English 326--Seminar in James Joyce--Paper 1
    For your first assignment, I want you to write an interpretative essay (approx. 7-10 pages, double-spaced) on any feature of Joyce's earlier work (Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) that interests you. You may choose a topic that allows you to work with both books. You can organize your essay around the discussion of a theme or symbol, stylistic technique, and so on. No explication can take into account everything that goes on in a complex work of art, so your paper should focus on important elements that you think contribute to the overall meaning or purpose of the novel or group of poems. A good explication concentrates on details: you should quote from the work to show how the text supports your thesis. You should avoid simply summarizing the work you decide to write about. While your essay may begin with a short summary in order to set context, you should be certain to analyze rather than to summarize. One way to avoid summary is by crafting an argumentative thesis that takes an arguable point of view concerning the text, a point of view that will require support from the text itself. It is up to you to choose and refine a viable topic. Use your weeklly writings to brainstorm and to prewrite. Of course, I will be happy to discuss appropriate topics in class or in conference. This assignment does not require you to conduct research, though neither does it forbid you to do so.