You may not use any secondary sources; the essay should be you closely analyzing and in dialogue with the literature, not book-report-Wikipedia-factoids. If you do not follow these guidelines, you’ll earn a zero on the essay. If you do not submit 5 full pages, meeting the base-level requirement, then you will earn a zero.
Our course is titled “Masterpieces of World Literature” and throughout the semester we’ve discussed what might make a work of literature a “masterpiece,” what gets a work of literature into an anthology or taught at a university, or, what is it about a work of literature that makes your heart skip a beat, pulls at you, makes you uncomfortable or haunts you long after you’ve read it. Choose one of the texts that we’ve read in the second half of the course (after the Decameron) and write an essay where you make an argument for why this work is a masterpiece. What is your definition of a masterpiece and why? Be sure to provide cited textual examples from the work that demonstrate why this text is indeed a great work. Take the time to closely analyze your textual examples in support of your claims about its worth. I do not want your opinion but rather a solid argument supported by textual evidence and analysis. Make sure that your argument is original and fresh (avoid vague claims or clichés) and make sure that you engage with the work’s content (its ideas) and its formal elements (the style in which it is written).
a strong essay should also say something new about the text. In other words, you want to use this assignment to showcase your own ability to think critically and imaginatively about our texts. Simply put, don’t be boring because you aren’t. The goal is to develop a coherent and clear argument supported by specific textual examples and analysis. Be sure to have a thesis/main idea/main argument: What is your main point and why should your audience care? Say why your argument matters. Your main point should be clearly articulated by the end of the first or second paragraph of the paper. Stay away from clichés, opinions and platitudes (avoid the “Hallmark card” thesis). Some questions to keep in mind: Did you teach the audience something new? Did you approach the issue from a fresh angle that in turn generated new insights? Do not give me a book report and do not let your voice take a back seat to the texts. Above all, be creative.
MLA citation document
Remember that papers must be double-spaced with 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins and titled with pages numbered. Give your paper an original title that speaks to your thesis/main point.