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art courtesy of
Janet Preslar, FrActivity

What is Expected on Out-of-Class Papers


101, 103 and Literature Courses: As this is a Literature/Composition class, you will be doing a great deal of writing - but what are you supposed to write about? I can start by telling you what we are NOT looking for. We are not concerned with simple plot reduction. Plot - what happened in the story - is only important if it is relevant to some kind of literary analysis. Likewise, we are not concerned with whether or not you liked the story. This is not a review. Furthermore, the type of analysis in this course is not focused on a personal level. Your response should reflect what any rational, educated person would understand after reading the work. Certainly there will be varying responses based on personal biases and experiences, but the idea is to remain as detached as possible. You're required to use the literary terms, including symbolism, irony and conflict, for example. You will be required to use the primary source, directly quoted and cited in each paragraph of the body of the essay as support for your analysis. Finally, after the first paper in English 101, and for all papers in the other courses, you will be required to use secondary sources, directly cited and quoted, in each paragraph of the body of the essay.

103 and Literature Courses: This course requires your analysis of literature using specific critical perspectives. If you are reacting as, say, a Buddhist to a piece, you should present the opinion as any Buddhist would respond, supported by appropriate sources that explain Buddhist theory. Thus, you will use language that detaches you from the work. Personal reference will be absent in papers like these. Again, it's not a personal thing - it's an intellectual response. Likewise, you are responding to the ideas presented by the author. Thus, we are going to be discussing literary techniques and, simply, how an author gets a message across through a story. We are reading for meaning, not just a simple emotional response. You will need to justify your response using the text and secondary sources in each paragraph of the body of the essay that will also be responding to the work at hand. We will discuss this in more detail as the course progresses.

103 Honors and Literature Courses: The added element to these courses is your participation. I expect you to research our subjects, including finding background information on authors, musicians, filmmakers and literary and cultural movements. You will also be required to make a presentation in class to your peers, reflecting your own research and scholarship. For the 103/Lyrics as Literature course, you will be required to present a band or songwriter. For the 213/Horror Literature course, you will be required to present an author or horror work. For the 291/Film as Literature course, you will be required to present a film or filmmaker. For the 293/Children's Literature course, you will be required to research and present an author or literary movement. In these courses, you are to come to class ready to join the conference-style discussion with your research done.

Lastly, certain format is required. See the following panels for specifics.

Top -- 1.5 inches
All text (including long quotes) will be double spaced. No need to double space works cited entries or title page information.
Bottom and sides -- 1 inch
If using a title page, first page of text is indented 1/4-1/3 the way down; the rest of the pages follow regular format.

Use 10 or 12 font size.
Use a simple, legible font, preferably geneva or verdana - avoid script fonts.
You must use conventional capitalization, i.e. no all caps or all lower case.

Indent 5 spaces on first line.
All text (including long quotes) will be double spaced. No need to double space works cited entries or title page information.
Be sure to keep paragraphs on a concise point, supporting a clearly stated Topic Sentence for each paragraph.
Use specifics from text to support your analysis (see quotes), quoted and cited in each paragraph of the body of the essay .
Finish point with some kind of wrap-up.

All citations, including those for quotation or paraphrase, are in-text.
Citations should immediately follow quotation, whether the quotation ends the sentence or not.
Do not use superscript numbers or asterisks (see quotes and "works" handout for details).
Footnotes are not used.

Quotations of more than 4 lines are indented in block form within a Paragraph.
The next line in paragraph will be out to regular margin. Do not indent, as this indicates a new paragraph. Do not single space.
Put citation of source after terminal punctuation.

See ORGANIZATION AND OUTLINES for more info. Also see your textbooks for other style considerations.

© T. T. Eiland, January 1998
Last modified: september 28, 2011