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Assignment Setup Literary critic Elaine Showalter describes the nineteenth-centu

by | Apr 5, 2022 | English


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Assignment Setup
Literary critic Elaine Showalter describes the nineteenth-century fin de siécle (turn-of-the-century in French), as a time of “sexual anarchy,” as “New Women” and male “decadents” and aesthetes challenged traditional Victorian laws that had governed sexual identity and behavior. Another cultural critic and magazine writer once wrote: “A new fear my bosom vexes; / Tomorrow there may be no sexes!” What an extreme thought, yes? Answer ONE of the following questions to develop a thoughtful evaluation of the text, justifying using analysis and utilizing specific primary and secondary evidence of support from the novel and articles supplied. Students’ essays must illustrate polished MLA formatting skills and proper integration of textual evidence that SUPPORT, NOT STAND IN PLACE OF, students’ thoughts and assertions. Lastly, fully developed body paragraphs must be constructed with clear topic and transition sentences, analysis of the text, smooth and thorough execution of the Triple “I” Method, all in support of a solid thesis statement.
Essay Prompt Options (Choose ONE)
Option 1
Setup: After reading the Braddon’s novel AND reading about the various circumstances of Victorian marriage from The New Woman Reader, answer the following question.
What to answer: Explain how Braddon’s novel and the genre of the “sensation novel”, IS OR IS NOT, effective in critiquing Victorian marriage and gender inequality. Why? Be extremely specific.
Option 2
Setup: A historian of the Victorian period asserts that, at its heart, the sensation novel is “a novel-with-a-secret.” Taking into consideration Braddon’s novel AND Brantlinger’s article, answer the following.
What to answer: Explore, examine and explain whose secrets are “revealed” in the novel. Yes, Lady Audley herself has more than one, BUT who else has secrets that are even more “sensational,” “damning,” and “taboo” than hers? Explain. DO NOT be literal, but analytical and critical.
Required texts for Literary Analysis #2
Primary source under analysis is Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Secondary sources to be used include:
Brantlinger, What Is Sensational About the Sensation Novel.pdf
Nelson, A New Woman Reader (The Marriage Question).pdf
For Works Cited purposes, here is some information about the sources that will be helpful in finding the proper Work Cited formulas for them. DO NOT use the EasyBibgenerators as there are always errors if the student does not fix them properly.
Patrick Brantlinger’s text, “What is ‘Sensational’ About the ‘Sensation Novel'”?, is a scholarly journal article that comes from an online database called JSTOR.
The selections about the “The Marriage Question” come from an anthology titled, A New Woman Reader: Fiction, Articles, and Drama of the 1890s. The anthology is edited by Carolyn Christensen Nelson and each of the selections is written by a different person.
The Works Cited page is part of MLA format and DOES NOT count as part of the formal page count. If the essay is eight full pages, the Works Cited is page nine.
Textual Evidence Incorporation and Limitations (Be extremely selective)
Textual evidence is used to PROVE, ILLUSTRATE AND SUPPORT the student writer’s argument.
Follow the following parameters for textual evidence usage within the essay, especially following the Triple I Method or The Five Steps of Quoting. In this essay students are required to use:
From Braddon’s Lady Audley’ Secret:
Five “in-text” quotes (3-4 full lineswhen properly formatted)
One block quote (6-7 full lines when formatted properly)
From Brantlinger’s scholarly journal article:
Three “in-text” quotes (3-4 full lineswhen properly formatted)
From Nelson’s A New Woman Reader anthology, choose THREE entries to use and utilize:
One “in-text” quote (3-4 full lineswhen properly formatted) PER entry.
Avoid choppy, one-line direct quotes within the essay. Use “textually meaty” passages that you can sink your analytical teeth into, but RESPECT the parameters set forth above.
Reference the MLA handbook to make sure the formatting of “in-text” and block quotes are done properly. The Norton Guide to MLA Style Update (9e 2021).pdf
Also reference the MODEL MLA ESSAY.
Analytical interpretation and justification are key for argumentative interpretations. Summarization MUST be avoided.
The Triple I Method Presentation (Revised).pptx
Using Textual Evidence (Revised).pptx
All of the above is REQUIRED, not optional.
Advice about passage selections as evidence
This essay is a strict literary analysis based on the prompt inspired by the novel, Lady Audley’s Secret. Close attention must be paid to author’s word choices and the imagery that said details evoke in the reader’s analytical argument AND how those details support the student writer’s main argument (thesis) and points of support (topic sentences).
DO NOT abuse the use of textual evidence. Any quotes that you select to use within your essay must ILLUSTRATE, PROVE, and/or SUPPORT your assertions, not stand in place of them, nor speak for you as the writer. When evaluating your essays, I will pay very close attention to your thesis, the main points of support that you assert, the evidence used, analysis developed and most importantly, the construction of the essay. While content is important, execution is paramount.
DO NOT simply summarize the novel and the secondary sources. Also, DO NOT write about the secondary sources within their own paragraphs and leave them until the end.
Students are using primary and secondary source materials to support and prove their OWN, NEW argument, but ALSO bringing them into conversation for CRITICAL CONNECTIONS. This is called SYNTHESIZING the texts.
The Dos and Don’ts of the Argument and Critical Thinking Essay (READ CAREFULLY)
All of the following will be assessed in this essay, so please make sure you are careful in your construction. Proofread, edit, and make changes BEFORE you hand the essay in for a grade:
Introduction with an engaging “attention grabber”and intriguing and assertive thesis statement.
Proper construction and development of paragraphs that begin with solid topic sentences (points of support for the thesis) and that end with smooth transitions (7-8 sentences per paragraph at least; strive for balanced paragraphs)
Thoughtful conclusion that emphasizes an important point that you could not elaborate on enough as a full body paragraph, but that you want to leave your reader thinking about.
Do not do any of the following:
Do not write a Five Paragraph Essay. Doing so will be extremely detrimental to the grade points.
Do not summarize the text(s). I’ve read the text(s) and don’t need to know what it/they is/are about, again.
For the thesis and topic sentences, do not state facts from the text. Doing so will lead to summarization.
Avoid using first person pronouns in the essay. No “I, Me, We, Our, Us” nor “You or your.”
Do not use the Essay Question/Prompt anywhere in the essay.
DO NOT FORGET to adhere to all the directions and minimum parameters of the assignment.
How to format an academic paper in MLA STYLE
12pt Times New Roman (regular, nothing is bolded)
One inch margins on all sides
Header goes in the upper right side of every page (not within margins). Do not add extra punctuation or decorations. Example: Smith 2
Student and course information in the upper left side of the first page.
Double-space everything, including student and course information. Do not add extra gaps.
Center an original title for the paper.
Left-align everything but the title.
Indent the start of all paragraphs ½” (Just ONE TAB).
Cite everything using MLA in-text citations.
The works cited page must be in MLA format.
No Cover page.


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