Students will choose ONE piece of literary criticism listed on the syllabus to blog about in an extended, more formal essay. Unless otherwise noted, these essays will be on D2L. For this assignment, students will post an essay (roughly 1000 words or 3-5 pages double-spaced in a word document).
For this assignment, there are no particular parameters on what students can write about, but I expect that your essay will contain elements of the following:
• An explanation and analysis of the author’s main ideas and points.
• A close reading of specific passages (3-4, respectively) that seem particularly interesting or useful, explaining their meaning and significance. Make sure to QUOTE DIRECTLY FROM THE TEXT. While I’m not a particular fan of using Wikipedia, I think they do provide a useful definition of the concept of close reading: “In literary criticism, close reading describes the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. Such a reading places great emphasis on the particular over the general, paying close attention to individual words, syntax, and the order in which sentences and ideas unfold as they are read.” So, in short, take your time with a few key passages in the text and take time to pick them apart and explain their meaning and significance.
• Definitions of key terms and concepts. For instance, if you see difficult or “jargon-y” terms or concepts in the text such as “deconstruction” or “postcolonialism,” be prepared to explain these terms to better facilitate your audience’s understanding of the author’s ideas.
• A discussion of the criticism in relation to the literary text. For instance, do you agree/disagree with the author’s reading? Why or why not? Make sure to provide specific passages from the novel to help explain why you disagree or agree with this critic.
• At least three questions on the piece of literary criticism in relationship to the literature.
I expect this essay to be clear, articulate, and well-documented. While other students will be expected to have read the essays, the larger online community may not have any knowledge of the criticism or the novel you’re discussing. Therefore, it is important that you quote from the text(s) when explaining key passages, ideas, or making your point. Make sure to document all of your sources and to provide a works cited page.
Signing up for a date to post on your online criticism is binding. You cannot rearrange dates after you have committed a certain date.
Students will choose a day to post their essay online (see first-week checklist).
While you will be posting this essay online and students and I will be able to comment on it, I will be evaluating your assignment privately through email.