ENGL111 Literature across Time and Space

Paper (20%) This paper is an individual assignment. Your final paper (including references list) is due by MIDNIGHT on Friday, November 19th. Papers must be submitted through MyCC. The essay will require you to compare & contrast two of the short stories studied in class. You will compare one of the science fiction stories from the second half of our semester with one of the stories we read in the first. This assignment will require you to read ahead! Comparison/contrast essays require you to look at how certain elements–ideas, themes, characters, etc.–are similar and/or different in two pieces of writing. This exercise will require you to have a firm understanding of both the stories themselves and the literary elements that you are examining. It is intended to broaden your understanding of how different pieces of literature —such as science fiction and non-science fiction stories—can explore similar themes and literary devices. More information about crafting a compare & contrast essay can be found here: https:// owl.excelsior.edu/rhetorical-styles/compare-and-contrast-essay/ The paper should be approximately 1200-1500 words in length and must follow MLA formatting and citation guidelines throughout. The paper must contain the following elements: • An introduction including a thesis statement that takes a clear position on the chosen topic. • Be written entirely in your own words, except for direct evidence from the text. Do not consult any secondary sources online. As for every project in this course, this is not a research assignment. Use of secondary sources will result in a grade of 0. • Close reading of the text. • A Works Cited list (of the stories or poems you are examining) and in-text citations. Should you require assistance with narrowing down your topic, I am more than happy to provide guidance. For this terminal assignment, you must research, plan, and write a formal paper in MLA style. Your paper must offer a thesis statement that takes a clear position on your chosen topic. Your claims and ideas must be supported by a close reading of the text. You will then take a short, five-to-ten minute oral examination over Zoom based on your paper. Information on MLA formatting can be found here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/ General information on writing college-level essays can be found here: https:// owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/658/01/ Topics: 1. Consider the irony in “The Gift of the Magi” and “Escape from Spiderhead.” Which of the three types of irony do these stories utilize, and to what ends? How is their approach to irony similar or different? 2. Examine the themes of race in “Sonny’s Blues” and “The Finkelstein 5.” Though both of these stories were written more than 50 years apart, they both suggest that America has a serious issue with racial inequality. What is different today? What remains the same? 3. Consider the satire in “Escape from Spiderhead” and “The Finkelstein 5.” What do both these stories have to say about life in America? (Satire = humor with a lesson or social critique.) Are they satirizing similar things? Different? 4. Consider the theme of community in “Everyday Use” and “The Finkelstein 5.” The protagonists of both stories belong to distinctly Black communities (though very different ones). What do both stories suggest about the importance of community, in particular tensions within those communities? 5. Write an essay discussing the social critique in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and “The Finkelstein 5.” Both of these stories contain critiques of American/ Western culture. What do you believe they are? How are they similar? 6. Write an essay examining the plot twists in “Story of Your Life” and “The Lottery.” Both these stories end on unexpected notes. How do these authors set the reader up to be surprised by the finale—and why? 7. Examine the aliens in “They’re Made Out of Meat” and “Story of Your Life.” How is alien life represented in both of these stories? More importantly, how do these authors use aliens to explore human themes? Any essay written on a topic not listed above will receive a grade of 0. Any paper that consults or includes secondary sources will receive a grade of 0. Peer-Editing Workshop This part of the assignment will require you to come to class with a rough outline of your thesis statement and paper structure. Make the outline as DETAILED as you can to receive as much feedback as possible. You will be paired with another student at random for this workshop, give them feedback, and answer questions reflecting on the process. (What you plan to change in the final draft, what kind of feedback you received, what you think you did well, etc.) Oral Exam (15%) For your penultimate project of the semester, you will take a one-on-one “interview”-style oral examination based upon your compare/contrast paper. These will take roughly five-to-ten minutes each and be conducted over Zoom. Please note: this is the only time this semester you will be required to have your camera on. The format of the oral examination will be flexible and based upon the content of your compare & contrast paper, although some questions might relate to your workshop responses. While the format, structure, and content of the examination will change from student-to-student, all oral exams will require each student to clearly, concisely articulate their thesis statement and the main supporting points of their argument. Other examination content might include: – Questions based upon assertions made in the paper. – Passage explanation: you might be asked to explain or expand on some of the points you have made. – Dictionary discussion: you will be asked about any and all terminology you’ve used in your papers. (Hint: do not use terminology that you are unable to define.) – Explication of why certain changes were made between your original draft and your final paper Examination order will be determined by random draw. Please note that if you are not present for your examination at the designated time (and do not have appropriate medical documentation), you will receive a grade of 0. Students are expected to be on-time for examinations, or else a penalty will be applied to your mark. Please also note that some students may be required to take the oral examination during my office hours, as regularly-scheduled class time is limited. Please keep in mind that papers are due before the oral exam, as I must read them before I am able to administer the exam. An extra penalty will be applied to any student who has not submitted their paper by their examination time.
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