Thoroughly Explained Papers Might Textual Analysi
In this paper you have free range in how you interpret the texts you choose to write about and the
topic you choose, but the structure I want you to use and steps I want you to take to construct the
paper are fairly uniform—see this as a guideline to help you.
Step 1: Choose TWO of the following texts from Unit 2 to write about:
Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji
Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies
Step 2: Choose ONE of the following topics to guide your reading of the texts you chose in step 1:
(Keep in mind that these topics can be interpreted in any number of ways—I’m looking for
you to explain your own particular focus on the topic in relation to the two texts you
Step 3: Title your paper—You will title your paper simply using the two texts and the topic you
chose. For example:
Autonomy in Beowulf and Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji
(Note how the title is centered with no bolding or italics, except for the titles of the texts.)
Step 4: Writing the paper itself. As you read, take careful notes on the texts to help you interpret
them and find appropriate quotations to support your claims.
See the next page for how to structure your paper. (Note: You can stray from this structure in
your analysis, but know that you must have a good reason for doing so, and you may lose
points if I find the structure isn’t effective. If you want to give your paper a different
structure I highly recommend you email me about it ahead of time for my approval and
The structure of the paper should be the following:
Introduction (1 paragraph/half a page): Explain how your topic is reflected in the two texts you
chose, and how this topic can help us understand the texts in relation to each other (compare
and/or contrast). (In other words, here you’re introducing the content of the paper by explaining
why you chose this topic and these two texts—but remember to keep your language formal, as this
is a formal paper!)
Reading of Text 1 (2 paragraphs, about 1 page total or more): In one short paragraph you should
briefly summarize the first text you intend to analyze. In a second, longer paragraph you should
analyze this text in terms of the topic—this is a much longer, more in-depth explanation of what
you introduced in the introduction. Use at least one (no more than two) quote to serve as evidence
of what you’re seeing in the text. Make sure all quotes have a citation (page number at the end of the
sentence) and are fully explained.
Reading of Text 2 (2 paragraphs, about 1 page total or more): Same as you did with Text 1.
Conclusion (1 paragraph/half a page): Recap, in detail, the comparison you’re making between these
texts and then, the most important part, tell your reader what this comparison does for us. Does it
help us understand something better? Does it help us understand something curious in one of the
texts better? This is called answering the “So what?” question.
When this is all done, your paper should be at least 2.5 pages. The best papers are usually at
least 3 pages. Very thoroughly explained papers might reach to the bottom of the fourth
page. Please don’t make your paper longer than 4 pages.
A quick note on plagiarism: ANY words you write that are not your own, even if it’s a small phrase
you found on the internet, MUST be put into quotation marks and cited. Outside research is not a
component of this assignment, so I don’t want you to use outside sources, but in the past people
have found it useful to turn to the internet to define the topic they’re using—this definition, unless
you put it into your own words, MUST be put into quotation marks and cited. If you put the
definition into your own words, you STILL MUST cite the source where you got it with a
parenthetical at the end of the sentence (Miriam Webster).
Plagiarism, no matter how minor, will NOT be tolerated in this class. Any and all forms of
plagiarism WILL be reported.