Audience: An educated, college audience, who are familiar with the text; therefore, you don’t need lengthy summaries.
1. The most persuasive reason to study literature is to help you understand your own world. Use this assignment to explore something important to you.
2. To develop your thesis, consider your initial reaction to our texts. For example, perhaps you got angry at the characters or sympathized with them. Perhaps you felt the author was trying to communicate an important idea about society--explain how you agree or disagree. Perhaps the text gave you a new way to view yourself, your friends, or your surroundings--examine what you’ve learned through the comparison. To develop your analysis, use evidence from the text as well as your own experiences or refer to experiences of friends, family members, and acquaintances. You might want to agree with the author, build on what the author says, or show an alternative view.
a) In “Like Mexicans,” Gary Soto proposes that…, but in my own experience… b) While the narrator’s portrayal of her boyfriend in “Sequence” seems one-sided, I can sympathize with the author’s feelings because… c) In “There Are a Lot of Ways to Die,” Neil Bissoondath suggests that it is difficult to choose a homeland because so many complex factors affect our everyday environment. I have (not) found this to be true because…
3. You need a unique way of viewing the text in conjunction with your life experiences or philosophy and an in-depth analysis. You’ll need to analyze your topic thoroughly to create a substantial essay.
4. Even though this essay includes a personal component, you still need to organize your essay in a typical academic manner (thesis statement, PIE paragraphs). It often works best to zigzag between your own experience and the text and to do so in different pares from the text. 4. Explication of that support—why and how a quote means what you say it does, or has the effect...
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