Paper 2: Literary Analysis

The second paper will be a literary analysis. You may choose to analyze any of the texts we have read/will read for class. You will choose one lens through which to analyze the text. That can take many shapes (gender studies, race, class, psychoanalysis, etc); for example, I have had several successful papers that examine Christianity and/or Paganism in Beowulf. By examining specific aspects of the poem through the lens of the Christian religion (or Paganism), the papers’ authors read the text in new, more developed ways. This is the purpose of the final paper. You may also choose to compare two shorter poems through a certain lens.

I encourage you to research your text/topic, and include sources that may help you with your analysis (don’t forget in-text citations and a Works Cited page!). All sources used in the paper should be reputable (exclusively books, academic articles from the library’s online database, or .edu websites).

In your paper, don’t assume that the author is the speaker/narrator of the text (unless it’s indicated in the text, such as Sappho, Douglass, and Baldwin), and avoid discussing what the author believes, is doing, or is trying to do. Those notions are very difficult to know/prove and have little impact on the analysis. Instead, focus on the text exclusively.

Logistics: The paper should be 4-6 pages (not including Works Cited). Do not turn in a paper that is less than 4 pages. The paper must be typed, using MLA style: your name, my name, course title, and due date in the upper left-hand corner, 1″ margins all around, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, double spaced, no extra space between paragraphs, page numbers in the top right corner, and a title centered in normal font (no bold or underline) at the top of the first page. Include a Works Cited page as the last page of your paper (this does not count toward the page count). Any papers that do not meet these minimum requirements will be returned ungraded and penalized as late.

 

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