RSSS response paper about Twilight


The purpose of this paper is to analyze, synthesize, and discuss the perspectives, viewpoints, and ideas discussed during the week in the course materials and lectures. In this way, we will engage in historical / cultural analysis, make cross-cultural comparisons and connections, and further develop writing skills.

Response #4 Topic

In a 2012 essay for the Atlantic Monthly, Ashley Fetters wrote that, "multitudes of thinkers and scholars have claimed to know the real, profound meaning behind Stephenie Meyer's famous vampire-romance novel series." What is Twilight really about? Choose one theme from the list below and write an essay explaining your point of view. Support your argument with at least 2 specific examples from the film. Your paper should have at least 1 quote or paraphrase from this module's required reading by Anna Silver, "Twilight is not Good for Maidens: Gender, Sexuality, and the Family in Stephanie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ Series.”

  • The power (and powerlessness) of women
  • The relationship between sex and violence 
  • Redefining masculinity in the 21st century 
  • Abstinence 
  • Race and the legacy of colonialism 

Suggestions for the Paper

Ideally, you will structure your paper as follows (based on the minimum 350-word requirement):

  1. A clear statement of your main idea or thesis on the subject.
  2. Connections between the topic and the course material (readings and class discussions)
  3. A brief summation and a final statement that represents the key take-away / idea from your paper.

You may deviate from this structure, but the majority of the paper should be given to drawing your own connections between the course materials. You do not have a lot of space, so be sure to get straight to the point and not worry about making a lengthy introduction or conclusion.

You should consider the course materials both individually and collectively.  Consider any key claims or arguments from the materials, the strengths and weaknesses of authors' arguments, possible counterarguments, how the texts relate to one another (do they agree or disagree?, formulate the problem in different ways?, strengthen or weaken each other’s argument?), and why the problem(s) or argument(s) are interesting or important.

You should not just summarize the texts or worry about re-telling ideas or a plot (if discussing a narrative); assume the reader is familiar with the texts referenced.  You need to react and respond to the materials, making connections which will lead to analysis.  Any personal opinions included in the essay should be based on thoughtful analysis of the topic and materials themselves.

  • Include a title that connects in a meaningful way with your essay
  • Be at least 350 words long.  There is an automatic -5 (out of 25) penalty for not meeting the 350-word threshold. 
  • Include a word count at the end of the paper.  There is an automatic -1 (out of 25) penalty for not including a word count.
  • You do not need to include additional outside references beyond the course materials in your essay; if you do include them, you should cite them in MLA or APA format (your choice, just be consistent) in a bibliography, which does not count towards the 350-word requirement.
  • Quotes should be kept to a minimum so you can focus on analyzing and connecting ideas.  No citation is necessary unless you are including a work not read for the course (see the point above). 
  • Posted: a year ago
  • Due: 
  • Budget: $18
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    In a 2012 essay for the Atlantic Monthly,Ashley Fetters wrote that, "multitudes of thinkers and scholars have claimed to know the real, profound meaning behind Stephenie Meyer's famous …