Literature Essay 1


Assignment Instructions

Write a 500-750 word essay on one of the following topics. The word count does not include formatting or the works cited page.

  • Write a critical analysis of one of the works from weeks 1 or 2. An overview of approaches can be found here(http://home.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/spring97/litcrit.html), but many are quite straightforward. Psychological, gender, sociological, biographical, and historical are all approaches that many use naturally in viewing a work. However, if your interest lies elsewhere, feel free to choose another approach.
  • Compare and contrast two of the stories from weeks 1 and 2. Be sure that you have isolated a strong and debatable thesis on which to build the essay. Simply pointing out the differences is not analysis. Toward that end, you may want to focus on a specific element of the stories.
  • If there’s an aspect of the stories from these two weeks that particularly interests you, you may choose your own topic, but you must run it by me first to be sure it is headed in an analytical direction.

Your essay should be formatted in MLA style, including double spacing throughout. All sources should be properly cited both in the text and on a works cited page. As with most academic writing, this essay should be written in third person. Please avoid both first person (I, we, our, etc.) and second person (you, your).

In the upper left-hand corner of the paper, place your name, the professor’s name, the course name, and the due date for the assignment on consecutive lines. Double space your information from your name onward, and don’t forget a title. All papers should be in Times New Roman font with 12-point type with one-inch margins all the way around your paper. All paragraph indentations should be indented five spaces (use the tab key) from the left margin. All work is to be left justified. When quoting lines in literature, please research the proper way to cite short stories, plays, or poems.

Should you choose to use outside references, these must be scholarly, peer-reviewed sources obtained via the APUS library (select Advanced Search and check the Peer Reviewed box). Be careful that you don’t create a “cut and paste” paper of information from your various sources. Your ideas are to be new and freshly constructed. Also, take great care not to plagiarize.

Whatever topic you choose you will need a debatable thesis. A thesis is not a fact, a quote, or a question. It is your position on the topic. The reader already knows the story; you are to offer him a new perspective based on your observations.

Since the reader is familiar with the story, summary is unnecessary. Rather than tell him what happened, tell him what specific portions of the story support your thesis.

Essay Rubric

Originality of attachments will be verified by Turnitin. Both you and your instructor will receive the results.

Works Week 1: Emily Dickson, Walt Whitman,

Literature Essay 1
APUS Assignment Rubric Lower Level U/G 100-200 Courses EXEMPLARY LEVEL A 18-20 ACCOMPLISHED LEVEL B 16-17 DEVELOPING LEVEL C 14-15 BEGINNING LEVEL D 11-13 Points Earned Purpose and Audience (20 Points) The writing engages the reader with an original approach to the subject. It may encompass conflicting ideas and inspires the reader to contemplate the relationship of complex ideas. The writing clearly goes beyond the minimum requirements of the assignment. It attempts to engage the reader through originality and presentation of complex ideas. The writing meets the minimum requirements of the assignment. It offers insight into the subject through basic logic and the presentation of ideas based on some evidence. The writing fails to meet the minimum requirements of the assignment. It offers little insight into the subject and has serious flaws in logic and omissions in evidence. /20 Thesis and Support (20 Points) The writing has a clearly articulated original thesis and subordinate ideas supported by reliable and relevant evidence based on original research. Main ideas are not lost in surrounding supporting evidence. The writing has a clearly articulated thesis supported by appropriate evidence and sound logic. Minor gaps in logic and argument may appear. Main ideas can be distinguished from supporting evidence with some effort. The writing has a clear thesis and related subordinate ideas supported by clear thinking and appropriate evidence. Logical arguments may be one-sided or incomplete. The writing may need a more clearly articulated thesis and/or appropriate related subordinate ideas. Fuzzy logic may be evident and adequate supporting evidence is lacking. /20 Organization (20 Points) The writing flows smoothly and logically from a well-defined thesis. It contains an appropriate introduction, conclusion, and smooth transitions. The writing is organized logically and flows well. An introduction and conclusion are evident, but transitions may be smoother. The writing demonstrates rudimentary organization and logical structure, but ideas may be more fully developed and supported by more appropriate evidence. The writing is noticeably lacking in organization. There is no clear introduction nor conclusion and ideas are neither carefully nor fully developed. Supporting evidence is clearly lacking. /20 Style (10 Points) The writing engages the reader through an original prose style appropriate to the subject. Language is precise. Sentences are varied but not noticeably so. Active voice is apparent. All quoted or paraphrased material is properly documented and cited in MLA style. Annotations are included, when appropriate. The writing keeps the reader’s attention through a carefully crafted prose style. Language chosen is appropriate to the subject, but may call attention to itself in minor ways. Most quoted and paraphrased material is properly documented and cited in MLA style. Annotations are included, when appropriate. The writing is clear but could be expressed in a style more appropriate to the subject. It is jargon-free but may require a more complete explanation of some terms used. Sources are documented and cited but need to show greater consistency in use of MLA style. Annotations missing or completed incorrectly. The writing lacks clarity and is sometimes confusing. The language chosen is not appropriate to the subject nor the assignment. Sources are overly quoted or paraphrased and not adequately documented nor cited in MLA style. Annotations missing. /10 Grammar and Mechanics (20 Points) The writing is free of proofreading errors. The writing contains sentences that are always complete and grammatically correct, and free of confusion and ambiguity. The writing may exhibit a few minor errors in proofreading, but they do not impair the flow of the reading. The writing contains sentences that are complete or which imply unstated connections and/or conclusions. The writing could benefit from additional proofreading, as some errors impede the flow of the reading. The writing contains some grammatical errors easily corrected. Additional proofreading would help eliminate errors. The writing exhibits substantial errors in proofreading. The writing is confusing and ambiguous owing to substantial errors of grammar and syntax. There is no evidence of proofreading, editing, or rewriting. /20 Formatting (10 Points) Student provides a high-caliber, formatted assignment in proper MLA style. Assignment presents an above-average use of formatting skills with few errors in MLA style. Appearance of final assignment demonstrates the student’s limited ability to use MLA style formatting. Appearance of the final assignment is distracting. The number of MLA style formatting errors impedes easy reading. /10

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