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The final portfolio will consist of three pieces of writing, which you should submit as one document


The final portfolio will consist of three pieces of writing, which you should submit as one document. The portfolio should include:

1. Cover Letter

The cover letter should demonstrate the responsibility you took in your work and writing choices. Use it as a space to reflect on whatever frustrations or struggles you had in writing for this class. Take a look at my feedback. Do you notice any consistent comments? How/What did you learn to improve your writing during the course of the semester? Approx. 1-page single-spaced.

2. Revised Draft of Literary Analysis

3. Revised Draft of Research Paper

Research Paper (draft)

A complete draft of your research paper should include:

A title that gives the reader some insight into the paper topic.

6-8 pages double-spaced pages on a topic of your choosing.

FOUR sources published on the topic that you will integrate into your reading. At least TWO of these sources should be academic/peer-reviewed. You can find these sources on Google Scholar or one of the UHV library's databases.

A paragraph or two at the conclusion where you imagine what your research topic might look like or read like in the future.

Be clear on how you are positioning yourself in the larger conversation on the topic.


The paper should follow the most recent MLA style guidelines. If you have a question about how to cite a source or creating a works cited page, Purdue OWL provides helpful examples.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the complete draft of the research paper.

Literary Analysis (draft)

After we read VanderMeer’s Annihilation (2014), you will write a three to five-page (approx. 750-1,000 words) literary analysis. As we discussed in class in previous weeks, a critical interpretation of a literary work can focus on anything related to the literary genre:

Character(s) // Who narrates Annihilation? What is significant that VanderMeer chooses a biologist to narrate the novel? What about the other characters? Why does no one use personal names in Area X?

Place // What is Area X? What makes it so weird from a place you might see described in more realistic fiction?

Genre // VanderMeer writes in (and Annihilation is an example of) the “new weird.” Unlike more realistic fiction, the weird seeks to unsettle our familiar perceptions and representations of the world. Why/How does VanderMeer use the genre to “weird” our sense of the world and how might it allow us to see it differently?

Novel :: Film // After we finish the novel, we will watch the 2017 adaptation of Annihilation in class. The differences between media—novel and film—will give some insights on how VanderMeer describes writing in the novel: Think about how an inhuman organism—“the Crawler”—writes cryptic messages in the novel; or the importance of journals in recording a narrative of Area X? What happens to the story when the film removes these more “literary” elements?

Your literary analysis should include a thesis that will tell the reader how you will interpret the novel. While your paper should include some summary, you will want to explain the significance of the passages you highlight.

What I'm looking for when I comment on your analysis

-Clear introduction that lets the reader know how you will approach the novel and what you will focus on in your analysis.

-While summary is necessary to give the reader context, you should move beyond a simple summary of the novel. You should tell the reader why a passage or quote matters or what it might mean. What a scene in the novel and/or movie might mean. On a related note: you might admit at the beginning of your paper that you found Annihilation confusing, but you want to explain what that confusion might mean. In other words, what does it mean that the narrator of the novel might be as equally confused as the reader when it comes to Area X.

-Refer to specific passages or scenes in the novel and/or movie to support your analysis. Be as specific as possible in every sentence you write!

The research draft should be 6-8 pages

The literary analysis should be 3-5 pages

and the cover letter should be 1 page

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