*Click here to download this Peer Review document/assignment for Essay #2 (this assignment can be used on all argumentative essays). Print it out and bring it to class with you on Th 11/14.
Essay #2: close reading of Nabokov’s Lolita
Due: Thursday, November 14th (submit to Dropbox + bring one printed copy to class)
*If you do not turn in a final draft (a printed copy and electronic copy) by the start of class the day it is due, you will receive no credit for the entire assignment. There are no extensions. Late work will not be accepted and will receive no credit.
Grading: Essay #2 is worth 15% of your overall course grade.
*Plagiarism, in all forms, will not be tolerated. Any essay that plagiarizes will automatically fail.
Feedback: I am more than happy to discuss your ideas/drafts in person with you, at any stage of your reading/thinking/writing process. If you would like to do so, schedule a conference with me during my office hours.
[Writing Task & Purpose]
In class and on our OpenLab course site you have been using close reading to generate questions and ideas about Lolita. For this second essay, you will build on this work, using analysis to write a 5-6 page thesis-driven essay that presents a thesis (argument) about the novel and uses subsequent claims/evidence from the text to explore and support this point.
Keep in mind that, as in your blogs and on your midterm essay, you can’t discuss everything about the novel. Spend time choosing/focusing your topic before you start drafting your essay. You are welcome to use one of the discussion prompts provided in class and/or on the course blog as starting points for your brainstorming process.
This essay extends the thinking/writing you have already done in class and in your blogging. Therefore, while you should of course feel free to build on what you have already written this semester in blogs or other informal writing (or what we have discussed in class), do not simply repeat what you have previously stated elsewhere. Remember that your blogging is only an informal response to the texts we read and, as such, your posts may not be organized effectively or clearly/fully articulated. You should use this material as freewriting (or even a rough draft), and then work to revise it into a coherent and detailed argument. There is a much greater emphasis on analysis and structure in this essay than in your blog posts and other informal writing.
Keep in mind that you should write your essays in the third person, and use the present tense when discussing literature.
You should not consult outside sources: this essay builds from your close reading of the novel. As always, choose specific quotes and examples from the text that are relevant to your claims and use them in the service of supporting these ideas. Remember that each quote/example should be introduced, explained/analyzed, relevant, and cited (using MLA style for in-text citations). You should also provide a Works Cited page for the novel.
You should include a cover letter (about one page long, typed, single-spaced) as the first page of your essay. This reflective letter should be addressed to your readers (me and your peers), and should be written in the first person (it can be informal/personal).
This Cover Letter presents the process behind your essay, and therefore doesn’t restate what your essay claims (the product) but rather discusses your drafting/revising process for this essay. Even though you are only submitting a final draft to me, you should go through a number of steps (pre-drafts such as in-class discussions, blogs, freewriting, group discussion, brainstorming, outlining, first drafts, conferences with me and Learning Center tutors, etc.) before you hand it in, and this Cover Letter shows how your essay has changed along the way.
In addition to responding to the questions below (holistically, not in order/bulleted out), you should also free to add any other questions/concerns you have about your essay or the writing process.
- What do you see as your main point/thesis, and how has it changed from first draft to this final draft?
- Describe your drafting and revision process. What was most challenging? How did you approach those challenges? How did you use our in-class discussions (both as a class and group work), and your informal writing (freewriting in class, reading response blogs) in the drafting of your essay?
- How did you engage with (and incorporate – or not) my feedback or that of a tutor from the Learning Center (if you came to see me during my office hours and/or went to see a tutor at the Learning Center), and how did that help to re-vision your essay/argument?
- What’s the number one question about your essay – its thesis, structure, use of evidence, persuasiveness, style, and so on – that you most would like to get feedback on (and why)?
- Choose two elements of your essay – one that you think works well, and one that feels less successful – and describe why.
- What would you continue to work on in further revision?