The Scarlet Letter

Paper instructions:
Then find THREE criticisms on ONE element of the work (theme, symbols, characterization, etc.). Read these carefully also. The research project should include each of the following:

1. your brief summary of the work you read;

2. your personal analysis of the element you chose;

3. an integration of each of the criticisms into your overall analysis of the selected element, with comments on areas of agreement or disagreement.

This paper MUST be 2300-2800 words (which does not include the endorsement or the Works Cited page) with a Works Cited page, double-spaced word-processed pages documented in MLA format. Please review the MLA Document Design information under the icon on the homepage. You are required to use MLA!

1. Do follow the structure for effective writing you learned in English 101 and 102. For example, you still need an introduction with a thesis statement that will set up what you plan to analyze in the body of your paper. You will also need body paragraphs with topic sentences and development that tie back to your thesis. You will also need an effective conclusion to wrap up your paper.

2. Do give a short plot summary of the work you read. This summary proves to me that you did actually read the novel, not just the Cliff Notes. The difference in the summary is obvious! The summary may be part of your introduction, or it may be included as the first few supporting paragraphs. It is truly best to mix your summary in with your analysis as proof for what you are saying about the novel.

3. Do choose ONE element of the work as the focus for your criticisms and your paper.

4. Do supply your personal analysis of the element you chose. You don’t need to say “I think/feel/believe….” It should be obvious that the statement you are making is something you “feel” about the novel. For example, don’t say, “In The Scarlet Letter, I think Pearl is symbolic of mankind’s emergence from sin and acceptance by Christ.” Simply say, “In The Scarlet Letter, Pearl is symbolic of mankind’s emergence from sin and acceptance by Christ.” Then, you will offer proof of your statement based on events in the novel.

5. Do bring in at least three (3) outside criticisms on the same element. You may wish to integrate these into your own analysis as support for your ideas; or you may bring them up to disagree with what they state and therefore strengthen your own argument. You could even discuss each critic in a separate paragraph(s) and agree or disagree as you go. NOTE: Literary criticisms are simply essays, books, articles that analyze a piece of fictions or nonfiction. “Criticism” simple means simply means that the author is providing a critical analysis (not necessarily negative!).

6. Do use internal citations and create a works cited page, following MLA format. Please remember that the work you are examining must be one of your sources both internally and on the works cited page. How can you discuss the work if you don’t use it as a source?

7. Do have at least 2300 words. This DOES NOT include the works cited page. Any paper shorter than 2300 words will receive an automatic F.

8. Do use “normal” font size and type (ex. Times New Roman 12)

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