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Homework answers / question archive / Introduction The literary analysis paper is designed to help me see how well you're understanding the novels and how well you can analyze texts, which is not only an important skill to learn in the real world, but can also lead to interesting thoughts about the themes within the books

Introduction The literary analysis paper is designed to help me see how well you're understanding the novels and how well you can analyze texts, which is not only an important skill to learn in the real world, but can also lead to interesting thoughts about the themes within the books

Writing

Introduction

The literary analysis paper is designed to help me see how well you're understanding the novels and how well you can analyze texts, which is not only an important skill to learn in the real world, but can also lead to interesting thoughts about the themes within the books.

Instructions

To write the paper, follow the steps below:

  1. Review the Purdue OWL: Literary Analysis presentation and any other pages on Purdue OWL under "Writing In Literature" (found under "Subject-Specific Writing" on the left navigation list).
  2. Choose one of the novels we've read so far (Frankenstein, Lord of the Flies, or The Hobbit).
  3. Choose one of the following questions and write a thesis statement that addresses the entire bullet point:
    • Do characters take on traits from opposite genders? How so? How does this change others’ reactions to them? Why is that important to the text?
    • What sort of support (if any) is given to elements or characters who question the masculine/feminine binary? What happens to those elements/characters?
    • What elements in the text exist in the middle, between the perceived masculine/feminine binary? In other words, what elements exhibit traits of both (bisexual)? How do those affect the text as a whole?
    • Are there any Oedipal dynamics - or any other family dynamics - at work here? How do they affect the text? Why are they important to the text?
    • What patterns exist within the text that make it a product of a larger culture? What is the culture and why is the text important to it?
    • What patterns exist within the text that connect it to the larger "human" experience? In other words, can we connect patterns and elements within the text to other texts from other cultures to map similarities that tell us more about the common human experience? This is a liberal humanist move that assumes that since we are all human, we all share basic human commonalities.
    • How does the work undermine or contradict generally accepted truths?
    • How does the author (or a character) omit, change, or reconstruct memory and identity?
    • If we changed the point of view of the text - say from one character to another, or multiple characters - how would the story change? More importantly, whose story is not told in the text? Who is left out and why might the author have omitted this character's tale? How does this omission change the meaning (or our interpretation) of the text?
    • What person(s) or groups does the work identify as "other" or strange? How are such persons/groups described and treated? Why is this important to an interpretation of the text?
    • What does the text reveal about the operations of cultural difference - the ways in which race, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, and customs combine to form individual identity - in shaping our perceptions of ourselves, others, and the world in which we live?
  4. Pick some examples from the text to support your thesis (support your claims!).
  5. Find three outside scholarly sources that supplement the support for your thesis.
  6. Write your paper.
  7. Submit your paper.

Writing requirements

  • 5-7 full pages
  • Three secondary scholarly sources from the library database(s)
  • MLA citation format (see OWL Purdue if you need help)
  • Times New Roman, 12-point font
  • Double spaced
  • At the top of your first page:

Your name
ENG348 The British Novel
Literary Analysis Paper
Date

  • The paper will be graded using the Writing Rubric found on Moodle.

Tips for Success:

  • If you use someone else's ideas, cite them, whether or not you put those ideas into your own words. Ideas need to be cited, not just words.
  • Be careful not to just summarize the book. Analysis is examining HOW an author accomplishes something. Summary is explaining WHAT an author says. You will probably use summary to a small degree in order to orient your reader. But that summary will be only a few sentences. The primary emphasis of your paper should be on HOW the assigned text does what you claim it does.For example, if I make the claim that the comic series The Awkward Yeti is attempting to raise awareness of mental health issues such as anxiety and remove the stigma associated with it, I might summarize a few of the comics, but it would only be to orient the reader’s focus on which particular comic I’m talking about (about one or two sentences). I would then explain how the characters of Heart and Brain are symbolic for different parts of a person’s personality. Then I would explain how the author is depicting the relationship between Heart and Brain through the use of his drawing style (friendly, colorful, cartoonish characters that are nonthreatening and comforting), placement of characters within a panel (Heart is generally moving while Brain is generally stationary), the relationship between pictures and words (they tend to be interdependent), transitions between panels (they are generally moment-to-moment), etc. Each of these would require very specific explanation, and they would all need to be connected back to my thesis.
    • Use the resources available to you (i.e., the librarians, your instructor, etc.). But to do this, you need to start early. Give yourself time to find resources, read them, and ask questions.

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