Phillis Wheatley “ On Being Brought from Africa to America Final Essay For this essay, you will be constructing an argumentative essay. An essay is a relatively short written composition that articulates, supports, and develops an idea or claim (an argume

Phillis Wheatley “ On Being Brought from Africa to America
Final Essay
For this essay, you will be constructing an argumentative essay. An essay is a relatively short written composition that articulates, supports, and develops an idea or claim (an argument). Explaining in this case entails both analysis (breaking the complex “thing” down into its parts and showing how they work together to form a meaningful whole) and argument (working to convince someone that the analysis is valid). In an essay about literature, the literary work is the complex “thing” that you are helping a reader to better understand. The essay needs to show the reader a particular way to understand the work, to interpret or read it. The purpose of this research essay is to provide a specific interpretation of your chosen literature and its larger significance using textual evidence and 2 outside sources.
Outside Sources:
As a reader of literature, you may find the views of others very helpful in developing your own interpretations. When you write an essay about literature, you will also find criticism helpful for supporting your points. But criticism should never be a substitute for your own original views. Literary criticism is an extension of this social activity of interpreting. One reader writes down his or her views on what a particular work of literature means so that others can respond to that interpretation. The critic’s specific purpose may be to make value judgments on a work, to explain his or her interpretation of the work, or to provide other readers with relevant historical or biographical information. Just as it’s usually best to read criticism after you’ve developed your own views, so do you normally refer to or quote criticism after you’ve expressed an idea of your own.
A typical paragraph may consist of a topic sentence (expressing a portion or subtopic of your interpretation), followed by an elaboration of the idea, a reference to or brief quote from the work that you’re analyzing, an explanation of how this passage illustrates your point, a quote or reference from a critic on this passage (or a similar one), and perhaps a brief discussion of the critic’s comments.
Literature Selections:
✓ Choose any literature we read in class
OR,
✓ Expand one of your Critical Analysis assignments Argument:
✓ What (subject)
✓ How (how you plan to examine the subject)
✓ Why (significance of your argument)
✓ Thesis: The thesis statement is a roadmap for your essay. It should appear (1-2 sentences) at the end of your introduction.
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✓ Topic Sentences: Topic sentences are the first sentences of each body paragraph (except the introduction) that states the significance of the main idea you explore in the paragraph.
Avoid:
✓ Websites (either peer-reviewed journal articles and/or book chapters as outside sources)
✓ Addressing the author by their first name.
✓ Evidence (quotes) without introductions and explanations.
✓ Incomplete and run-on sentences.
✓ Addressing the reader (e.g. “The reader can tell” or “The reader can see”).
✓ Inserting your opinion (e.g. In my opinion, I think, I feel, or I believe). Instead work to
provide evidence and explain how you arrived at the interpretation you present.
✓ Summarizing the text.
MLA Format for Essays:
All formal papers must be submitted using the following format:
1. 5-6 full pages (not including Works Cited page), 12 pt, Times Roman font, double-spaced
with one-inch margins;
2. Text is left-justified and title in center-justified;
3. Heading is on the upper left-hand corner of the paper and consists of student’s name, course
number and section/instructor’s name, assignment title, and due date;
4. Header is in the upper right hand corner and consists of student’s last name and the page
number;
5. The first lines of paragraphs are indented 5 spaces with no extra line space between
paragraphs.
6. No title page, cover page, folders, or hand-written essays.
7. Include a Works Cited page.
8. Carefully proofread you final draft and staple before submission. 9. Visit Purdue OWL MLA webpage for additional information: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
Due Dates:
✓ Monday, December 3rd: Workshop in class (I will be in the classroom to answer
questions)
✓ Wednesday, December 5t h: Peer Revision (Last Names: Bari – Johnson)
o Bring a 3-paged typed draft to class for peer revision. Failure to bring a draft to
class results in a 10 point penalty from the final essay grade.
✓ Monday, December 10t h: Peer Revision (Last Names: Joseph – Yacinthe)
o Bring a 3-paged typed draft to class for peer revision. Failure to bring a draft to
class results in a 10 point penalty from the final essay grade.
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✓ Final Essay Due: Thursday, December 13t h (Upload to Blackboard (see “Course Materials” → “Final Essay” → “Final Essay Submission” by 5:00 pm)
Works Cited Requirements
• Use sources from different publications (journal articles and/or book chapters).
• The Works Cited page should always appear at the top of a new page.
• Do not bold, underline, or italicize the phrase Works Cited.
• Alphabetize sources & double-space
• Each source must use a hanging indent (occurs when the second or subsequent line of each citation is indented 5 spaces like the examples below)
Research to Avoid:
• Wikipedia, summaries, biographies, blogs, thesis, and websites
Journal Article Citation Format:
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the article.” Title of the journal, First name Last name
of any other contributors (if applicable), Version (if applicable), Numbers (such as a
volume and issue number), Publication date, Page numbers. Title of the database, URL. Example:
Brian, Real, et al. “Rural Public Libraries and Digital Inclusion: Issues and Challenges.” Information and Technology Libraries, vol. 33, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 6-24. ProQuest, ezproxy.nypl.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/docview/1512 88143?accountid=35635.
Book Chapter Format Citation:
Montrose, Louis. “Elizabeth Through the Looking Glass: Picturing the Queen’s Two Bodies.”
The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500-2000, edited by Regina Schulte, Berghahn, 2006, pp. 61-87.
In the above citation example, the book, The Body of the Queen: Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500-2000 is an edited book that features a chapter by Louis Montrose. The title of the chapter that he wrote is found in quotation marks (“Elizabeth Through the Looking Glass: Picturing the Queen’s Two Bodies”).
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