This paper focuses on a single or several texts—literature and/or film—of the semester thus far. This analytical paper follows the MLA format: printed in 12-point font, double-spaced, with 1″ margins on all sides, unjustified on the right-hand side, stapled, and printed on one side only. Paginate throughout. This is a paper of close reading and critical analysis. Devise your own paper title on the basis of the myriad of topics we have discussed in class as well as those provided below; however, you are advised to go beyond these suggestions and make up your own title, thesis, and argument, as long as your paper is well-argued based on textual evidence.
Following a concise, illuminating title that includes specific text(s), your introduction would open briefly with the context of your argument, main points of the chosen text(s), and a strong thesis and insights. Give quotes to substantiate your argument, but do so only when you are ready to closely read those cited passages for imagery, language, theme, refrain, rhythm, and so forth. A strong paper must demonstrate clarity, force, grace, and originality of thought. Do not summarize the plot for the sake of plot summary; rather, recast certain episodes succinctly in your own words in order to tease out an innovative idea, one that is neither a repeat of the plot nor of the class discussion. Put simply, be a Houdini: don the straitjacket of the plot in order to escape from it, to flee into your own reconceptualization of the texts. Eliminate overly personal, subjective voice in academic discourse. Avoid, as well, a pompous, high-flown style, marked by turgid and flowery expressions and the paucity of original thought. Be precise and concise. Demonstrate in this critical paper your insights into our texts. Strike a balance between generality and particularity, between quotation/plot and analysis, and between bold, unique ideas and methodical textual analysis. Note that the thesis statement must be one that could be sustained throughout the paper. Outside sources are not necessary; check with me if you have such needs. Plagiarism would result in failing the course and an academic dishonest report in the student’s record. Seek a pair of fresh eyes from the Writing Center to critique and edit your paper. Include the word count in a parenthesis at the end of the paper.
TOPIC: 3. Analyze the issue of gender. Women have traditionally played a secondary, supporting role, miniscule at times. Explore the images of women and femininity in Monkey, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and/or Beowulf. Are there ways to resuscitate women from narrative margins back to the center, such as in Monkey and Beowulf? Are there ways to show that women continue to be marginalized, despite their roles as swordswomen and villains? You can certainly include filmic representations of women. Find a sharply-defined thesis and prove it through argument and textual examples.