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Select one of the following three options for Essay 2

The comparative approach: Compare and contrast treatments of a theme in two to three texts from our assigned readings in Units 3 or 4. Successful essays will explore broader implications of the themes and utilize key literary terms in their discussion of the texts. For example, Frank X. Walker’s “Homeopathic” and G. E. Patterson’s “The Natural World” both address the idea of nature and what it means in urban spaces, but to very different ends. Exploring the similarities and differences in these two texts could lead to a productive discussion about what the idea of nature means to people in different settings.

The historical approach: Select one text from unit 3 or 4 that is connected to a specific historical event, period, or mindset. For example, Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” connects to the Dust Bowl as well as anti-Communist attitudes in the United States at the time, or Terry Tempest Williams’ “The Clan of One-Breasted Women” connects to nuclear testing in the American Southwest in the mid-twentieth century and cancer clusters. Use 2-4 outside sources to relate the material in the text to the historical context. Be attentive to addressing the text you selected from unit 3 or 4 as much as you discuss the historical context. Don’t lose the text discussing the context!

The sourced literary analysis approach: Select one text from unit 3 or 4. Use 2-4 sources, including at least one peer reviewed journal article, related to the text or to the theme(s) of the text to make an argument about the text. For example, one could make an argument about the meaning of the different narrative perspectives in Isabel Allende’s short story, “And of Clay Are We Created,” using Elizabeth Gough’s article, “Vision and Division: Voyeurism in the Works of Isabel Allende” as one of your sources.

General Essay Writing Information:
Introductions should contain the full name of author(s), the title(s) of the text(s), and year of publication, as well as introduce the theme being explored in the essay. The most important part of your introduction is a clear thesis statement that offers insight into your view of the writers approach to communicating the theme, experience, or conflict (to name a few).
The first sentence of each body paragraph should act as a mini-thesis that both structures the paragraph and supports the thesis. Body paragraphs should briefly introduce each author and relevant context, which will then lead into discussion of this writers treatment of the theme in this text. Each text should have its own section of one or more paragraphs in the body of the essay.
In the paragraph prior to the conclusion, put the texts in conversation with each other. If you are using the comparative approach, directly compare the two primary texts in your essay in the same paragraph, especially if you havent’ so far. If you are using the historical or literary approach, put your sources in conversation with each other and apply them to the primary text. Consider how the presentation of the theme is similar and/or different. Compare and contrast the ways in which each text contributes to our understanding of the theme. How does the authors context affect the theme?
The conclusion should return to the thesis statement and summarize relationship between the texts. Consider why this relationship matters in the world. Does it deepen readers understanding of the authors particular lived experiences? Does it create tension in our understanding of the theme?
All sources must be cited in MLA style both in-text and with a works cited entry. Lines of poetry are cited by line number rather than page number. Page numbers will be included in the works cited entry for each poem. The works cited page is the last page of your document and should contain entries for each poem that you explored in the text as well as any other sources you may have utilized. No outside sources are required for the comparative option, but if you choose to define a term or cite a quote from another source (only do this if it is usefulavoid mechanically including brainy quotes or unnecessary definitions), you must cite the source in-text and on the works cited page. The historical and literary approaches require 2-4 outside sources.
Length: The essay should be at least 4 full pages. I consider a full page a page that is filled with text. A page that is half filled and half empty is a half page and will be scored accordingly. You may write more than 4 pages, but try to keep it under 5 full pages. The works cited page does not count in the page count. Outside sources are not required, but if you use an outside source, you must cite it in text and on the works cited page.
Formatting: All essays in this class should be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font and double spaced. Include a heading on the first page (your name, my name, course number with section, and date) and a header (your last name and the page number) on all pages. The heading is in the main text of the essay, and the header is in the header section (meaning the opposite of the footer section–ask if you have questions about this).