21L.512 | Spring 2003 | Undergraduate

American Authors: American Women Authors


Essay Topics

All the papers will allow you to reflect on the themes outlined in the course description and to engage intensively with authors we cannot hope to “cover” in a few hours of class discussion. I have left the topics open, however, and have structured the papers according to certain writing or critical issues. You may always discuss topics with me if you would like more guidance or are uncertain how to proceed.

Essay 1 (5 pages- Due Class #9)

This essay will build on annotation and close reading of the text. Choose a passage from one of the readings to annotate, using whatever research tools and media resources you find helpful, and to analyze stylistically (paying attention to details, patterns of language, and special effects) as well. Then develop a reading of the passage, drawing on your research and presenting an argument for the meaning and significance of the passage in relation to the text and its strategies, themes, or effects (be selective here!). We will model this kind of work in class.

Essay 2 (5 pages- Due Class #19)

Although this essay will depend on the techniques developed in the first paper, it will expand in scope to examine a theme or narrative pattern that allows you to examine a range of materials from the text. Focus on a specific topic and use your analysis to narrow your scope even further. Your thesis should take a position and imply that someone might argue against your point.

Essay 3 (10 pages- Due Class #31)

For this essay, you may select from a range of options that require a deeper engagement with text, author, period, or critical perspective than you have done so far. You may select more than one author from the course (so long as you include one of the later authors and write about no one that you have written about before) and compare their works; you may choose one author, read another of her works, and bring it to bear on the text discussed in class; you may do historical, biographical, theoretical, or critical research to provide a context and reading for your chosen text or texts. You should choose your option or approach by class #25 and be ready to discuss it in conference that day.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2003
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments