Project #62439 - Research Literary Analysis

Write a seven-ten page literary analysis of Martin and Meditations on the South Valley , incorporating research from three or more sources to enhance your ideas. The research done for your annotated bibliography will provide a good foundation for writing this essay, giving you a strong background on the author and/or the text. Your research might focus on what literary critics have said about this author’s work, biographical or autobiographical material that might help readers better understand the text, or historical or mythological information related to the text. The focus of your essay must be an interpretation of the literature itself, using the research as enhancement but not as the main emphasis of your essay. For example, if your research focuses on biographical information, use it to help interpret a theme, character, or other aspect of the text.

As with Assignment 2, analysis of poetry, a strong essay will have a clear thesis and well-developed support, drawing examples from the literary text and referring specifically, where appropriate, to your research sources. Use MLA format for parenthetical citations and your works cited page.

The Gavilan library website offers resources for students conducting research on literature. (You will need a Gavilan library card to access this information and can apply for a card in person or online.) The library also has a helpful website onAcademic Research Guidelines that will help you identify legitmate sources for your research and avoid plagiarism. See me, a librarian, and/or a writing assistant at the Gavilan Writing Center for help with this paper if you need it.

I have expanded the list on types of literary criticism which were introduced for Assignment 2. You may develop your literary analysis using one of these approaches.

Sociological criticism: Like historical criticism, sociological criticism examines literature in the cultural, economic, and political context in which it is written or received. This type of criticism may analyze the social content of a literary work—the cultural, economic, or political values a particular text implicitly or explicitly expresses.

Reader-response criticism: This type of criticism attempts to describe what happens in the reader’s mind while interpreting a text. A reader-response critic might also explore the impact of a particular text on his or her own ideas or values. For example, one might reflect on how a particular character seems admirable or unlikable and why. One might reflect on how one’s religious, culture, or social values affect readings. It also overlaps with gender criticism in exploring how men and women may read the same text with different assumptions.

Gender criticism: This type of criticism examines how sexual identity influences the creation and reception of literary works. Gender studies originated during the feminist movement, when critics began investigating the unexamined assumptions around gender in a piece of literature. Feminist critics explored how an author’s gender might—consciously or unconsciously—affect his or her writing. These critics may also explore how images of men or women in literature might reflect or reject the social norms around gender in a particular society.

Mythological criticism: Mythological critics explore the universal patterns underlying a literary work. This type of criticism draws on the insights of anthropology, history, psychology, and comparative religion to explore how a text uses myths and symbols drawn from different cultures and epochs. A central concept in mythological criticism is the archetype, a symbol, character, situation, or image that evokes a deep universal response. For example, critic Joseph Campbell, in his books like The Hero with a Thousand Faces, demonstrates how similar mythic characters and situations, like the hero’s journey, appear in virtually every culture.

Biographical criticism: Biographical critics explore how understanding an author’s life can help readers more thoroughly comprehend the literary work. Note: biographical critics are not concerned with simply describing the author’s life but instead with interpreting the literary work using the insights provided by knowledge of the author’s life.

New Historicism: New historicist critics look at the impact of the politics, ideologies, and social customs of the author’s world on the themes, images, and characterizations of a text. This type of critic considers the historical events or conditions during which the work was written.

Psychoanalytic criticism: This type of criticism views the themes, conflicts, and characterizations of a work primarily as a reflection of the needs, emotions, states of mind, or subconscious desires of the author.

Formalist criticism: Formalist critics look closely at the work itself, analyzing the various elements of the work as a way of explicating or interpreting a text.

Process suggestions:

  1. Review the lectures on your chosen text and/or the supplementary pages on reading fiction or poetry.
  2. Look back at your reading journal and/or postings on our class discussion board to get ideas about a possible theme to explore or an approach to this essay.
  3. Brainstorm ideas for research and writing by doing a cluster, list, mind-map, or freewrite.
  4. Begin your research process by formulating questions about your chosen text. Your research may be more fertile if you direct the search somewhat.
  5. Research literary critics, additional writings by the author, or biographical information to help you develop your interpretation.
  6. Discuss your questions, ideas, and responses to the poems with a classmate or another person.
  7. In your first draft, write thick not thin: include speculations about the text, associations, comparisons, and evaluations. Draw plenty of examples from the text. Include references to your research. Don’t be afraid to argue with the literary critics you’ve read. Let this draft be your chance to enter the literary conversation. Later you can edit, select, or throw out what doesn’t fit.
  8. When revising, return to your introduction to ensure that you have a clear, strong (narrow) thesis. Remember to name the author and text in your introduction. The title of your essay should reflect the theme of the essay (do not use the title of the book as the title of your essay). The body of your essay should include plenty of support for your ideas, including examples and quotes from the book. Use specific references to your research to enhance your interpretation of the text. Generally, the most effective way to use quotes is to use them to support a point you’re making; then follow up the quote with interpretation. Review MLA format for citations if you need to.
  9. Share your rough draft with your peer response group. Ask for specific feedback on parts of the essay you’re unsure about. You may also contact me for help or submit your rough drafts to the campus Writing Center for help.

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 04/18/2015 12:00 am
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