Assignment #2: Discuss/analyze a tension in an abstract theme

Second Essay Assignment: Discuss/analyze a tension in an abstract theme

Paper Length: 3-4 Pages

Due Date: May 15, 2014


This assignment has been designed to help you gain experience in writing an essay that compares the tensions in the way that two texts we’ve encountered treat an abstract theme.

How to get started:

1. Identify the abstract theme (control; sustainability; mechanization; punishment; freedom)

2. Find and discuss tensions (ie., interesting differences) in the way that two texts we’ve read treat that theme. One text must be Octavia Butler’s Dawn.

ex. violence as abstract concept
think about how different texts show different *kinds* of violence



  • Your essay must have an original title that captures the argument of your paper in an engaging, creative way.
  • Your essay should make reference to at least 1 of the critical articles shared on the Readings page
  • The essay must be typed in 12pt Times New Roman font with 1” borders on every page.
  • Should you use additional sources, your essay must include a list of Works Cited in accordance with MLA style.
  • The essay should include examples from our texts and must include properly cited and formatted quotations


 Learning Goals:

  • Perform close readings of texts, paying careful attention to major themes and specific uses of figurative language
  • Analyze formal and stylistics properties of multiple texts;
  • Compare and contrast the treatment of similar motifs and themes in multiple works;
  • Center each paragraph around a specific subject;
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence;
  • Use transition statements to move the reader from topic to topic;
  • Quote from and respond to our assigned readings;
  • Cite quotations parenthetically and in a Works Cited list according to MLA format;
  • Write with clear, grammatically correct prose.

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