The Critical Essay;narrative work
The Critical Essay
The Critical Essay will be the culmination of all that you have learned this term. It will combine your knowledge of two forms of discourse: the exposition and the
narrative. Your task is to choose a narrative work (novel or short story only) and to analyze it according to one of the narrative elements as discussed in Say It With
Style pp 198-199. You should carefully read over pages 1-6 of the back book (after the divider) of Say It With Style and follow the instructions to the letter.
The hardest part of this assignment is often the choice of subject. The best advice is to choose a popular and well known author and to use his best known novel or
short story (no plays or poems). This will simplify your research task.
For example, you could choose Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” as your subject work and do your exposition explaining what each ghost symbolizes.You will structure the essay
in five paragraphs ONLY (in sandwich format) and the subject work (“Christmas Carol” in this instance) will be used for quotes that prove your point. You will also
include quotes from the critics (at least four sources plus the subject work) that support your ideas. Be sure that your essay does not just tell the story line of
your subject work. This assignment is NOT a book report; rather, it is an analysis of some aspect of the work.
Think of this paper as summarizing what critics have to say about your work. Make sure you put quotes around anything taken directly and that you source (endnote) even
what you have paraphrased in your own words. The total of quoted material should not exceed 25% of your essay and you should be careful about this because turnitin.com
will flag your essay if it has too much that is not YOUR ORIGINAL work.
Be sure to include all of the pages necessary to this formal, documented research report: title page, outline, essay of no more than 5 paragraphs with at least 5
quotes from the subject work and critics in APA notation, and at least 5 bibliographical sources in APA notation. Both endnotes and bibliography will include the work
which is the subject of the paper. Also, make sure that you underline the thesis and the preview of the essay.
You can choose your subject work from any free database of online works and download a copyright-free printout. “Christmas Carol” is only one of many choices. One
database is of Short Story Classics at :
Another database is at the University of Pennslyvania: http://www.digital.library.upenn.edu/books. You can search by subject, author or title and download any or all
of a work.
The database that has the best criticism (and a capsule biography of the author) to use for critics’ quotes is part of the Miami-Dade Library. It is the Gale
Literature Database at:
Follow the link that says “Find Articles.” These databases may require you to log in using your Miami-Dade ID and password. Choose Gale Databases. Log in as
kendallcampus (lower case, all one word).Then, from the list of Gale Electronic Resources find Literature. When you open the Literature database, state your author and
hit the tab marked “Criticism.” This should give you more than enough sources. You may also draw from the other tabs in Gale like Biography etc.
You can supplement these sources with the MDC database called Academic Search Premier that is at LINCCWEB from the “Find Articles” tab. For this one, log in with your
authentication number (the one on your college ID card) and the password is the last 4 digits of your social security card OR the last four of your login id.
You MUST use these MDC databases so that I can check your sources. You may NOT use any proprietary or login or credit card database that I can’t get into. I must be
able to check all sources. You may use a Google source ONLY if I can get there and check it.
You should take a minute and open Say It With Style (the back book) to page 62 where you will find Tracee Connors’ essay “Critical Review of Symbolism in the Novel,
Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.” Read over this essay as the best example of the Critical Essay. Note how Tracee has supported her thesis that there is
symbolism in three areas: symbols of Christ, symbols of nature and symbols of the code hero. See how she supports each with quotes from the work and from the critics.
In Collegiate Reader under the Term Paper chapter you will find two additional examples which you are responsible for reading as examples: pp 179 and 189. Be sure to
flip through the rest of the back book of Say IWS also because I have included much information and many forms that will assist you. I will expect that you have read
over this for the Final.
We are using APA Style and there will be an additional link for your reference.
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