How are everyone’s essays going? Is anyone planning on rewriting an essay? What are you going to change if you do? I’m not sure yet if I’ll have time, I’m going in to talk to Dara tomorrow I think. If I do a rewrite, it will probably mostly be structural changes and some content stuff.Â
Is anyone else looking at this in their review? The stories in The Bloody ChamberÂ turn traditional gender roles or expectations upside down and many feature strong female protagonists. I’m not sure if my essay would still be a “review” if I focused solely on this issue (actually what I’m writing about is the undermining of feminism in “The Lady of the House of Love”) but right now it’s sort of taking over. Are you guys focusing on a few aspects of a story in your reviews, or are you writing an overarching/all-inclusive critique?
There’s an important typo in the previous email: final portfolios are due not on Friday, Dec. 15th (which doesn’t exist) but Friday, Dec. 14th.
Your portfolio should include the following, in a folder or large envelope:
- your draft and revision of each essay (preferably the commented-upon copies), including your revision of Essay #4;
- an end-of-term reflection (see below); and
- if you wish, and have met with me to discuss this, a revised version of one of the first three essays (see below).
For the end-of-term reflection, read through all of the drafts and revisions that you wrote this semester, then write a letter in which you reflect on your development as a writer this term. Here are some questions to consider:
- Comparing your first essays of the semester with your last, where do you see the most progress with regard to the elements of the academic essay (motive, structure, etc.)? What have you learned about writing academic essays?
- What skills of essay writing do you still need to work on? How do you plan on going about improving and refining these skills?
- How will the skills that you’ve developed in ID1 be particularly useful in other courses?
Feel free to address any other aspect of your development as a writer in this course.
If you wish toÂ revise one of essays 1-3 you may do so; I will grade the new version and will replace the earlier grade with a new one.Â You must meet with me to discuss doing this and get my approval — and you should think carefully about whether or not this will be the best use of your time and energy for this course.Â (For example, since Essay #1 counts for a smaller percentage of your final grade than Essay #4, it might make more sense to put that energy into making Essay #4 as strong as you possibly can.)
***I will have your portfolios ready to return to you on Thursday, Dec. 20th, and you can come by my office to pick yours up between 9 and noon.Â If you’d like me to mail your portfolio to you over the break, make sure you include your home address in the portfolio.***
I know the new essay isn’t due until Friday, but Iâ€™m starting it now and having some problems. I think calling it a review is making me hesitate a little bit. I donâ€™t know what it really means to write a review. My idea is fine, but does the language have to be different? I donâ€™t know. Also, are we supposed to be talking more about the author in these reviews, or more about the text, and do either of these things require research? Are the other stories enough? I donâ€™t know, I feeling a little lost.
First off, another “thank you” to all of today’s presenters — particularly for their patience with the various (ahem) logistical difficulties.Â Â I’ve been promised that the laptop and the lunches will arrive before 11 without fail 0n Thursday, so we’ll see.
One other lesson: bring your PowerPoint presentation on a flash drive so that you’re ready to go when it’s your turn.
To give us all a bit more of a breather between these presentations and the draft of essay #4, I’ll postpone that deadline until Friday evening at 8:00.Â This is a writing group deadline again, so I’ve listed the writing groups below.Â As before, copy me on your draft.
Conferences with me and/or Bennett are not required for this essay; you’ll be getting primary feedback from your writing group.Â Bennett and I are happy to meet with you by appointment, and you can email either of us to arrange that for some time next week.
Your final portfolios are due by 5:00 PM on Friday, Dec. 15 to my mailbox in the English department office in Crookshank.Â I’ll post a checklist for what that should include here this coming Thursday.
Â Essay #4 Writing Groups (based loosely on choice of text)
Hannah, Ben, Marcia
Jenny Lin, Bre, Winnie
Meela, Bryan, Tobie
Dan, Jenn, Jenny Spitzer
Cindy & Jessica
I think researching was the hardest part of the research essay. I could not really choose a thesis until I had research, but having a specific thesis or an idea about what I wanted to do would have helped with narrowing down my research. I guess thought that is just part of research. We are bound to read a whole lot more than we actually need to in trying to find the sources and information we need.
In your cover letter this time, be sure to talk a bit about your experience doing research and development your argument through research: where were your stumbling points? how did you get through them? who/what helped you?
In addition, describe in some detail how your meeting with your writing group went, and how you’ve used their feedback.Â You should be certain to include an acknowledgments with this essay, as well; it’s customary for it to appear just before the list of works cited, or just before the foot- or endnotes.
Otherwise, you know the drill: assess and reflect on your essay.
I’m curious what everyone ended up picking as the topic for their review.Â I’m going to write about “The Bloody Chamber” since it seemed like one of the more substantiative pieces, and I also thought it would be interesting to compare it with “Bluebeard.”Â It seemed hard to write the pre-Draft for this because there is less of an argument in a review – so much of what I’ll eventually say will come from a closer analysis of the tale and of “Bluebeard” than I’ve done yet.
Tuesday, Dec. 4
- Jenny S.
Thursday, Dec. 6
- Jenny L.
So we didn’t talk about all the stories in class on Tuesday, but I found that “The Snow Child” was so strange. At first you think that he wants a daughter, but in reality he is only seeking someone to whom he would be attracted physically. Therefore, the ending was very strange, since it seemed that the girl wasÂ a daughter figure. There seemed to be some sort of Oedipal connection and necrophiliac connection to the “snow child”. I just thought it was interesting and bizarre.