ENG 232 Paper Two
For this paper, you will have two options. Review the prompts below for specific guidance.
Students will incorporate academic, peer-reviewed sources in formal, out-of-class essays, using MLA guidelines. Students will create original writing about assigned literature in response to assigned prompts. Students will compose essays using standard conventions of written English.
Option One: Trace the development of an idea through several periods of American Literature, while referencing 3-4 of the stories we have read over the course of the semester.
There are numerous angles you could pursue. Consider the following as just a few possibilities:
- Examine the use of language in several pieces we have read this semester, connecting the usage of such language to movements in American Literature and/or the significance of the language in the selections. Possible stories could include “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, The Making of Americans, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, The Right Stuff, “She Unnames Them”, “Losing a Language”, etc.
- Trace the evolution of representations of women in American Literature. How have those representations changed over time? Possible stories could include “The Storm”, “The Story of an Hour”, “Daisy Miller”, Sister Carrie, The Right Stuff, etc.
- Trace the evolution of masculinity in American Literature. What does it mean to be “a man”? How does the idea change over time? Possible stories include “Roughing It”, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, “Babylon Revisited”, The Right Stuff, “The Swimmer”, etc.
- Trace the idea of loss through several pieces of American Literature. How do the characters deal with loss? What sort of statement do the authors seem to make about humanity and our ability to move on from such loss? Possible stories include “The Story of an Hour”, “Babylon Revisited”, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, The Right Stuff, “The Swimmer”, The Year of Magical Thinking, etc.
- Trace some other theme that you have identified by examining 3-4 stories that we have read over the course of the semester.
Option Two: Write a paper focusing on 2-4 examples of postmodern literature that we have read in Unit 3. Exam the stores from a postmodern perspective, making connections to the characteristics identified in the course notes and links. Develop a clear thesis that you can support throughout your essay.
Consider the following possibilities:
- Examine several postmodern stories/poems focusing on a specific theme or other point of connection that you have identified in the works. You could focus on language, characters, setting, or some other element. Just make sure you develop a clear argumentative thesis.
- Focus on 2-4 examples of postmodern literature, identifying specific postmodern characteristics within those examples and discussing the significance of those postmodern elements.
- 5-7 pages
- 2-4 primary sources (stories/poems) as indicated on the prompts above
- 4-5 secondary academic sources (use NCLive and Literature Resource Center)
- You may also use manifestos from the anthology as secondary sources, if they work as effective sources for your argumentative perspective.
- MLA formatting, including basic format (see p. 484 in LB Brief), in-text citations and a Works Cited page