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Literary Analysis of Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese - Essay Task

Process Essay #2: 1000 words: Essay(25%), Peer-Review/Response (5%)

Process Essay #2:   1000 words:  Essay(25%),  Peer-Review/Response (5%)  

For your second essay, you will write a 1000 word literary analysis of Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese.    The specific topic is up to you.   If you need ideas,  I’ve posted some generic topics on Moodle under Literary Analysis.   You could also take a look at the class work we have done and the notes you have taken during our Zoom meetings to generate some ideas.   Make sure you choose a topic narrow enough to allow for deep interpretation and that you explore a literary aspect of the novel (Chapter 5).   Remember that your literary analysis must contain interpretive claims that are debatable, argue for a thesis, are supported with evidence and explore the complexity of the novel.

May 6th:  Pre-Writing:  Freewriting, Outlining, and Paragraph Summary.

 Coming up with a thesis and writing an outline:    With a topic in mind, freewrite for 15-20 minutes.  Write down everything that comes into your head about the novel as it pertains to the topic.  Try to get as much down on the page as possible.  From the freewrite, briefly outline your major arguments.   Evaluate if the claims in your outline are worth using for your first draft.  Could any of your claims be used as a thesis statement?   If not, write one.  Your thesis should be in the form of a surface/depth claim that shows the complexity of the text and answers the questions “On a deeper level, what does this text mean?” or “What does a careful reading of the text uncover?”

EXAMPLE:  In Walker’s “Everyday Use,” the contrast between how Mama embraces her heritage and her daughter Maggie as opposed to Dee’s ideals suggests that African Americans should remember and accept their American heritage.

Write a topical outline (Wolfe 311) of the main points and support for your essay .

Revision Technique #2:  One Paragraph Summary

This time,  instead of an argumentative outline, I want you to write a one-paragraph summary of your main arguments.  The major advantages of writing a summary are “that it requires you to develop transitions between main ideas and it can be useful for checking the overall “flow” or coherence of your argument” (Wolfe 315).   You can find examples on pages 315-316.  The summary will help you to clarify the connections between the ideas and will help you to organize your essay.  You may want to revise your outline after having finished the paragraph.  

Now you are ready to write a good First Draft of your essay. Your thesis statement should be placed at the end of the first paragraph (intro).  Each body paragraph should be clearly connected to the thesis.   Each body paragraph focuses on a single argument and builds logically upon the previous paragraphs.   Each body paragraph should employ the “Quotation Sandwich” technique discussed in Chapter 14:  Step 1:  Present the argument (interpretive claim); 2.  Introduce the quotation; 3. Quote; 4.  Interpret the quotation.    The final paragraph extends the argument presented in the thesis and answers the question, “What does this novel mean or illustrate?”

Format:  Your paper must be typed and double spaced.   Follow MLA guidelines closely for formatting.  Look up how to cite a novel for your work cited list.  There is a link on Moodle under Literary Analysis:  MLA Documentation Link and First Page Formatting.

Thursday, May 13th:  Peer-Review Letter

Swap essays with a peer.  Using the guidelines on Moodle, write a Peer-Review letter, at least two paragraphs, giving constructive feedback to your peer.   Then, from the feedback you receive, compose a paragraph that addresses the changes you will make to improve your essay.    Please note that your paragraph is not a letter to your peer.  It simply responds to the advice given in the peer-review. Then you will revise your essay one last time.

Thursday, May 20th:

Send me the Final Draft of Essay 2 on Moodle with the First Draft, Peer-Review, Response paragraph, Summary paragraph, Topical Outline and Freewriting – all on one Word document.    I will not grade an essay that has not gone through these stages

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