21L.007J | Fall 2003 | Undergraduate

After Columbus


Essay Assignments

You will be writing four essays for the class, which should total between 20-25 pp. At least the first of these must be revised, including not only proof-reading but substantive rethinking, and will be regraded; revisions of later essays are allowed but not required.

Essay 1 Assignment (PDF)

Essay 2 Assignment (PDF)

Essay 3 Assignment (PDF)

Essay 4 Assignment (PDF)

Guidelines for How to Format a Paper (PDF)

Guidelines for Revising Essays (PDF)

Paramedic Method for Revising Prose (adapted from Richard Lanham) (PDF)


Below, you’ll find six possible dates for presentations, each with a couple of options for what to do. You will notice that the presentations mostly fall on the same day your essays are due. Presenters will have an automatic extension on the essay (2-3 days; longer extensions can be negotiated).

Over the next few days, please think about your schedule, and e-mail me before the weekend any preferences you may have regarding dates, texts, or classmates to work with. (You can work collaboratively on a joint presentation if you wish, but you should in any event talk to each other and to me in advance about what you plan to do). I will assign two or three people to each date.

You have two kinds of options for your presentation. The first is to present your paper in progress orally, talking through the argument from an outline which you will also give us. In turn, you’ll get responses and suggestions which you can incorporate in the final paper. The second is to do a little research and/or deeper thinking about the materials for the day, present this to the class, and from there raise some questions for discussion. (Any such research might fit into a subsequent essay).

Dates for Presentations

Session 8: Present ideas for your first essay (Montaigne, Lery, Jesuit Relations); Lead discussion on the movie How Tasty.

Session 12: Present ideas from the first essay or for the second essay (Tempest, Strachey, Smith, Pocahontas); Lead a discussion on The Tempest.

Session 16: Lead a discussion on Pocahontas (use of sources, reception); Present ideas for the second essay.

Session 21: Lead a discussion on Jemison or on the opening of Crusoe; Present ideas for the third essay (Smith, Rowlandson, Jemison).
NOTE this change: the third essay will be due on Session 21, not Session 20.

Two days after Session 26: (Makeup class to be scheduled). Lead a discussion on Foe; Present ideas for the fourth essay (Defoe, Coetzee, Walcott).

Session 27: Lead a discussion on Walcott; present ideas for the fourth essay.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2003
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Presentation Assignments