Final Essay Due Date: 11:59pm, Sunday, December 6 Essay 2 should be an in-depth
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Final Essay Due Date: 11:59pm, Sunday, December 6
Essay 2 should be an in-depth look at the Gothic literature we have read this semester.
More specifically, you will focus on identifying a shared theme of two Gothic literary works written by two different authors and two contrasting Gothic-specific elements for each work that help develop that theme. You will also identify which story most effectively incorporates the corresponding selected Gothic-specific elements.
An Important Note about THEME: You will find resources that will tell you that the theme of a piece of literature is a one-word topic or a phrase; HOWEVER, the THEME of a literary text answers the question: What is the main point the author is trying to make about _____?
So, for instance, if isolation is a topic in a literary work, the THEME would answer the question: What is the main point the author is making about isolation?
Example: Isolation leads to insanity.
Overview of Steps and Requirements:
Choose the shared theme that you would like to focus on.
Choose the two literary works by two different authors that you would like to focus on.
Choose two Gothic-specific elements for each literary work. (NOTE: This means you will select a total of four Gothic-specific elements, two for each of the selected texts. You CANNOT choose the same Gothic-specific elements for the literary texts; the elements should be different).
Reread the selected literary works and ANNOTATE the works for pieces you may use in your essay. (The “pieces” you annotate should illustrate the shared theme AND identify the selected Gothic-specific elements that help develop the theme).
Research. (For more specifics, see below).
Construct an effective literary analysis that incorporates the required parts of a literary analysis and the specific requirements outlined below.
NOTE: You will find it helpful to review the resources that are located in the Essay 2 Learning Module: “Discovering Themes in Literature” (from Douglas College Learning Centre) and “Writing a Literary Analysis Paper” (from Germanna Community College).
Purpose: to analyze the common theme of two literary works written by two different authors and the Gothic-specific elements found in those works that help develop the theme and determine which is most effective, and to identify which story most effectively incorporates the selected Gothic-specific elements.
Audience: general academic audience
First, make your selections:
Choose ONE thematic-topic (keeping in mind that the actual theme will be written in a complete sentence):
Choose TWO literary texts by different authors (For example, if you choose “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, you will then choose one of the literary works by Nathaniel Hawthorne or Edgar Allan Poe):
“Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
Choose TWO different Gothic-specific elements for EACH literary work (Remember, you CANNOT choose the same Gothic-specific elements for the texts):
atmosphere of suspense
visions or nightmares
damsel in distress
heavy reliance on symbols (You would need to find a series of symbols in the literary work).
grotesque (Make sure you’re using the Gothic-specific literary definition of the word).
gloomy setting (in terms of weather and town, city, etc.)
terror (not the same as horror)
Second, read and annotate the selected texts.
Third, gather some research:
You must include information from at least 6 outside resources in your final essay. (Please be aware that you may find that more resources are needed):
TWO sources will be the selected literary texts.
TWO sources should be retrieved from a library database.
The TWO remaining sources are up to you, EXCEPT you CANNOT use any of the following:
online or print study guides (including sparknotes, shmoop, Cliff Notes, Course Hero, enotes, LitCharts, etc.)
Wikipedia and any of its affiliates
Resources may include:
general information on Gothic literature, Gothic themes, Gothic-specific literary elements
critiques of the literary texts themselves;
background/historical context for your chosen texts;
information about the authors of the texts
Fourth, create your thesis. (The thesis is THE guiding “force” of the essay. It should let the reader know the purpose and main point of the essay and provide a brief overview of the main ideas that will be discussed. It may also provide the overall organization of the body of the essay).
Basically, the ultimate questionS your essay should answer are what is the shared theme of the TWO selected literary texts? What TWO Gothic-specific elements does each literary text use to help develop the theme? AND Which text most effectively incorporates the TWO corresponding selected Gothic-specific elements?
Your thesis, then, should provide a VERY BRIEF answer to the “ultimate questionS.”
It may look like this:
“Title of Literary Text” by Author of Literary Text and “Title of Literary Text” by Author of Literary Text share the common theme that THEME; however, one more effectively uses Gothic-specific element and Gothic-specific element to help convey the theme than the other that uses Gothic-specific element and Gothic-specific element.
Although both texts use Gothic-specific elements to develop the theme that THEME, Gothic-specific element and Gothic-specific element are more effectively used by Author of Literary Text in his literary work, “Title of Literary Text” than Gothic-specific element and Gothic-specific element are used by Author of Literary Text in his literary work, “Title of Literary Text.”
Finally, write your essay making sure you organize your essay as follows:
introduction with thesis that is located at the END of the paragraph [1 paragraph] (Please refer to thesis requirements above);
analysis (body) [5-6 paragraphs] the first body paragraph should identify the common theme and thoroughly explain it (You may find that you need two paragraphs for this).
the second body paragraph should discuss the first Gothic-specific element used in the first literary text selected,
the third body paragraph should discuss the second Gothic-specific element used in the first literary text selected,
the fourth body paragraph should discuss the first Gothic-specific element used in the second literary text selected,
the fifth body paragraph should discuss the second Gothic-specific element used in the second literary text selected.
the sixth body paragraph should identify the literary text that most effectively incorporates the two corresponding selected Gothic-specific elements.
The main topic sentence of each analysis body paragraph should let the reader know what the paragraph will discuss (i.e., the common theme of the two texts, the first Gothic-specific theme used in the first literary text selected, etc., etc., etc.).
EACH of your analysis paragraphs will include information from the appropriate selected literary text AND the additional outside resources (direct quotations, paraphrases, summaries, etc.) to effectively support your main topic sentences.
conclusion [1 paragraph] The conclusion should summarize the analysis (body) of the essay (which should simultaneously reiterate the thesis) AND make a texts-to-world connection. In other words, how do the literary texts relate to the world we live in today?
Additional Requirements (Read Them Carefully):
You MUST follow MLA guidelines for document design:
Your essay must be typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font;
your essay must be double-spaced;
you must include a heading (double-spaced) in the upper, left-hand corner of the 1st page ONLY of your essay that includes your name, my name, the course prefix and number, and the date (due date is fine);
you must include page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of your essay beginning on the 1st page of your essay. Your page numbers should also include your last name (Peace 1); and
you must include a title with your essay that reflects the assignment description and provides a hint of what’s to come. (Your title should not be bolded, italicized, in all caps, enlarged, etc.).
Your essay MUST be at least 5 FULL pages of text, but no more than 6 FULL pages of text in length, not including the Works Cited page. (The addition of the Works Cited page, the very last page of the essay, may make the essay 6-8 TOTAL pages). (Keep in mind that I automatically deduct points for not meeting the minimum page length requirement).
This IS a research-based essay. Your essay should include information retrieved from at least SIX outside resources. (See specific instructions about resources above).
You must use third person point of view [This means no “I” (first person) or “you” (second person)].
You MUST include a Works Cited page as the final page of the essay that is formatted per MLA 8 requirements. (Refer to the Research and MLA Documentation folder located in Week 5).
You MUST include paraphrased, summarized, or directly quoted information from the selected literary texts in EACH of your analysis paragraphs. (There are very specific guidelines for formatting direct quotations from the various genres of literature. Please refer to the MLA 8 resources located in the Research and MLA Documentation folder to help you format direct quotations appropriately).
You must NOT BEGIN or END body paragraphs with direct quotations. The first sentence of each body paragraph should let the reader know the focus of the paragraph.
You must include signal phrases before direct quotations. (Refer to the “Quote Sandwich” in the Research and MLA Documentation folder).
You must make sure you interpret quotations and paraphrases and explain how they support your ideas. (Again, refer to the “Quote Sandwich” document located in the Research and MLA Documentation folder). (Interpretation and explanation are important parts of analysis).
You must include appropriately formatted MLA 8 in-text citations after all quotations and paraphrases. (Again, use the Research and MLA Documentation folder to format your in-text citations appropriately).
You must make sure you include appropriate transitions between and within paragraphs to effectively connect your ideas.
You must edit and proofread your work carefully for grammatical and spelling errors. (Excessive errors warrant severe point deductions).