American Lit II (EL 267)

14 Mar 2006

Paper 1 (40pts)

Revision/Expansion of Ex 1-1, 1-2, or 1-3. Minumum four pages, not including the Works Cited page. I expect that you will make at least some reference to scholarly publications, but you should plan to pay attention mostly to the literary work(s) central to the point you want to make.

Follow MLA style (Smith 45). [Note - no comma between author's name and page number.]

Required Reading:
Researched Essays
Doing Literary Research

If you use Google or Find as your starting point when you seek sources for your literature paper, you will waste plenty of time, and you may end up with sources that were authored by high school sophomores or published in general-readership magazines like People or Time. Plenty of academic journals publish full versions of their articles online, but most do not. Since academic journals cost money to produce, the publishers don't give their articles away for free -- instead, they sell database access to libraries. You can access those databases for free via the SHU library.

Remember the research skills you learned in freshman comp, and use the library database to find academic books on literature, and peer-reviewed academic journal articles.

Databases you should use include Academic Search Elite and Modern Language Association Bibliography (both accessible through EBSCO Host). New in 2005 is the Literature Resource Center.

You may not find a whole book devoted to color symbolism in your chosen novel. You may find a whole book on your poet that doesn't mention the poem you want to write about.

But that doesn't mean you should eject your topic and look for something else. If you can't find a source that analyzes the relationship between Marjorie and Bernice in terms of a feminist understanding of community and sisterhood, you might instead look for an article on Fitzgerald's depiction of women.

But herein lies an important lesson:

If you write your paper first, and then "look for quotes" to support the paper you have already written, you will find the research process tedious and meaningless.
That "research" strategy may have sufficed in high school, but it will not work in college.

You should know the author, the article title, and the name of the journal in which the article appeared.

Be very careful to note whether you have found an article that reviews a book. In this case, the author of the article is not the one who conducted the research that went into the book. (Ideally, you should go and find the book being reviewed.)

SHU has an inter-library loan program that may help you get books in time for you to submit your revision of this paper, even if you'll have to write the rough draft based on resources that you can get your hands on now.


As was the case in Ex 1-3, Paper 1 should avoid plot summary

The paper should make a claim about the literary text, not about life or faith or politics or women or anything else in general. (Literature is the study of a particular artist's representation of reality, not the study of reality itself.)

Your thesis should be a claim about the specific work in particular. (Refer back to the descripion of Exercise 1-3 for more details.)

Employ the Claim/Data/Warrant strategy.

This does not mean that every paragraph must begin with a claim, that the second sentence of each paragraph must include data (quotations from literary and scholarly sources that support the calim), and that the paragraph must continue with the warrant (your explanation of why the data proves the claim). Instead, you might find that you need a whole paragraph to work up to your claim, and you may need several paragraphs to provide data to back up your own point, along with evidence to back up opposing claims that you plan to work against in the following paragraphs.

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Prelim ideas for Paper #1
Excerpt: Paper 1 (40pts) -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)WCW -class structure-"Pastoral", and current events...
Weblog: BrendaChristeleit
Tracked: March 1, 2006 08:37 PM
Pastoral by William Carlos Williams An Early Insight into Later Poems
Excerpt: Paper 1 (40pts) -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)Here's my paper #1 - it was not easy pulling things togther or finding things about this apparently seldom studied poem, but the more I read, the more that my thesis...
Weblog: BrendaChristeleit
Tracked: March 8, 2006 05:36 PM

I have pasted the link to my article

Posted by: OnileeSmith at March 1, 2006 08:43 PM
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