Introduction to Close Reading

Here’s the Prezi I used in the first day of section, “Introduction to Close Reading.” How are you feeling about your close reading skills now that we’ve talked more about it? Introduction to Close Reading Prezi (2015)

Best Foot Forward: How to Write a Compelling Essay Title

Here’s an analogy for English students: the title of your English essay is like the pair of shoes you wear to a job interview. Just like those interview shoes, your title should be sleek, complementary, professional, and impressive. It doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, but it’s a big part of your reader’s first impression…

How to Write a Research Paper: Using Literary Criticism

What is literary criticism? What is its goal? How is a literary article structured? And most importantly for you, how can you use it as evidence in your English research paper? To start: literary criticism makes an argument about how a text works using close readings of that text (or those texts) as evidence. It then adds a theoretical framework or component to…

How to Write a Research Paper: My Expectations

As you’re all in the midst of writing your final papers for class, I’d like to make sure my expectations for this final assignment are really clear. First, and foremost, you’ll be expected to follow the directions laid out in the final assignment description. This means: 1. Keeping your paper in accordance with MLA formatting guidelines…

MLA Formatting and Resources

In section on Tuesday we discussed how MLA formatting works, but since quite a few of you had to leave early for the holidays, I thought I’d put our materials and resources online. Here is the key to the MLA worksheet we started with: MLA worksheet_key. I directed you all to a couple of online resources,…

“The Poem Will Resemble You”: How To Dada

“I speak only of myself since I do not wish to convince, I have no right to drag others into my river, I oblige no one to follow me and everybody practices his art in his own way.” – Tristan Tzara, “Dada Manifesto 1918” Tristan Tzara, one of the founders and most influential members of…

How to Write an Essay: Introductions

“Face your essay with the fearlessness of an adorable kitten.” -Me, just now. A few of you have voiced interest in taking a look at what an introductory paragraph for an undergraduate literary essay might look like. Let’s begin with what an intro paragraph does, how it works, and some strategies for creating a successful…

Start Writing a Thesis Statement, With or Without a Prompt

I probably should have published this before the “Complete and Incomplete Thesis Statement(s)” post, but I wanted to share some strategies on how to begin writing a thesis. This strategy comes to us from Leah Fry, another grad student in the English Department, and I think you’ll find the process very clear and helpful (especially…