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EN203: Theme Responses

Page history last edited by Tonya Howe 10 years, 10 months ago


This term, 25% of your grade will be made up of two longer analytical essays about the assigned reading. In these essays, I ask you to use the primary source itself and the introductory material from your textbook to situate the reading in its historical context. You should address the following question, using evidence from the primary source and the introductory material: What significant theme or idea does this reading address, and how does it do so? What is significant about this theme/idea, given the historical context? For instance, use the introductory material to get a handle on a specific theme, and then illustrate that theme by using the primary source itself. Then, using the introductory materials again and/or your powers of logical deduction, describe why this text or theme is significant.


These essays are meant to do the following: 1.) help you understand the readings and their literary/cultural contexts, 2.) help you prepare for the exams, and 3.) help you refine your skills of writing and analysis. Your essays should be objective and informational, and they should reflect your awareness of the material.


Material requirements:


  • 4-5 pages, double-spaced throughout (this means to the end of the last page!)

  • MLA formatted (headings, margins, font size/face, header, works cited page)

  • Completely and correctly documented with in-text parenthetical citations and a works cited page

  • Logically developed, with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion organized around an objective thesis statement that responds to the question above

  • Clearly written and obviously proofread

  • Titled in an informative, interesting way

  • Reference both the primary source and the introductory comments (You may use the introductory comments to guide your reading of the primary source, but be sure to engage the primary source on your own, as well. That is, don't just use the same examples from the introduction!)


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