Thursday, September 14, 2017

A place to post your intro paragraphs and thesis statements

I've heard that the printers were having some trouble earlier today. If you were unable to print your introductory paragraph and thesis statement, please copy and paste it in this document.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Possible shapes for thesis statements

Some common strategies for thesis in literary arguments:

·  A sophisticated observation that reveals something essential about an aspect of this novel

·  X seems true, but really it’s Y

·  X character, event, detail seems unimportant, but if we look closely at it, it changes our understanding of the novel in Y and Z ways

·  Two things seem similar but really they’re different (or vice versa)

·  There is some underlying historical, philosophical, or cultural idea contemporary to the novel that sheds greater light on this novel



Less common but also possible:

·  Question re: some significant aspect of the work. Statement that indicates what element(s) of the work you will have to explore in order to answer the question.


·  Many other approaches harder to boil down into a formula.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Brainstorming for the Literary Argument

If you haven’t decided on a topic:

List the three most promising or interesting ideas you have in as much detail as you can. Then look over them and choose the two you feel are strongest.




If you have decided on a topic:

Write out your topic and focus in a brief couple of sentences, being as concise yet as specific as you’re able and trying to phrase your ideas in the form of an argument, if you can. Make a list of general areas of evidence you think could support your imagined argument.



Some thoughts on approaches to preparing your literary argument follow. Note that any approach needs to either begin with the text, or quickly move to looking closely at the text for evidence.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Pride and Prejudice, chapters 55–59


 Write in your “[yourname]” googledoc file (10 minutes):

1.    Did you enjoy reading the peripatetic conversation between Lizzy and Darcy where they “come to an understanding” (i.e. where he proposes again and she accepts). Why or why not? What surprised you about this conversation and/or what did you notice about it?
2.    What further obstacles does Elizabeth face even after she and Darcy “come to an understanding”? Why are these important for the book?
3.    Come up with two or three discussion questions for things you’d like to talk about once we’ve finished the whole novel.