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English Literature 1b Writing Essays on Prose
Transcript of English Literature 1b Writing Essays on Prose
English Literature 1B
Dr Carol Collins
Does this differ from what I did last semester?
Referencing - why?
To avoid plagiarism
To allow the reader to find sources
To become part of an academic community
Take your time and use your guide.
Proof read - grammar, spelling etc
Copy read - clarity of argument, evidence, content etc.
Referencing - in text and bibliography
All sources, whether quoted or paraphrased
Writing Essays on Prose
But let's recap some important points.....
What is this course about?
'theories about narrative and it cultural effects'
'the particular questionings of narrative posed by these texts'
Some obvious things about prose.......
It tends to be longer
it usually has a narrative
Encased in talent like a uniform,
The rank of every poet is well know;
They can amaze us like a thunderstorm,
Or die so young, or live for years alone.
They can dash forward like hussars: but he
Must struggle out of his boyish girt and learn
How to be plain and awkward, how to be
One after whom none think it worth to turn.
For, to achieve his lightest wish, he must
Become the whole of boredom, subject to
Vulgar complaints like love, among the Just
Be just, among the Filthy filthy too,
And in his own weak person, if he can,
Must suffer dully all the wrongs of Man
How does this affect my essay?
Levels of analysis
negotiating between large amounts of text to produce comparative criticism
avoiding telling the story
close reading, related to theory, without over-quoting
Levels of analysis
What is happening in the text?
How is the text constructed?
What is the text doing?
How might you plan and structure?
How have you done this before with prose - is that still the best way?
Various aspects, such as characterisation, setting, literary technique, narrative development?
At this level this MAY be too formulaic and divisive. Remember you have to be able to produce a critically comparative study.
Think about your THESIS
What are the major thematic building blocks to prove this thesis?
Map out the novels you are comparing
Using primary sources
close reading of the primary texts means engaging with the language, structure and meaning of the text to construct your argument. Think:
when is it appropriate to quote and when to paraphrase?
what is my quote doing?
Be careful of being tempted to tell the story:
'In Jane Austen's 'Emma', Harriet meets a group of gypsies on the road and.............'
How am I relating this to my argument?
Be careful of long quotations that you do not engage with and that interrupt the flow of your argument
Using secondary sources
Why do we use secondary sources?
Is the word evidence useful?
Do they just back up your point?
Think about being part of an academic community having a conversation.
Use a variety of sources but remember the essay is about YOUR argument.
Think carefully about how you use contextual evidence such as biographical, social or historical background.
Structure and clarity