Ten are assigned, roughly weekly; you can skip two without penalty. These journals should be informal, but thoughtful: Don’t summarize (unless you find it useful for yourself), but do include questions of any kind, responses of any kind, and requests for things you would like to have clarified or more generally discussed in class. Consider the journals a way to keep track of your thinking as well as to try out ideas for the two more formal essays. I will respond to them, but generally with comments rather than with evaluation.
Let me know your thoughts and questions about (any of) the reading for the week. Your journals will probably vary in length, but 500 words is a good target (about a page, single spaced). I will respond to your comments either in class or via email during the week.
Formatting your Papers (PDF)
Short Essay (PDF)
Your proposal should discuss the topic (or, better, question) you plan to investigate, and in which primary texts; how or why it arises as a topic; what parts of the text you plan to look at closely; and anything else you think is relevant to the proposal. It should also list at least 3 and preferably several more secondary sources (i.e., criticism) you plan to consult, with a brief indication of how they are relevant. These should not all be essays we’ve read for class; Wikipedia does not count, nor do basic references such as the OED, Encyclopedia Britannica, and so on. The proposal should be 2-3 pages, and will count for 10% of the total paper grade. You will also be able to read and comment on other submissions.
Seminar Paper Draft
A draft of your seminar paper (7+ pages) is due on Lec #23, and counts for 10% of the paper grade.
The longer essay, due at the end of term and counting for half your final grade, can be on any of the texts we have read, and will be built in several stages, as listed under “Summary of the Work” in the syllabus ; completion of each of these will comprise some part of the final grade. Part of the exercise will be to read and use secondary sources, including preparation of a critical bibliography, and we will discuss how to do this earlier in the semester. (Improper use of sources, of course, may constitute plagiarism). Work on the seminar papers will include multiple opportunities to get feedback and ideas from both your colleagues and from me before submitting the final version for a grade. Most importantly, we will spend the penultimate week of the semester discussing your work, and I will also provide comments on the individual drafts.