A Critical Context

ENGL 3940 Fall 2020Critical Context (upload to iCollege assignment folder)Length: 600-900 words or 2-3 double-spaced pages (not including mandatory list of works cited)Percentage of course grade: 10%Write a short essay that summarizes what you see as an important issue in postcolonial studies in one (1) of the following pieces of writing:1. Edward Said, “Knowing the Oriental”2. Frantz Fanon, “The Lived Experience of the Black Man”3. Homi K. Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man”You are encouraged to cite material from Ania Loomba’s Colonialism/Postcolonialism to add context to your summary.PurposeThis exercise in focused description will:1. Help you distinguish other scholars’ ideas from your own.2. Allow you to represent those ideas fairly in your own essay work.3. Incorporate academic writing conventions into your own prose.4. Provide you with draft material that you are free to incorporate into your research essay (due later in the semester). FocusOrganize your critical context around a coherent theme, topic, or concern that runs through the scholarship you have chosen to examine. Examples include but are certainly not limited to: the relationship between colonialism and trade, the impact of poststructuralism on postcolonial studies, the possibility of resistance to colonial discourse, and so on.StructureNo introductory or concluding paragraphs are needed. Instead, take one to two sentences at the start of your first paragraph to summarize your chosen focus. Then introduce and discuss your text, employing a mixture of direct quotation and paraphrasing. Use block quotations sparingly, if at all. Include important idea (main idea clusters, or what you see as the key components of each article) but omit minor points. Since this is not a reflective or personal essay, do not speculate, invoke your personal experience, or make generalizations extrapolated from “common knowledge.” The last one to two sentences of your critical context should “zoom out” to remind the reader of the big picture (the topic, theme, or concern you mentioned at the beginning) in original language.CitationYou must use MLA citation style (8th edition), include a list of works cited, and adhere to the length requirements of the assignment. Assignments that do not meet these criteria will be penalized.

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