkward.

Instead, come up with criteria that you will use to judge the relative value of each text. Begin with the most important criteria, and move on to less-important details.

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I was wondering if there was anyway you could let us know the articles we'll need to read for this asap? I see it's due on Wednesday and it would be super to be able to work on it over the weekend (well.. maybe not *super* but you know what i mean ;c)

Posted by: moira at January 26, 2005 11:42 PM

Okay, I've updated the page to include the links. Enjoy!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 28, 2005 05:37 PM

Is the second article the O'Connor one we already read? My computer's being mean, and when I went to a lab, that was the article it printed.

I'm deeply confused. :-\

Posted by: Valerie at January 31, 2005 10:31 PM

Yes, Valerie, Article 2 is the same Flannery O'Connor article that I assigned earlier.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 1, 2005 05:26 PM

Thank you, Dr. Jerz! :-)

Posted by: Val at February 1, 2005 06:19 PM

after writing my paper, i just talked to a classmate who told me the objective was completly different that what i had thought. could u possibly clarify so im certain i did the right paper? thanks so much!

Posted by: kellyn at February 1, 2005 10:07 PM

That bibliography builder on your Literacy Weblog is really cool, Dr. Jerz.

If you guys haven't seen it yet, check it out:

Posted by: ChrisU at February 1, 2005 11:10 PM

Kellyn, I'm afraid I don't really have much to say beyond what's already on this page... what was the objective that you thought this paper was about, what did your classmate say, and how do those those percieved objectives relate to what's on this page?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 2, 2005 09:40 AM

Students had trouble with:

Following assignment instructions.
Addressing the needs of the audience.
Summariaing each article in a separate paragraph (a structure I specifically warned against).
Integration of quotation marks. (I expected that... we'll work on it for next time.)

Faulty parallelism

Formatting and Style

Proper use of quotation marks
When to use quotation marks and when to italicize titles
Difference between primary and secondary sources
Basic MLA style issues (when to doublespace, where to put page numbers, etc.)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 16, 2005 10:46 AM
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