Monthly Archives: November 2016

British Soc. & Lit 2: Final Course Paper

Write an MLA format argument paper of about 800 words on one (or more) of the course texts: Dubliners, Pygmalion, Hitchhiker’s Guide, or Pale View. Try to discuss an issue or theme which explains the text(s); simply comparing two characters is often boring unless the comparison tells us something meaningful. Feel free to look at the blog questions or think about the presentations for ideas.

  • First draft due date, on paper: Monday, November 28
  • Final draft due date, by e-mail: Monday, December 12
  1. The paper must state an argument with examples and reasons, focused on the text.
  2. It’s OK if you use evidence or history from the time period of the text to help explain it, so long as your emphasis is on the text. Do not write a paper which is really about you or K-Pop.
  3. The paper must quote from the text to prove your arguments. If your paper has three irrelevant quotes I will assume you didn’t read the text. Use short quotes rather than padding the paper with useless long quotes.
  4. Important!: You will e-mail me a 70+ word proposal, where you will describe what you are going to discuss and what question or argument you are going to answer or prove in your paper. You should do this soon, because: a) I won’t accept a paper without an accepted proposal; and b) once a proposal is accepted, no other student can write on the same argument. For this reason your proposal needs to be specific. I will reject vague, one-sentence proposals saying, e.g. “I will write about why Higgins is bad.” How and why is he bad? How will you prove it?
  • Your second paper in this course will be a revision of this first paper; after I grade it, you will edit and improve the paper.
  • We will be spending the last six classes discussing how to write, research, and edit academic argument papers (Nov 22 – Dec 6).
  • Refer to the “Files” heading on this site for an example of MLA formatting. We’ll discuss this in class as well.
  • Grading will be on four criteria: Grammar; structure; argumentation, and text support (quoting). Each draft is worth 15%.

Accepted Proposals so Far

*Please– no more proposals for Pale View unless they are very strong ones.*

  1. Pygmalion: Eliza was the most successful person in the play, where Alfred was not.
  2. Pygmalion: Shaw makes a pro-love statement by not having a conventional happy ending, because Freddy’s love is an end in itself.
  3. Dubliners: How do Eveline, Mrs. Mooney, and Mrs. Kearney see marriage as a means to an end?
  4. Pale View: Sachiko was Etsuko, and mostly was a projection of her own feelings or actions.
  5. Dubliners: Jimmy’s changes and feelings of limitation/ ‘glass ceiling’ in “After the Race.”
  6. Pale View: Etsuko is guilty because she is directly responsible for Keiko’s suicide.
  7. Pale View: Sachiko/Mariko were not a projection of Etsuko’s guilty imagination, but real people.
  8. Hitchhiker’s Guide: Humor and jokes about governments and politics in the novel.
  9. Pygmalion: Shaw’s criticism of the class system.
  10. Hitchhiker’s Guide: Why does Adams use the Hitchhiker’s Guide so much in the book of the same name?
  11. Pale View: Keiko commits suicide because she was similar to Mariko.
  12. Dubliners: How does Joyce criticize British colonialism in Dubliners?
  13. Dubliners: Why doesn’t Mangan’s sister have a name in “Araby”?
  14. Pale View: Why does Etsuko divorce Jiro and go to England?
  15. Pale View: Niki would have gotten along better with Jiro than with Etsuko.
  16. Dubliners: Does Eveline have a “Cinderella complex”?
  17. Pale View: Is Ogata dishonest? What do his actions and the chess game mean to the novel?
  18. Pale View: Evasion and conflict in Jiro/Ogata, Fujimara/Sachiko, and Etsuko/Niki.
  19. Hitchhiker’s Guide: The role of technology in the earth creation and Marvin—what does it mean for people?
  20. Pygmalion: Shaw named the play Pygmalion to show a contrast between the mythic sculptor and Higgins.
  21. Pale View: Chess and Jiro / Ogata’s generation gap.
  22. Pale View: The status of women in the novel—what does it mean?
  23. Dubliners: What does the baby’s crying at the end of “A Little Cloud” mean?
  24. Pygmalion: Language and class for Eliza and Clara.
  25. Louis Dudek – “Poetry for Intellectuals.” The beauty of short poetry and word implication.
  26. Pygmalion: Eliza won’t be happy with Freddy in the future.
  27. Pygmalion: The play does not have a happy ending because of Shaw’s feminist ideas.
  28. Dubliners: Eveline doesn’t really love Frank; he’s more a “helper” to her.
  29. Dubliners: The young boy’s superior attitude in “An Encounter.”

Underst. Brit & Amer. Fiction: Final Course Paper

Write an MLA format argument paper of about 800 words on one (or more) of the course texts: Macbeth, Gatsby, Harry Potter, “Walter Mitty,” or the poetry. Try to discuss an issue or theme which explains the text(s); simply comparing two characters is often boring unless the comparison tells us something meaningful. Feel free to look at the blog questions or think about the presentations for ideas.

  • First draft due date, on paper: Monday, November 28
  • Final draft due date, by e-mail: Monday, December 12
  1. The paper must state an argument with examples and reasons, focused on the text.
  2. It’s OK if you use evidence or history from the time period of the text to help explain it, so long as your emphasis is on the text. Do not write a paper which is really about you or K-Pop.
  3. The paper must quote from the text to prove your arguments. If your paper has three irrelevant quotes I will assume you didn’t read the text. Use short quotes rather than padding the paper with useless long quotes.
  4. Important!: You will e-mail me a 70+ word proposal, where you will describe what you are going to discuss and what question or argument you are going to answer or prove in your paper. You should do this soon, because: a) I won’t accept a paper without an accepted proposal; and b) once a proposal is accepted, no other student can write on the same argument. For this reason your proposal needs to be specific. I will reject vague, one-sentence proposals saying, e.g. “I will write about why Gatsby is bad.” How and why is he bad? How will you prove it?
  • Your second paper in this course will be a revision of this first paper; after I grade it, you will edit and improve the paper.
  • We will be spending the last six classes discussing how to write, research, and edit academic argument papers (Nov 24 – Dec 8).
  • Refer to the “Files” heading on this site for an example of MLA formatting. We’ll discuss this in class as well.
  • Grading will be on four criteria: Grammar; structure; argumentation, and text support (quoting). Each draft is worth 15%.

Accepted Proposals so Far

  1. Gatsby: Daisy chooses Tom instead of Gatsby because of her realism and selfishness
  2. Harry Potter: Is having four houses in Hogwarts instead of one beneficial or detrimental to the students?
  3. Harry Potter: Dumbledore should not have left Harry with his aunt and uncle.
  4. Macbeth: Macbeth’s failure was because of his poor networking; Macbeth networked ineffectively with others, but Malcolm networked effectively.
  5. Harry Potter: Dumbledore is a good person but is a careless and incompetent headmaster.
  6. Macbeth: Lady Macbeth is morally worse than Macbeth for advising murder.
  7. Gatsby: The Valley of Ashes represents the moral degeneration in ‘old money.’
  8. Gatsby: Nick isn’t a good man—he’s selfish and cowardly compared to others.
  9. Macbeth: Why Malcolm becomes king and not Banquo’s son.
  10. Harry Potter: Wizard vs. muggle discrimination is like British vs. colonials contempt and social tensions.
  11. Gatsby: The American dream is expressed through the symbol of Jay Gatsby.
  12. Harry Potter: Why doesn’t Dumbledore help Harry more?
  13. Harry Potter: There’s a logic behind Hogwarts punishing some small things strongly and other big things lightly.
  14. Harry Potter: Are there advantages or disadvantages to the four-house system at Hogwarts?
  15. Harry Potter: Harry is a success through his parents and friends more than he is through magic.
  16. Gatsby: Does Gatsby deserve to be called “Great”? What role does love play in the novel which can answer this?
  17. Harry Potter: The Vernons are kinder to Harry than they seem.
  18. Gatsby: Jay Gatsby must die in the novel to show its themes and messages.
  19. Harry Potter: Dumbledore is Harry’s ‘emotional anchor.’
  20. Harry Potter: Hermione is connected to McGonagall because both are perfectionists.
  21. Harry Potter: Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s family backgrounds: How do they impact their personalities?
  22. Macbeth: How do Macbeth and Lady Macbeth develop differently during the play, and why?
  23. Gatsby: Jay Gatsby does not genuinely love Daisy.
  24. Harry Potter: Why does the wizard world use antique instead of modern technology?
  25. Gatsby: Why does Tom want Daisy back if she cheats on him?
  26. Gatsby: Why is Tom friendly to Nick if he doesn’t like him?
  27. Macbeth: The Porter is a necessary character in the play.
  28. Harry Potter: Dumbledore uses Harry for his own purposes as well in defeating Voldemort.
  29. Gatsby: How are Jordan Baker and Daisy similar or different, and why?
  30. Macbeth: How does Macbeth lose his authority?