ENGLISH 100: The Critical Reading /Analysis Essay The Assignment: Provide an analysis of the way Nature has been represented in a text of your choice. Detailed Explanation: To this point in the semester we have been focusing on a process of critical reading that involves both the comprehension of what is literally being said as well as a consideration of the effects of how something is said. Using that process, discuss the ways in which Nature is discussed, conceived, imagined, and/or articulated (i.e. “represented”) in a text of your choice. You are free to choose from any written texts with which you are familiar: poems, songs, books, etc. (for instance I could imagine someone being able to write a quite fascinating paper on the ways in which Heavy Metal or Country music bands use Nature in their songs). Feel free to understand “Nature” in whatever sense interests you the most (i.e. you can substitute for Nature the natural world, animals, the environment, farming, etc.). Whatever understanding you settle on, you’ll need to pay attention to and discuss the specific words, phrases, and details that each of the texts relies upon and how those elements give shape to the idea of Nature that emerges. Finally, you need not construct an argument that is entirely original. In other words, you may certainly recycle or use any argument or interpretation that we have explored in class. The emphasis here is on the writing (and your ability, therefore, to articulate your argument in a clear fashion on the written page) rather than on originality. Notes: Because you are creating an argument, you will need to craft a thesis statement (for example: “Nature appears to function as a force of renewal and hope”). The body of the paper should consist of the building-blocks necessary to discuss, explain, support, and illustrate your argument. Much then will depend upon the “evidence” you provide to affirm your thesis. You should expect, therefore, to have to use quotes from each of your primary texts. Ideally the conclusion should push your analysis one step further and explain the significance of your commentary (in a sense, to answer the question “So what?”). Using the example above, you might close that paper by discussing how the idea of Nature as a guarantor of new life serves, in your chosen text, as a source of religious awakening. You should consider your audience for this paper to be your peers in this classroom, but also the academic community more broadly. The language and tone you choose should therefore be appropriate for writing within an academic context. Your purpose is primarily to educate your audience (to contribute to their learning and to offer a different way of looking at a text) but also to persuade them that your interpretation is credible. Grades will be determined having taken into consideration: the strength and maturity of the thesis, the organization of the paper’s ideas, the mechanics of the paper (grammar, spelling, expression, etc.), the evidence provided in support of the central argument, and the observance of academic conventions. Requirements: 3-4 pages, double-spaced, reasonable font size. Provide page or line numbers for quotes.
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