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April 25, 2006

Achievable goals for Paper III

Formal Oral Presentations -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)

Iíve had some difficulty with this last paper, no doubt, but I finally think Iím on the right track. However in my oral presentation, I wanted to include some goals, not only for this paper, but also to outline what I hoped to take from this class, once itís over.

By writing these, I identified my own weaknesses and they represent a type of check list. Without reviewing the course objectives that were in the syllabus at the beginning of the semester, Iíd like to think these goals would compare favorably.

These are somewhat broad, but if a person wanted to narrow their focus, it would be something fairly easy to do.

1. Learn to write a paper from one of the perspectives in Robertsí book. I have always been able to write a thesis and support it, but writing from a critical perspective has been my problem, no doubt about it.

2. Learn solid ways to construct an argument, that is, the ways to argue in favor and against a thesis.

3. Learn techniques to find the research I need to put a critical paper together. Iíve relied on books from the library stacks, but Iíve had trouble locating scholarly journal articles from which I can draw quotes and information. Perhaps the reason for this is some of the arguments Iím trying to make are obscure enough that they havenít been covered by a lot of scholarly publications.

4. To be able to look at a series of work by an author, analyze and remove the ideas I need, assess that information and then possess the ability to recognize a critical perspective from which I can write.

5. Obtain the grade I want for that paper. Having said that, getting the grade would be a hollow achievement if the above objectives werenít met (and I knew it). There have been times when I was pleasantly surprised by the grades Iíve received and wondered to myself if I truly deserved a grade that high. But thatís a secret I can probably live with, ha-ha!

Posted by MattHampton at April 25, 2006 11:43 PM


Matt, thanks for putting this online. I've blogged it.


Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 26, 2006 08:56 AM


Your organizational skills are something that I wish I had, and while you have set your goals high, I think that they are more than achieveable for this final paper. This paper is an absolute mind-draining challenge, and being able to construct a great paper is very difficult. But what you are doing is exactly the right way to go with your goals. I wouldn't really worry too much, because you have critical thinking skills.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at May 3, 2006 09:54 PM

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