For this assignment, write a 4-5 pp. essay that presents an original interpretation of one of the readings on the syllabus.

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For this assignment, write a 4-5 pp. essay that presents an original interpretation of one of the readings on the syllabus. Use any combination of the literary terms we have discussed to analyze the work and explain how these formal aspects contribute to the meaning or influence the reader’s perception. Remember that it serves no purpose to merely point out metaphors, first-person narration, or other devices without showing how these elements contribute to the meaning–go beyond simply identifying these aspects and interpret the work as a whole. Be sure to refer to specific passages to support your interpretation.

Although looking at overviews or summaries of works to increase your understanding–especially when you find the work difficult–is encouraged, further research is not permitted for this assignment. The purpose of the assignment is to practice using literary terms to analyze a text, and knowing how a work has been traditionally interpreted may interfere with your ability to make original insights or identify details that have gone unnoticed. Moreover, there is no need to reproduce well-known interpretations. Try to look at the work from a unique perspective founded on the details you observe in the text.

See the rubric below.

UnityThe essay is unified around a single purpose. The argument is laid out in a focused, limited thesis, and each supporting idea is articulated and developed in a paragraph or section of its own. There is a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

4.0 pts

Full Marks

Meets the unity requirement.

2.4 pts

Partial Credit

The essay is only partially unified, or the purpose of one or more sections is unclear. The thesis may be too broad or unfocused.

0.0 pts

No Marks

Fails to meet the unity requirement, or the assignment was not completed.

4.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSupportThe essay contains adequate, specific evidence to support the argument. Sources are properly introduced in the text, and quotations or paraphrases are smoothly integrated into the sentences. Connections between the evidence and the supporting ideas or the larger argument are made explicit through commentary and analysis.

4.0 pts

Full Marks

Meets the support requirement.

2.4 pts

Partial Credit

Support may be inadequate or too general. Problems may exist in the integration of sources, or the paper lacks commentary on the evidence or analysis.

0.0 pts

No Marks

Fails to meet the support requirement, or the assignment was not completed.

4.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganizationThe essay displays a principle of organization that determines the order of ideas. The paragraphs and the essay as a whole are made coherent through the use of transitions, signal phrases, and key words. The sequence of paragraphs is logical.

4.0 pts

Full Marks

Meets the organization requirement.

2.4 pts

Partial Credit

The essay lacks a clear principle of organization, or connections between ideas are only partially defined.

0.0 pts

No Marks

Fails to meet the organization requirement, or the assignment was not completed.

4.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStyleThe essay is free of errors in grammar, punctuation , and spelling. Sentences are written to suit the purpose and communicate ideas efficiently. The style is interesting and original.

4.0 pts

Full Marks

Meets the style requirement.

2.4 pts

Partial Credit

The sentences display problems in grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling. Sentences may also be convoluted, wordy, or simplistic.

0.0 pts

No Marks

Fails to meet the style requirement, or the assignment was not completed.

4.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeLiterary AnalysisThe author of the essay identifies literary devices in the work, analyzes specific passages in order to explain their meaning and purpose, and connects the examples to the larger thematic content of the piece.

4.0 pts

Full Marks

Meets the literary analysis requirement.

2.4 pts

Partial Credit

The essay displays one or more of the following problems: it incompletely or incorrectly identifies literary devices, or it only partially explains them, or it incompletely connects the material to the theme.

0.0 pts

No Marks

Fails to meet the literary analysis requirement, or the assignment was not completed.