English 178 Essay 1 English 178 Essay 1 Assignmen

English 178 Essay 1 Assignment Sheet

This essay is worth 50 points and should be at least 750 words long. The essay should be typed and double-spaced, using a 12-point professional font. It should be carefully organized around a clear, specific, and interesting thesis. The essay should demonstrate that you have given your topic thoughtful consideration, and should provide thought-provoking insight into your topic. Always use specific examples to support your claims.

Texts under consideration for this essay: The Hobbit, A Wrinkle in Time, “That Hell-Bound Train,” “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” “Jeffty is Five,” and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.”

The essay will be evaluated as follows:

  • Thesis: The essay should focus on making a particular claim (see possible topics below) based on careful attention to detail in the text or texts at hand. Your thesis should be clear, thoughtful, and interesting – 10 points
  • Detail and analysis: The essay should make strong use of specific examples from the text or texts under discussion, and it should be clear how the examples cited relate to the point being made. The analysis should indicate thoughtful consideration of the course material. If any sources are referenced, they should be cited correctly – 25 points
  • Clarity and organization: The essay should be well organized, clear, and easy to follow. Strive for precision and clarity throughout your essay – 10 points
  • Mechanics and style: The essay should be as free as possible of spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors – 5 points

The essay is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, September 25th.

Below are the possible topics for this essay. Select ONE, and indicate in your essay’s header which topic you have selected:

  • Analyze how a particular character is presented as dynamic and multi-dimensional, or as static and flat. What actions does the character take over the course of the text? What happens to him or her? How does he or she change (or fail to change) as a result?
  • Compare and contrast the characterization of the main characters in two of the texts. Are the characters static or dynamic? Are they flat or round? How does the character’s development affect the impact of the text?
  • Compare and contrast the settings of two of the texts we’ve read. How does the setting affect the events of the text? In what ways are the two texts’ visions of a fantasy environment similar, and in what ways are they different?
  • Analyze the theme of a particular text. How well is the text able to get its central idea or insight across? What other elements of storytelling (e.g. character development, point of view, plot structure) does it use to do so?
  • Compare and contrast the way two different texts address the same (or a similar) theme. What insight does each text offer on the theme in question? Does one text get its central idea across more successfully than the other? If so, how?

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