Project #57514 - Seminar paper "a modest proposal"

Instructions:

  • Before you write the seminar paper, read the explanatory notes to the essay linked on our course website, in the Unit 3 module. Also, read the headnote provided in 50 Essays (the part in italics on page 408).
  • Before you write the seminar paper, understand that Swift does not think people should eat babies. He is in fact saying the opposite. No babies were hurt in the writing of this essay except for maybe those who were already starving in Ireland and whom Swift wanted to help.
  • Answer the following questions in full sentences, in as much detail as you can, offering examples and explanations from the text to illustrate your answers. Please number each answer.
  • Introduce your quotations and paraphrases with lead-ins followed by commas or with full sentences of your own followed by a colon. Of course, use quotation marks when quoting, and provide page and paragraph documentation in parentheses after the quotation, as we have learned.
  • Do not use any quotations longer than four lines of your typing (as opposed to lines of printed text in the book).

The Questions:

  1. Confusions: Introduce a passage or phrase that you didn’t understand very well, and speculate about what it might mean.
  2. Swift’s tone here is ironic: His proposal isn’t really “modest,” and he doesn’t mean that we should take his solution seriously. How do you know that his tone is ironic? Are there particular phrases or words that clue you in? If so, which ones? Or do you just figure it out at a certain point? Which point?
  3. PIE (point, illustration, explanation) paragraph: If Swift doesn’t intend for society to follow his advice, what, then, is his real intention in this essay? Is “A Modest Proposal” trying to make a point about society? Write a PIE paragraph in which you suggest what Swift’s real purpose is. Use quotation and/or paraphrase to illustrate your point, and explain how the quotation connects to your point.
  4. Another PIE paragraph: Who do you think is Swift’s intended audience for this essay? What in the text makes you think so, and why?
  5. Identify a problem in society and invent your own solution for it. Be ironic or not, as you wish.

Grading: Each seminar paper is worth 10 points, as follows:

  • It shows that you have read the entire text, and it shows an accurate comprehension of the text (2.5 pts).
  • It answers the questions fully and deeply, presenting examples and discussing them, showing involvement in and curiosity about the reading (3 pts).
  • It includes the required references to the text, and the mechanics of quotation, paraphrase, or summary are correct (2.5 pts).
  • The writing is proofread and there are no major grammatical errors (2 pts).

 

READING LINKS:

http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/modest.html for an annotated version of "A Modest Proposal": Follow the footnotes in the text to find out about many of the words and historical details you might not be familiar with.

http://www.universalteacher.org.uk/prose/modestproposal.htm for a good summary of Swift's text and a good glossary. The link also suggests a writing assignment, but you can ignore that.

http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/proposal1.html For an optional short reading giving history and some interpretation of "A Modest Proposal."

Format: Word-processed and double-spaced, on paper. Length: One to one-and-a-half word-processed, double-spaced pages

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 02/12/2015 10:00 am
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