In English 109, Professor Mary Hays assigned us an essay with the following prompt.
You will write a 1250-1750 critical essay exploring one of the texts we have read so far from either unit. Your paper will focus on one work, but you may bring in other texts briefly if you like, for example, if you want to compare one author’s use of setting or perspective with another. You may use any of the formats for critical essays we will be talking about in class.
You will use the primary source(s), providing examples from the text to illuminate your discussion, and to guide your reader through the essay. You will also use one or more secondary sources. Therefore, you will have both in-text citations and a works cited page.
When I grade your assignment, I will look for the following:
- A specific and descriptive title.
- A focused thesis. You don’t necessarily have to have a thesis statement, but the reader should be able to see clearly what you have learned, or what conclusions you have come to after studying the material in these lessons.
- Support for your thesis.
- Good analysis.
- Clear and concise writing. Your essay should be clearly written in essay format using Standard English grammar and spelling. You will want to avoid wordiness and unnecessary passive voice and expletive constructions.
- Focused paragraphs.
- Logical organization.
- Clear boundaries between your ideas and source material. You will accomplish this by using transitional phrases to introduce quotes and paraphrases, and parenthetical page references for your in-text citations.
- A works cited page in MLA format.