Essay #1 Character Analysis Explanation, Questions and Student Feedback Forum
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ENC 1102 Spring 2020 Essay #1 Assignment: Character Analysis
First Draft Due: Monday 2/22 (10 points)
Final Copy Due: Sunday 3/7 (90 points)
Assignment: June May is a dynamic character, which means that she significantly changes the over the course of the story’s events in “A Pair of Tickets.” Your purpose in this assignment is to trace her development, show her growth, and point to specific events in the story that contribute to this change. To prove that June May changes, it is important to note her previous attitude about her culture and to show how moments during her trip contribute to her changing perspective regarding who she is as a part of her family and as a Chinese woman. It is also important to note exactly what that change is. Be sure you can answer the questions: How does she feel about being Chinese before her trip to China? And how does she view her culture/family differently in the end?
This assignment requires you to use ONLY the primary text, Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets” as support for your analysis. This means that all of your quotes will come directly from the story, rather than from outside sources.
Audience: The audience for all literary papers is an educated, literary audience. You can safely assume that your readers have read the story you’re writing about, so reminding them of what happens is NOT necessary. Instead, your focus should be on interpreting what happens (see week two module Analysis versus Summary). This means that you need to delve deeper into the significance of moments in the story. Particularly, in this assignment, your focus should be on moments that change how June May understands her own family and culture. Imagine you are writing for students in THIS class. Students in this class have read this story, so your purpose is to show them how you interpret the events, rather than just summarizing the events that take place. They know; you don’t have to repeat the story for them.
Before you begin to write the essay, create a timeline of June May’s journey. Be sure to include her retrospection of her life prior to her trip to China, for this tells the reader a lot about how she feels about her culture. Then, look to moments in the story that affect her attitude regarding her culture and mark these down. Since her change takes place chronologically during her trip through China, highlight the moments where you see her being challenged with her culture, seeing things differently, opening up, realizing the importance of events, and viewing her family and culture differently than before.
Developing a Thesis: Writing a thesis for essays about literature is no different than writing any other thesis statement. The purpose of a thesis is to identify the essay’s central point. Your purpose in this assignment is to trace how June May changes her attitude about her family and culture, so devise a sentence that marks her initial feelings about being Chinese and specifically what she believes about her culture once she has her epiphany. Your thesis should be the ONE sentence and should appear at the end of your introduction. In your drafts and your final copy, underline your thesis statement.
Introduction: Your introduction should contain identification of the story title in quotation marks, the author and your thesis. When writing about literature, use THIRD person point of view only. Avoid using “I”, “me”, “we”, “us”; by using a THIRD person point of view, you are taking an educated, outside perspective, which is relevant for writing about literature. In addition, use PRESENT TENSE verbs when you discuss literature. If you need a refresher on verb tense, see Little Seagull 322. Your introduction should contain a brief overview of the work; keep in mind that any biographical information about Amy Tan is off-topic for this assignment; do not include specific information about the author, other than her name. (See selected Introductions for Literary Essays in Canvas Modules).
Topic Sentences: Individual body paragraphs need to contain topic sentences. They appear as the first sentence of each new body paragraph. Topic sentences should directly reflect the thesis statement, so in this assignment, each topic sentence should make a definitive point about June May’s attitude and her culture as well as her development.
Quoting: When writing about literature, the short story itself is the best support for your points. You will need to quote directly from the story in each of your body paragraphs. This means that you’ll need to follow proper quote integration and MLA documentation. See “Integrating Quotes” in Week Three’s module. As noted above, the only quotes that should appear in this essay are from Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets.”
Conclusion: Your essay should have a conclusion that is separate from your discussion of June May’s transformation. Typical conclusions should summarize the main ideas from your essay and restate your thesis. You should avoid including any “new” information in your conclusion that you have not discussed earlier.
First Draft: First Drafts are due in the designated drop box by Monday 2/22 at 11:59pm (10 points toward the final copy) Students who turn in a first draft often do much better on the final copy than if they did not receive feedback from the instructor for revision. In order to receive feedback on the first draft, students’ essays must contain all of the following requirements: (drafts will not be accepted past the due date).
First Drafts must contain an introduction, body, and conclusion
First Drafts must contain an underlined thesis statement
First Drafts must be a minimum of 3 full pages of content; this means that the content on page #3 reaches to a ONE-inch margin at the bottom of the page. Drafts should not exceed 4 FULL pages of content
First Drafts must include quoted material from the story in each body paragraph; quotes should contain no more than 3 lines of typed text; no block quotes should be used.
Use THIRD person point of view
First drafts must contain a Work Cited Entry that follows the guidelines for a work located in an anthology; Little Seagull page 144 reference #19. Only ONE source should appear on your Work Cited Page, a correct entry for Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets.”
First drafts must appear in correct MLA format; see Little Seagull page 161 or the OWL at Purdue
Final Copies: Final copies are due SUNDAY 3/7 at 11:59pm (90 points)
Final copies must appear in correct MLA format
Final copies must contain a minimum of 3 FULL pages; this means that the content on page #3 reaches to a ONE-inch margin at the bottom of the page. Final copies should not exceed 4 FULL pages of content
Final copies must contain a work cited page, in correct MLA format, and the work cited entry must be correct according to MLA guidelines. Only ONE source should appear on your Work Cited Page, a correct entry for Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets.”
Final copies must contain an underlined thesis statement
Final copies must have at least ONE quotation from the story in each BODY paragraph; quotes should contain no more than 3 lines of typed text; no block quotes should be used
Use THIRD person point of view
Final copies need to contain an introduction, body, and conclusion
If you turned in a first draft, the essay must be revised from the first version
Please use this discussion forum for questions related to the first essay assignment, “Character Analysis.” The questions you pose will be public, so other students in the class can read your posts and respond.
Feel free to ask any questions regarding the assignment in this space. I will monitor this discussion board periodically, but the intent is to post questions for other students in the class to answer.
Feel free to post portions of your essay for student feedback. Try not to post your entire paper for suggestions; instead post specific paragraphs or quotes you’re using for directed commentary. Oftentimes, feedback on a specific paragraph, for example, can help you revise other paragraphs in your essay.
Consult your Little Seagull Handbook or the Purdue OWL
(Links to an external site.)
for questions regarding MLA documentation and manuscript format, yet you may post any questions regarding MLA here as well.
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