everything that rises must converge, Flannery o Connor

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Paper Instructions:

Midterm Essay

The midterm essay is an analysis of one of the works of fiction in the textbook. Typically, the midterm essay will examine how the author uses various literary devices to express the work’s theme.

A typical midterm essay might follow a five-paragraph formula by looking at three different literary devices.

Here is a sample thesis statement for a midterm essay:

In “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner uses tone, symbol, and plot to show how easily we can become trapped by our own nostalgia.

The midterm essay does not have a research requirement, although in-text citations and a works cited page will be required for the primary text.

A suggested outline for the midterm:
1. An introduction that provides readers with context and proposes the thesis.

• Context can include brief biographical information on the author that might give the reader an idea of why the author chose the theme of the work or the devices used.

• The introduction should end with a thesis that proposes a theme for the work and briefly describes how that theme is expressed through multiple literary devices.

2. A series of body paragraphs which demonstrate how various literary devices are utilized in the text to express the theme.

• You may choose to include a summary in this section, but the summary should be brief. Assume your audience has already read the text.

• The various literary devices have been the subject of our lectures so far: plot, setting, and so on.

3. A conclusion which evaluates the work as a whole and reinforces the case you have built for your interpretation of the work.

Minimum: 500 Words

Format: MLA

For more information on writing about literature:

• Review chapters 27-32 of The Norton Introduction to Literature.

• See this guide: http://www.roanestate.edu/owl/elementslit.html

Criterion One: Does the essay have an appropriate academic tone? (28.1.1)

This criterion includes the careful use of correct grammar and MLA formatting.

Not at all (+0), Somewhat (+10), Average (+17), Good (+22), Perfect (+25)

Criterion Two: Does the essay have a clear and debatable thesis statement which responds to the assignment prompt? (28.1.2, Midterm Prompt)

Does the thesis statement include an interpretation of the theme of the work being considered? Does the thesis statement relate that interpretation to literary devices, such as symbolism or tone?

A strong thesis is often established as well motivated over the course of the essay, although you aren't required to do so for the midterm.  (28.1.3)

Not at all (+0), Somewhat (+10), Average (+17), Good (+22), Perfect (+25)

Criterion Three: Does the essay make appropriate and responsible use of evidence? (28.1.4)

Do you make appropriate use of facts to support your interpretation of the text? Do you refer back to the primary text to support your points? Do you cite your work appropriately? (Please note that egregious plagiarism will result in an assignment grade of 0 regardless of other scores.)

Not at all (+0), Somewhat (+10), Average (+17), Good (+22), Perfect (+25)

Criterion Four: Is your essay structured appropriately? (28.1.5) 

Are your ideas arranged and presented in a sensible and persuasive manner? Does your essay meet the minimum word count requirement?

Not at all (+0), Somewhat (+10), Average (+17), Good (+22), Perfect (+25)

567 Words  2 Pages

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