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So far, your coursework has explored the important idea that to argue persuasively and make strong claims you need to be in dialogue with others. Your writing assignments have demonstrated this point as you’ve proven yourselves able to analyze and evaluate how professional scholars launch an effective argument by writing the arguments of others into their own texts. For this essay, I’d like you to broaden your understanding of research and academic dialogue by choosing your own set of texts to which you will respond and use to support an original idea (a thesis).
ASSIGNMENT: Write a 1500-word essay in which you develop a thesis on the subject or theme of your choice and support your thesis by bringing together the most salient features from your readings and responding to them. In short, explore an interesting original idea so that your audience can understand something new or different about your topic. With this paper, you will select at least one short story and at least one poem (called primary sources) from the Backpack Literature textbook and locate at least four essays or articles (called secondary sources) from the TROY Library databases. A list of stories and poems by subject and theme is posted in the Week 8 folder to help you find texts in Backpack Literature that might interest you. Now you must explore the connection or pattern of ideas that you believe brings the texts together and says something interesting about your topic. Look deeper into this connection by reflecting upon specific passages in your story, your poem, and the four articles (secondary sources).
The introduction should establish the importance of the literary theme or topic you’ve chosen in the opening paragraph. You should consider using an anecdote or some research to demonstrate why the chosen subject is significant to the primary texts (the short story and poem) you’ve chosen to analyze. The introduction insists on the need to redefine the issue/topic.
The thesis asserts a clear and coherent interpretation of the selected theme or topic, explaining the theme/topic’s function within either the primary texts or the work’s genre. Ensure that your thesis is stated explicitly and that it is arguable — above all, make it interesting: how can we think differently about the theme/topic due to your reading of the texts you’ve selected?
The body paragraphs should use effective transition devices and topic sentences to remind readers of your thesis throughout the essay. Each paragraph should demonstrate effective use of your sources (both the primary sources and the researched secondary sources), including effective signal phrases for every quotation from a source and a clear and convincing modeling of the “They Say/I Say” approach to presenting and responding to sources.
The conclusion should leave your readers thinking further about what you’ve presented. Don’t summarize or repeat you main points; instead, restate your thesis in a different way by showing the potential implications of your analysis.
Source Citation: MLA format, including in-text parenthetical citations and a correct Works Cited. This final essay must demonstrate your understanding and proficiency with the use of parenthesis to designate the page of a cited quote from either the primary or secondary source, recognizing that MLA does not make use of “p.” or “pg.” You must show a knowledge of when to include the suthor’s last name within the parenthesis (Bishop 106) and when not to (106). The Works Cited page demonstrates a proper formatting procedures outlined in your Writers Reference textbook as well as at the OWL online reference at https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/11/. The Works Cited procedures include: listing authors in alphabetical order by last name; authors’ last names listed first, followed by first name; proper citation of the title using italics for full-length books and quotation marks for an article, short story, and poem; use of place, publisher, and date of publication for books and journal title, volume and issue, date of publication, and page numbers for articles; use of punctuation inclusing periods, commas, and semi-colons; and proper acknowledgment of medium of publication, inlcuding use of “Print” for physical books and articles consulted and URL and date of access documentation for sources read online (Web. Date).
Due: A completed draft must be submitted to the assignment feature link no later than midnight (CST) on Sunday, July 28. No late papers will be accepted. No exceptions.
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