Research/literary criticism paper: book project

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BOOK CHOICE: The Color Purple by Alice Walker


You will choose from 6 books. Remember that this independent reading is above and beyond what we will be reading and discussing in class, so plan your reading and research time wisely.

You will read the work carefully, directing particular attention to details that contribute to a coherent discussion of the items that follow.

While the papers may be similar in nature, you must select themes, stylistic passages, and critical articles to discuss and write about in ways that differ from those your classmates use. 

Assignment Details

· A discussion of the author’s style 

Although the style is the writer’s voice and personality shining through the work, you must approach an analysis and presentation of this topic on a somewhat mechanical level—an analysis of sentence structure and diction and how they connect with the work’s theme(s). Choose ONE passage from your text to analyze on a close-reading level AND apply to the style of the work as a whole. The passage you analyze should recognize the tone OR whether there is a tone shift. (600+ words) 

· An explication of the novel’s theme—the abstract concept that becomes concrete through its representation in person, action, and imagery in the work. 

The theme may generalize about the human condition, an individual’s place in the universe, how people act under trying circumstances, or people’s relationship with one another or with a society. You may wish to approach this section by considering the author’s purpose in writing the novel and how the parts of the work support that purpose. Two special approaches to theme may be useful. Understanding the theme(s) of a fairly brief, highly structured work may make it easier for you to isolate the major conflict recognize the point at which the elements of conflict come together in the novel’s climax, and determine what the resolution of that climax says. Another path to understanding—particularly in the case of a highly symbolic novel—lies in tracing the patterns of recurrent images throughout the work and in recognizing their roles as signs or exponents of theme. The fusion of these elements at some point in the work is a manifestation of the novel’s theme(s). (600+ words) 

· A conclusion that wraps up the discussion and evaluates the novel 

This section ties together the major points but also uses the observations about style, theme, and scholarly criticism to evaluate and explain judgments about the novel’s literary excellence, its values, and its universality. (300+ words) 

A poem to connect to the novel in SOME WAY THAT HASN’T BEEN DISCUSSED ALREADY (epilogue) 

You must type the poem, explicate it and connect it to your novel. The connection may be to theme, character, setting, plot, etc., but it should be something you didn’t write about in the main paper. (600+ words: ½ min. on the poem itself and its explication, ½ min. on its connection to the novel.) 

· A Works Cited page 

Follow MLA8 guidelines. You’ll need at least 4 citations (literary background, the novel itself, the lit crit OR article, and the poem – but in alphabetical order). If you do any extra research, that should also be cited correctly. You may absolutely use EasyBib!

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