Write an essay (3-5 pages, MLA style, typed, double-spaced, 12 point font) on a topic of your choice that develops an argument centered on one of the assigned readings. Papers should present and support a thesis, using evidence from the text to defend the central argument. No secondary research is required. If secondary research is used, students must correctly cite their sources and provide a works cited page. Late papers will be deducted 1/3 of a letter grade per day, not receive written comments, and be graded at my convenience.
Plagiarism may result in failing the course. For further information on plagiarism, please read: http://www.nmsu.edu/%7Evpsa/SCOC/misconduct.html (Links to an external site.) See also: http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/plagiarismfor (Links to an external site.)students.htm
Extra Credit: Students who use the Writing Center for online consultations for this assignment will receive ten extra credit points on their essays. Consultation forms should be provided. If you aren’t able to get a form, let me know so I can be of assistance. If you have any questions about this issue, please let me know. It is good idea to show your consultant the essay assignment. For further information concerning the Writing Center, please refer to the information posted on our Canvas Announcements page. You may also visit the Writing Center’s website: https://writingcenter.nmsu.edu/ (Links to an external site.)
I am happy to read and comment on rough drafts at any stage in the writing process, and I encourage students to meet with me to discuss paper topics. You may use any of the suggested topics listed below as a starting point for creating your own paper topic. Please note that the suggestions for essay topics are not meant to be blueprints. They are meant to help students develop their own arguments about a particular course text. Try to use these questions and comments as starting points to help you think about and develop your own specific, focused argument. Moreover, no student is required to use any of these particular topics and is welcome to develop his or her own.
Most importantly, papers should present, develop, and support an original, substantive argumentative claim (i.e. thesis) regarding one of the assigned texts. Papers should present evidence from the text and critical analysis of such evidence to develop and support the central, argumentative claim.
“The Yellow Wallpaper”
1) “The Yellow Wallpaper” was written in 1892, and is often referred to as a feminist short story. Given that the woman in the story goes mad because her role in society is limited (Links to an external site.)and her ability to express herself creatively is constricted, can the reader argue that the author is making a feminist statement? This topic could take at least two different approaches. You could either situate the story within a larger socio-historical context (i.e.: What was happening in 1892 that made this particular story so relevant and resonant, and why does it remain so important today?), or you could take the story only on its own terms: What does Gilman seem to say about “the female condition” in general by writing about the life of this one woman and her descent into madness in “The Yellow Wallpaper”?