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The Literary Paper

ENGL 1106 summer 2013

Robert Rix

on 20 September 2018

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Transcript of The Literary Paper

Literary Paper

the Question
The Discourse Structure
Thesis Statement
A short statement, usually one sentence, that summarises the point or claim of the essay, research paper, etc.
Problematising Question:

The Historical Context
Sleuthing mystery technique

Good idea to indicate the conclusion upfront

"I will reach the conclusion that Shakespeare
was indisputably inspired by Saxo's tale of
Prince Amleth."

The Information Structure

1. The non-point:

"There are, in fact, many differences between women who lived in the Middle Ages and the more assertive and feisty women we find in modern medieval films, such as
First Knight
(1995). This is what I would like to write about in this paper. "

2. Critical texts - begin by reading what others have found to be of interest!

3. Justification.

Does my thesis pass the “So what?”-test? If a reader’s first response is likely to be “So what?” then you need to clarify or connect to a larger issue.

The fan paper:

Ex. 1: "An analysis of two Metallica songs"

Rev. ex. 1: "An analysis of how classical rhetoric can be found in modern Heavy Metal. Focusing on two Metallica songs, I will investigate how logos, pathos, and ethos are in putting forward the argument of the lyrics"

Argument and Style
flow more smoothly and logically
logical organization and understandability
connections between thoughts
illustrates relationships between ideas
sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death, on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence for Britain.[1] Some scholars date the beginning of the period in terms of sensibilities and political concerns to the passage of the Reform Act 1832.
Within the fields of social history and literature, Victorianism refers to the study of late-Victorian attitudes and culture with a focus on the highly moralistic, straitlaced language and behaviour of Victorian morality. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period. The later half of the Victorian age roughly coincided with the first portion of the Belle Époque era of continental Europe.
Two especially important figures in this period of British history are the prime ministers Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone, whose contrasting views changed the course of history. Disraeli, favoured by the queen, was a gregarious Tory. His rival Gladstone, a Liberal distrusted by the Queen, served more terms and oversaw much of the overall legislative development of the era.
The population of England and Wales almost doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901. Scotland's population also rose rapidly, from 2.8 million in 1851 to 4.4 million in 1901.Ireland's population however decreased sharply, from 8.2 million in 1841 to less than 4.5 million in 1901, mostly due to the Great Famine.[4] At the same time, around 15 million emigrants left the United Kingdom in the Victorian era, settling mostly in the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.[5]
Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
is a late Victorian novel about the inner psychology of a man who has two personalities. It is also a horror story. So, its main themes are psychology and horror....

Make sure you connect the dots - integrate!
Will I get blamed for expressing my opinion?
Can your claim be refuted?

Ex. 1: "I think Shakespeare is the greatest writer – like ever!"

Ex. 2: "I believe it is possible to see several similarities between Marlowe’s Jew, Barabas and Shakespeare’s Shylock."

Conception/Thesis Statement
Organisation/ Structure
What's with the Question?
Lecturer: Robert Rix
Answering the Exam Quesion
Ex 1:
I want to give an account of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn as a novel about a young boy’s travels.

Ex. 2:
I want to describe the vampire tradition in literary works.

Ex. 1
: Through a comparative reading of river and shore scenes, I will examine how Twain’s
Huckleberry Finn
suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

Ex. 2
: The essay will test whether the vampire figure always represents an aspect of the Freudian Id (the suppression of elemental urges) in the radically different representations of Bram Stoker’s
and Stephanie Meyer’s

A thesis statement:

• tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.

• is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.

• directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be WW1 poetry or
Moby Dick
; a thesis must then offer a way to understand war poetry or the novel.

• makes a claim that others might dispute.


• Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts, you are providing a summary, rather than making an argument.

• Is my thesis statement testable? If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful", it may be unprovable.

• Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without digressing? Reassess and revise your writing as you go along.

Option 1:
Why is the Harry Potter series so popular?

Option 2:
In what ways does the Harry Potter series appeal to
young audiences by drawing on tried and tested formulas, such as
Tom Brown's School Days
Essay: 'Why Comics Are Not Films: Metacomics and Medium Specific Conventions'

Do we truly need a separate account of the nature of comics? After all, several critical works on the philosophy of film (e.g. Konrad 1996; Haber 2000; Kingston 2012) argue that comics appear to be little more than static films on paper. It is this assumption I will argue against here.

The argument will proceed in two stages. First, I will give an overview of the critical proposition that comics are simply 'filmstrips', as this has been presented over the past 20 years. I shall then examine Alan Moore's
V for Vendetta
in some detail. On this basis, I move on to establish the hypothesis that these comics (and, of course, many others like them) provide counterexamples to the "filmstrip" argument.

My thesis statement is that comics are not equivalent to film, when it comes to applying analytical tools, but require a new tools, for which I will argue the relevance. Methodologically, I will rely on the aesthetic theories of ….

Evaluation of Argument
Question: Discuss Chaucer’s references to class in
The Canterbury Tales.

Answer the question!
• Identify the issue at stake
• present evidence: survey of criticism
• reach a conclusion consistent with the evidence and arguments you have presented.

The Use of Voice in the Novel
, the literary critic Joseph Strong argues that the employment of ‘indirect discourse’ in Jane Austen’s novels was seen to be new invention at the time. It was one that allowed women to express themselves without asserting authority and thereby trespassing male domains of narration. It can be said, however, that several older prose narratives had used this technique before and this is to an extent that invention may not fully be ascribed to Austen.
Avoid box-checking answers

Speak in a voice you are comfortable with and which meets the expectations of the course – written style, primarily formal, contractions won’t do

Use of appropriate literary-critical concepts and terminology

of references for Shakespeare are: Renaissance drama
rather than Beyonce's latest album.
The Use of Voice in the Novel
, the literary critic Joseph Strong argues that the employment of ‘indirect discourse’ in Jane Austen’s novels was seen to be new invention at the time.
I will argue that one consequence of this was that
it allowed women to express themselves without asserting authority and thereby trespassing male domains of narration.
It is my contention in this paper
that several older prose narratives had used this technique before and this is to an extent that invention may not fully be ascribed to Austen.

An analysis of a literary work may discuss:

How the various components of an individual work work to create fiction
metaphor, narrative, character

How two separate literary works deal with similar concepts or forms.

How concepts and forms in literary works relate to aesthetic, political, social, economic, or religious contexts.
Evidence and
Include examples from the text:

Direct quotations "inverted commas"
Discussion of scenes/characters
The Academic Paper
Discuss other critics' opinion
- agreement
- qualification
- opposition

Monographs, articles, historical background texts etc.

All academic papers are based on
- It's a response to prior research
(standing on the shoulders of giants)

"What X says makes sense, because you can see ...."
"What Y says is true, but you also need to take into consideration ..."
"What Z says does not hold up to scrutiny because ...."

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