Literary analysis Essay.


Our last research assignment will be more structured and focused than the second. We have read two dramatic texts this semester. The two texts I’d like you to consider are Trifles and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Like our first research assignment, this final assignment asks for a secondary source; that is, a document written about the drama or play. Your assignment will be to find and analyze a “literary critical” article about one of these two texts. The article should be written by a literary scholar and published in an academic journal. It should be an analytical argument of some sort (i.e. not a book review). It should be roughly 5 to 15 pages in length.

Written Response:

Once you have located the document, you will need to write up a (800-1200 words,

or 3-4 double-spaced typed pages) description and analysis of your research. Roughly

half of this response should be a concise, accurate, fair summary of the article’s primary

argument. Summarizing complex claims is not easy. Be sure that you represent the

author’s claims accurately, and that you extract the most essential aspects of her

argument. Briefly citing textual evidence from the article may be helpful here. The

second half of your paper should be an analytical response to the article, in which you

assess, critique, or make claims about the broader significance and/or implications of the

selected text. Here, again, taking up specifics from the text will be important. As with

the first assignment, I am asking you to make an argument about the essay you select.

Your analysis should have a thesis. You should stake out a position in relation to the

essay and develop/support that position with textual evidence (both from the essay, and

possibly from the primary literary text as well). Given this aspect of the assignment, it will

be important for you to choose your essay carefully. For instance, you will probably not

want to choose an essay that you do not have the background to understand. Nor will

you want to choose a piece with which you are in complete agreement or disagreement.

I suggest that you look for an essay that is complex and sophisticated; an essay, then,

that prompts you to think about new complexities in the text, but that also makes an

argument that you can critique or develop in some manner.

FINAL Draft DUE: 08/12/16

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