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Professor Maroney - English 102 - Spring 2024: Your Assignment

Your Assignment

Select one of the following three topics:

One poet/two works: Select one poet from the many we are studying this term and compare and contrast two works. For one of the works, you may use one poem by this poet that we have studied in class. Study the poet further to find another poem that interests you or, if applicable, an essay or a novel by this writer. Compare and contrast the works, weave in biographical details, excerpts from literacy criticism, and your own responses in an objective voice.

One theme/two works by two different poets: Discuss the theme broadly and how each poet writes about it. (Again, only one poem by a poet we have studied in class is permissible. Discover another poet). Compare and contrast the works, weave in biographical details, excerpts from literacy criticism, and your own responses in an objective voice. This selection also allows for using a source about the theme, for example, if writing about overcoming obstacles, have you discovered a writer whose thoughts about this topic resonate with you?

Your heritage as theme. We have studied poets/essayists from a few different heritages, but you may have to search for more. Select two works by this poet/essayist/writer because you identify with how they have portrayed your heritage. Investigating the context for their poems or essays will require you to explore a source our two about your ancestry. You will weave in your own experiences in an objective voice.

Block the Assignment

Mechanical considerations: 

  • 5 page paper

  • MLA format

  • 4 outside sources preferred, 3 at minimum

Research aspects: 

  • Biographical info about poets, essayists, authors including works, style, etc.

  • Critical lens: which and why

  • Analysis of poems: literary elements, literary & rhetorical devices

  • Literary criticism

  • Psychological concepts

The Intersection of Ideas

When analyzing and writing about literature, consider your foundation text(s): a poem or an essay.  What aspects of the text interest you? Theme? Imagery? Characters? Plot? Style? Interplay of ideas? Explore and learn about those aspects of the foundation text.  For example, many fairy tales have stock or stereotypical characters whose traits and depiction are a reflection of the time and place, the society in which the tale is told.

Next explore ideas that may intersect with the text, ideas that may have more to do with society, social norms, history, religion, or philosophy.

Find the intersection between the text(s) and the external ideas.

Formulate or develop a thesis that makes a claim about the intersection of the aspect of the foundation text that captures your interest and the external ideas.

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