Project #94098 - English Literature: Term Research Essay

TERM RESEARCH ESSAY

Length: 1200 words (4 pages double-spaced pages using 12-point Times New Roman font) Grade Value: 35% of course grade; Due Date: November 18, 2015  

Criteria:

 Essays should develop a carefully focused thesis supported by a well-organized, cogent, error-free, and clearly written argument.  (Hints: Do not write plot summaries; avoid discussing the literature in overly general terms; and pay close attention to the language and formal aspects of the primary texts.)  Be sure to provide your essay with an appropriately descriptive title (i.e., one that indicates the nature of your thesis and identifies the literary texts under study).  Write on specified primary texts from the course syllabus only.  To ensure that your thesis and outline are on target, you are encouraged to consult with me or a TA during office hours or by appointment.  Essays must contain a Works Cited list including entries for your primary texts and entries for at least two substantial secondary sources (i.e., scholarly books and/or articles; not Wikipedia articles or non-peer reviewed websites).  

Write on ONE of the following topics:

(Remember: a topic is not a thesis, but merely a starting point. One of your most important tasks in this assignment will be to develop a proper thesis argument relevant to your chosen topic):  

1. Examine the function of setting in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and one other text on the course syllabus.  How do the authors’ uses of setting inform the literary texts’ key themes, ideas, or arguments?  

2. Analyze the theme of love and/or courtship in two of the following poems: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, 116, or 130; Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”; Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty”; Keats’s “La Belle Dame sans Merci”  

3. Examine the depiction of marriage in two of the following texts: Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Othello, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.  

4. Discuss the function of the trick or surprise endings in two of the following stories: Maupassant’s “The Necklace,” Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” How do the trick endings compel readers to reconsider the stories’ overall plots and/or characters, and to what effect?  

5. Examine the characterization of the antagonist/villain in any two texts from the course syllabus.  What strategies do the authors deploy to enhance the villain’s psychology and reveal his or her motivations, and to what effect?  

6. Examine the depiction of religion or spirituality in any two of the following texts from the course syllabus.  

7. Some of the texts on our syllabus have been made into, or have inspired, films (e.g., Alexie’s “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” [the film adaptation is titled Smoke Signals]; Jackson’s “The Lottery”; Shelley’s Frankenstein, Shakespeare’s Othello, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”). Write an essay focusing on one of these literary texts and its film adaption, approaching the film as an interpretation of the literary text.  How does the film illuminate the central concerns of the literary text?  Does it do so effectively?  (Students choosing this question are responsible for obtaining their own copies of the film adaptations.)  

8.  Examine the representation of racial or ethnic differences in two of the following texts: Alexie’s “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” Blake’s “The Little Black Boy,” Plath’s “Daddy,” Shakespeare’s Othello.  Here you might consider whether your chosen texts support or challenge stereotypes, and to what effect.  

9. Focusing on two texts from the course syllabus, design your own essay topic. (Important note: Students choosing this option must have their topic approved by me in advance) 

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 11/18/2015 07:00 am
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