SSEN 270: Military Literature Final Essay
Analysis of Three Selected Works (authors NOT discussed in earlier essays)
LENGTH 1500-2000 words Papers that do not meet the minimum requirement will receive a failing grade. In addition, your essay should not exceed the 2000 words by much! GRADE This essay is worth 300 points (or 30% of your final grade in the course). Please be sure that you read the feedback you received on your first two essays. That feedback should guide you as you reflect on what improvements you would like to make in your writing. MLA FORMAT All essays must be formatted according to MLA guidelines. At this point, you should be more comfortable with MLA. Remember to consult the Purdue OWL website or to ask if you have any questions. WORKS CITED As always, you must submit a complete and correct Works Cited list. Please keep in mind that the format will vary depending on whether you are citing a poem, play, or book. I have provided examples of a play and a translation of a book below: Duong, Thu Huong. Novel Without a Name. Trans. Phan Huy Duong and Nina McPherson. New York: Penguin, 1996. Rabe, David. The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. The Vietnam Plays, Volume One. New York: Grove, 1993. 1-88. PLAGIARISM There is a lot of information available on the internet about the books we have read. Do not be tempted to use any of it! Remember that all work submitted must be your own and written originally for this class. Be sure that any ideas, quotations, or other kinds of information that you use from another person or source are correctly documented. The handbook of Norwich Student Rules and Regulations notes that “the use of words, ideas, concepts, or work of another without proper acknowledgment, constitutes plagiarism. […] In any case where a student is
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found to have used plagiarized material, an academic penalty will be assessed, since even the unintentional use of plagiarized material violates the standards of acceptable academic performance.” All instances of plagiarism and other kinds of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Integrity Committee. If you have any questions about these policies, please ask me in advance; I will be happy to help you. TOPICS Select three of the texts that we’ve read together in class. You may choose any three authors that you HAVE NOT written about in a previous essay to discuss in an argumentative essay. Be sure to formulate an argumentative thesis that you support with those three texts. Do NOT propose a split and/or descriptive thesis. An example of a split/descriptive thesis would be “In Novel Without a Name, Quan loses his idealism and will to fight whereas Billy Pilgrim and Ishmael Beah never seem to have a clear sense of purpose.” This kind of statement is so sprawling and general that it does not indicate what specific argument you will be making. Rather, you might make a more focused argument such as “In Novel Without a Name, Slaughterhouse Five, and A Long Way Gone war is depicted as an unstoppable natural force, indicating the powerlessness combatants experience.” The body paragraphs must support the thesis through a close reading of the literature. Quote each of your selected works directly (and correctly!) at least four times, meaning you will have at least twelve quotations in your essay. Be sure that your discussion remains focused on your specific argument throughout the course of the essay. You should end with a conclusion that avoids summarizing your essay. Focus instead on showing the ground covered in your discussion. MISCELLANEOUS Please remember the following when writing about literature:
• You use the present tense when talking about the literature itself. Here is an example: Billy Pilgrim often travels through space and time. • If you want to refer to a historical event, you use the past tense. Here is an example: Kurt Vonnegut survived the firebombing of Dresden when he was a prisoner of war; that experience forms the basis of his novel, Slaughterhouse Five (please note that “forms” is in the present tense because we are now talking about the book). • Do NOT use “I” or “you” in an essay. You should be using appropriate academic language, avoiding slang and familiar language. • You should always introduce the author(s) and text(s) you are going to be discussing in your introduction.
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• After you have introduced the author the first time (using the author’s full name), you should then refer to the author by last name. • The thesis should be proposed in the introduction. • Poems and short stories are in quotation marks, NOT in italics or underlined, whereas plays and books are in italics. • Any time you quote a text, you must include a parenthetical citation in which you put the author’s last name and the page number. • Ensure that every body paragraph has a clear topic sentence that structures the paragraph and supports the essay’s thesis.
Please feel free to ask any questions. I would especially recommend showing me your thesis statement in advance so that we can discuss any problems with it at an early stage of your writing process.
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