World Literature Archive - The Winsome Scholar

Some New Outline Work

World Literature

February 7th, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things:

Our plans have been set back a bit, but each of you should be making progress on your outlines. Remember: journal as you read, with an eye on your hypothesis statement. Make changes to your outline as you get more information, and change (or demote) your thesis accordingly.

If you have not made changes to your outline this week, set aside time tomorrow to do so. I’ll be looking through them and fielding questions. Of course, I am always available via email to answer questions and give advice, so please let me know if you feel stuck.

Love in the Time of Cholera Reading Schedule

World Literature

January 4th, 2011


By each Tuesday: finish 1/2 the chapter

By each Friday: finish chapter

Jan 3-7: 1-51

Jan 10-14: 52-103

Jan 17-21: 104-163 (Note: We are out Monday 17th.)

Jan 24-28: 164-224

Jan 31-Feb 4: 225-278

Feb 7-11: 279-348

Identity, Characterization, Omelas

World Literature

November 15th, 2010

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Great first day! We had a solid discussion (one that won’t be over anytime soon) about what it means to be an individual.

Throughout this course we will be exploring characterization in novels ranging from Achebe’s Things Fall Apart to Camus’ The Stranger. The goal is not to establish a universal conception of identity but to understand how each character develops within the work. More on this later.

We read Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to stir up some discussion about the individual’s place in society. We’ll discuss more tomorrow.

You should begin Things Fall Apart tonight. To get your journaling started: Why does Okonkwo react to his father the way that he does?

Some things to double-check before you wrap up your finals

British Literature, World Literature

November 10th, 2010

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I’ve mentioned some of this in previous posts, but I thought I’d bring it all together. The following is an annotated version of the rubric I used to grade your midterms and will be using to grade your final essays.

Communication—Do you have a point?

  • Clear thesis statement that presents a cogent argument

Your thesis statement should connect Shelley’s novel to the Romantic movement in a way that illuminates the novel’s themes, other works written at the time, and/or elements of the movement itself.

Credit—Do you back it up?

  • Proper Works Cited entries, format

As we discussed in class, this will be an “all or nothing” grade. I provided sample citations for most of the works passed out in class. For more information about properly formatting this page, see the OWL at Purdue.

  • Proper in-text citations

The general rule for in-text citations: use the first word of the Works Cited entry. See OWL at Purdue, above, or your notes for examples.

  • Clear integration of quotations, evidence

This is a skill that can take some practice to master, but many of you have greatly progressed in this from the beginning of the year. The goal with integrated quotations is to remove the unnecessary or redundant information from either your writing or the quotation in order to create a seamless flow of information to your readers. Here is an example of what not to do followed by a smoother one:

During the Enlightenment, philosophers saw nature as something that can be logically understood. “Nature can be understood. Nature is rational. Man is part of Nature, therefore, man can be understood” (Lecture 9).

The student simply paraphrases the beginning of the quotation, so that bit can be removed. The sentences can be combined to create a clear flow between the two:

Enlightenment philosophers believed that “Nature can be understood. Nature is rational. Man is part of Nature, therefore, man can be understood” (Lecture 9).

Block quotations are rarely necessary. If you find yourself wanting to pull a large passage, highlight the parts you need in order to support your point, and cut the rest. Instead of all this:

He strove to shelter her, as a fair exotic is sheltered by the gardener . . . to surround her with all that could tend to excite pleasurable emotion in her soft and benevolent mind (23).

…try this:

With her mother’s philosophy in mind, then, it is odd to find Victor describing Elizabeth as a “fair exotic” with a “soft and benevolent mind” (23), but this underscores Victor’s….

And a fantastic example that puts it all together, including the use of square brackets—[ ]—to indicate changes in tense to keep the quotation grammatically correct within the sentence:

Rousseau said “[humans] are undone if [they] once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to… all, and the earth itself to nobody” (Discourse on inequality).  It is the pride in claiming territory or “[trusting] to have equaled the most high” (Milton 40) that corrupts the goodness humans are born with. They will go to great lengths to achieve what they believe is important.  When people are getting their fame the ones  “next himself in power” are often the ones who find themselves “next in crime” (Milton 79).

Cogency—Does it make sense?

  • Topic sentences that support the thesis and create a logical flow

Your topic sentences should elaborate on the points you make in your thesis.

  • Paragraph sentences that thoroughly support the topic sentences

The rest of the paragraph should support the topic sentence. In this way you are able to provide a logical progression of ideas supported by the source text(s).

  • Adequate support for points

Each point regarding the source text(s) should be supported by paraphrased or quoted material. This provides credibility and clarification.

  • Coherent flow and logical organization

The work as a whole should represent a clear line of thought from thesis statement through elaboration in the paragraphs to a concluding statement that reflects thesis in light of what your audience has learned.

In addition, transitional sentences should connect paragraphs in a way that prevents abrupt changes in focus, tone, or subject. A good rule is “old then new”—begin a sentence with the information your audience has just learned, and within the same sentence bring up the topic to follow. This connection will smooth any transition.

Clarity—Does it look right?

  • Proper headers, margin

Information on this section is available at the OWL at Purdue (link above), or in your notes.

  • Proper spacing, paragraph
  • Proper text size, font
  • Proper grammatical structure
  • Proper punctuation used