Assignment: Please write a 8-10 page (minimum) researched persuasive essay arguing a position on a play or short story listed on the syllabus. You need to expand paper one (on a play) or paper two (on short stories) into a research paper by discussing secondary sources (articles written by others on the plays/short stories or on issues in the plays/short stories. Criteria: To do well on this assignment, the final draft of your paper will need to 1. have a clear, thoughtful, and unmistakable thesis statement somewhere early on in the essay; 2. provide ample support for its major claims, in the form of facts and opinions from experts and your own observations about the text(s); 3. quote and/or paraphrase roughly eight good outside sources; 4. adhere to proper MLA form throughout; 5. demonstrate good organization and clear transitions, with every sentence and paragraph in the essay clearly growing out of those preceding them; 6. use correct grammar throughout; 7. be well edited, with a minimal number of spelling, punctuation, and diction errors throughout; 8. come to me with at least 8-10 sources created before or during the drafting of your paper (your essay isn’t acceptable without these, and they’ll need to adhere to the guidelines I’ll give you soon); and 9. come to me with whatever drafts, outlines, and/or organizational exercises you’ve done to help produce your final draft. Additional Requirements and Pointers: I can’t accept your final draft unless I’ve gotten from you, over the course of the semester, four important developmental documents: (1) your list of 8-10 sources (2) your paragraph on a secondary source (3) your first draft (4) your works cited page The dates on which these documents are due are on your course schedule. We’ll also talk about them in class in the coming days. Of the ten sources you read, eight should wind up quoted and/or paraphrased in your paper, and so listed on the “works cited” page at the end of your paper. You should write for non-specialists. Any specialized terms you use or knowledge you discuss must be explained well enough that any readers who aren’t expert in the field you’re working in will be able to understand you. If between 10 and 15% of your final draft is comprised of direct quotes from outside sources, that’s good. If, as you’re working, it becomes clear you’re going to deviate significantly from that rule of thumb, you should talk with me about it. (It’s fine, though, if you wind up paraphrasing quite a bit beyond that 10 to 15%.) To help you adhere to proper MLA form in your paper, you have your literature anthology and handouts in “Additional Resources.”. All sources used in the essay need to be cited in the essay with quotation marks (if direct quotes) and parenthetical citations for both paraphrased and direct quotes (i.e. Smith 89).
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