Papers for 300-Level Credit

Papers for 300-level credit

Length: 10-12 pages
The paper should be a formal analysis of an aspect or aspects of literature read in the course and should utilize at least four critical sources. Sources should be carefully documented using the MLA style of documentation. Ordinarily the paper should treat a major work of literature (a long poem, play or novel, as opposed to a sonnet) or more than one shorter work to create an argument of some substance.


(1) Do your best work. Some professors care more about one aspect of paper writing than others. Some particularly hate to see documentation errors; for others sloppy writing (lots of spelling, punctuation and other mechanical errors) spells doom. Don't assume that you can neglect any aspect of your essay and pass. Remember to revise your work and proof-read carefully.

(2) All professors will want to see a strong argument, cogently advanced and well-supported by evidence from the literature.

(3) Organization counts. Make sure you have a focused, detailed thesis within your introductory paragraph. Your thesis should outline what is to follow. Succeeding paragraphs should state a topic and supply evidence and argument to support that topic. Don't forget the conclusion. A strong conclusion leaves your reader with a clear sense of your perspective and helps the reader to recall the most important aspects of your argument.

(4) Don't let the critics run away with your paper. Subordinate their views to your own, and make sure that the preponderance of the paper is yours. Never cite a critical view that you do not understand.

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