Seminar in James Joyce: Final Researched Analysis Paper Assignment
Length: Approximately 15 double-spaced typed pages for undergraduates; 20 pages for graduate students
You may choose to do this paper on any combination of Joyces's works, though the paper must address Ulysses in some significant fashion; it cannot only focus on Dubliners or A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. This paper should present your own in-depth interpretation of a particular thematic or technical aspect of the work(s) you choose, supported by careful and thorough research in primary and secondary sources. You may focus on one particular feature of Ulysses or you may present your own indepth study of a theme or technique as it is used in Ulysses and one or more of the other works we've read. For example, you might analyze the role a particular image or symbol plays in the work(s) you've picked. You might choose to examine the intersection of history, politics, and literature in one or more of the works we've read.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that this essay is argumentative. That is to say, you'll need to convince the reader that the topic you're presenting is significant and that it works the way you say it does. How convincing you are depends on how well you use the material at your disposal. That material should be drawn primarily from the work you've chosen, but you must also consult a number of secondary research sources. You must be careful, however, to use your research to support your own point; avoid simply reporting what other researchers have said.
This paper should be mainly an interpretive paper; it is not a review or summary of criticism on a work. You must conduct research and use material from outside resources to support your interpretation or to raise additional critical issues. I urge you to write a rough draft or outline of your argument before you begin to read any criticism.
Prewriting: Before you write a first draft, you should reread the work carefully, with an eye towards investigating, supporting, and thinking through your topic. You may well find points that relate to your topic that you haven't discovered before. Take notes as you reread, carefully noting page numbers for references you wish to come back to. If you extract a quotation to use in your essay, write it down carefully, word-for-word and punctuation mark-by-punctuation mark. If you find you are collecting too many examples as support for your thesis, select the strongest examples only for use in your essay.
Evaluation: I will judge your performance by how well you do what your thesis states as a goal for your paper. I'll also consider the relative difficulty of your topic. Writing style and organization count as well as content, so be sure to begin with a thorough outline and to leave yourself time to revise your draft(s) and to proofread your final draft carefully. I have found that often students have trouble incorporating source material into their own writing and that this often results in the confusion of the student's own good ideas in a jumble of unattributed, unexplained quotations. PLEASE come and check with me if you are unsure of how to handle your reference sources as you work them into your paper.
Format: Please write your name, the course number, my name and the date on your title page and/or in the upper right hand corner of the first page. Subsequent pages should have your last name and the page number in the upper right hand corner. Please double-space your typing and do not use erasable or corrosible paper. As in your previous paper, write in the present tense when discussing the text.
Please follow your direct quotations with the appropriate page number from the text in parentheses. The final page of your paper should be a "Works Cited" page in proper MLA format. Remember, quotations longer than four lines should be presented in single-spaced blocks indented in the text.
Your research sources should be scholarly sources. Do not cite Wikipedia or open internet sources for this essay.
Finally, although this is a researched paper, RESEARCH SHOULD NOT BE THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF THIS PAPER!