I want you to take the first step for your second major essay that is due near the end of the semester. For this assignment, you need only to select the PRIMARY TEXT(S) that you want to work with. Your main job will be to analyze this text in your essay – just as you did with the Micro Stories. The only difference is that you will also be doing some background on your primary text. You will be from this research in your essay to support the thesis you have stated. This essay will also be longer than the one you wrote about the Micro Stories. So you may find it helpful to choose a longer work about which you can find much to say, rather than just a brief poem. Or you may want to choose two works to compare.
IMPORTANT: The primary text you select must be any work(s) of literature by one of the authors on our syllabus. You may choose from among the works we have studied in class, or any other work by one of our authors. So, for example, you could write about “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker, or you could find another story by Walker that you would like to examine. Your primary text could be a poem or group of poems. It could be a short story or pair of short stories. It could be a play (a work of drama), such as Romeo and Juliet. Or it could even be a novel such as The Color Purple.
Here is a list of the authors/poets you may choose from: Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Alice Walker, Thomas King, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, or William Shakespeare.
1) your primary text (or texts) – that is, the work(s) that you want to write about.
2) In 500 words or more, your choice. Why do you want to write about this author or text? What themes do you see at work in this text? What questions do you have in mind about your author or chosen text? What possible do you have in mind for your essay?
The success of your essay will depend a great deal on the strength of your thesis. Although you may change your thesis as you proceed with the project, you should give it some serious thought even at this early stage. You may find it helpful to go back and look at the guidelines I have posted in the Course Content area under the heading: “Thesis: How to come up with a good one.”
For the next assignment after this one, I will be asking you to begin your research and compile a bibliography, so it is important not to fall behind.