Schacht Fall ’13 Paper Topics

First paper

When it’s due

Any time between October 3 and 11:59 p.m. on October 10.

What you’ll do

Choose any of the critical discussions assigned on the syllabus so far, including Thoreau’s chapter “Reading”  from Walden. In an essay of approximately 5 double-spaced pages, test one of the significant ideas in the critic’s argument using one or more of the poems assigned so far.

How you’ll do it

Your first paragraph should have the following elements:

  • First sentence: In the essay “[Essay],” [Author] makes the claim that [claim].
  • Second sentence: However, if one reads the poem “[Poem(s)]” by [Author(s)] in light of this claim, the claim turns out to be [my critical evaluation]. In place of “my critical evaluation” you’ll put either “wrong” or “only partly true.”

Your second paragraph should contain the following:

  • A brief summary of the essay’s main argument and an explanation of how the particular claim you’re engaging fits into that point

Your third paragraph should be a single sentence with one of the following elements:

  • If you are claiming that the point is wrong, make this paragraph a single sentence in this form: However, if we read the poem(s) “[Poem(s)]” in light of this claim, we can see why the claim is wrong.
  • If you are claiming that the point is only partly true, make this paragraph a single sentence in this form: However, if we read the poem(s) “[Poem(s)]” in light of this claim, we can see why the claim is only partly true.

In your fourth and subsequent paragraphs, you should do the following:

  • If you are claiming that the point is wrong, explain why careful attention to the poem shows the claim to be wrong.
  • If you are claiming that the point is only partly true, first explain in what way, or to what extent, careful attention to the poem supports the claim. Then explain in what way, or to what extent, careful attention to the poem shows the claim to be inadequate.

You can compose the essay in Google docs and share it with me when you’re ready from me to read it, or you can compose the essay in Word or your favorite word-processing program, upload it to Google docs, and then share it with me.

Be sure to give your essay a good title! It doesn’t matter what you name the document.

Second Paper

When it’s due

Any time between November 22 and 11:59 p.m. on December 5.

What you’ll do

Write an essay of approximately 5 double-spaced pages on one of the topics below.

Topics

1. Find anything, anywhere, that anyone has said about meaning or narrative structure in the Alice books, Mrs. Dalloway The Hours (book) or The Hours (movie). Write a “They Say/I Say” essay in which you either disagree or agree/disagree with the writer’s claim. If you disagree, the claim you disagree with should not be, on its face, wrong or foolish.

2. Write an essay that treats either of the following — The Hours (book) or The Hours (movie) — as an “I Say” to a “They Say” you find in either Mrs. Dalloway or The Hours (book). In other words, treat a later work as responding to some idea in an earlier one. The “I Say” represented by the later work will probably “agree with a difference” with the “They Say” of the earlier one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.