For your midterm you will write a summary and analytic response to the literary criticism of ONE of the three poets and their corresponding criticism that we have discussed thus far (Blake, Coleridge, or Wordsworth).
The link to each criticism is available on our Blackboard.
First pick a poet, then read the Literary Criticism twice: first, to identify and summarize their thesis, and main examples; second, to come up with a brief analytic response to one or more of their main points.
Keep in mind that the point of this paper is not to win an argument or dominate an exchange of views. It is rather to demonstrate your ability to identify and explain someone elseâ€™s point of view, and to add to it your own reflection and response.
In your essay, you will spend 2/3 of your time summarizing the central work, and explain the main points/issues in your own words. What is the central argument being presented? What poetry or examples do they use to support the central point? What are the most important ideas to consider here? What legitimate questions are being raised? What poems do they use to back up their points?
Then, bring your paper to a turning point, spending the last 1/3 of the essay evaluating these points for their validity and/or effectiveness. Note: this does not mean you are searching for a â€œflawâ€ in the argument, but that you are considering how the argument has been constructed, whether there is important information or elements of the discussion not yet covered, or what important opposing ideas have not been addressed. Readers will assume that ideas presented are your own unless you cite your sources.
Introduction:I will expect to see the authorâ€™s name and the title of the work somewhere in the first paragraph. In the introduction you will give in your own words an overview of the criticism, and any significant background that can help the reader to understand the relevance of the text. You will need to create a thesis that both acknowledges the validity of the main argument and alludes to your evaluation of it.
Summary:In your summary, be sure to discuss the authorâ€™s purpose. Sequence the authorâ€™s
points in logical order. Note: Avoid stating your opinion in the summary; opinion should
be withheld for the response portion of the paper.
Analysis/Response: Assess (evaluate the effectiveness/validity of) the authorâ€™s point of view. The assessment will be influenced by your responseâ€”your agreement or disagreement. Comment on whether or not the author successfully achieves the central purpose; to do this task, please discuss two or three specific points / poems of critique.
You may select a few points that the author makes and evaluate how successfully he makes and supports those points, or you may choose to examine a few strategies or techniques the author uses to present his ideas.
Conclusion: In your conclusion, state your overall reaction to the validity of the show. Suggest further avenues for discussion, or clarify why such discussions are important.
Remember to use parenthetical citation (MLA format) every time you quote or paraphrase. Submit the essay to the live text addition to the assignment on our Blackboard page. The essay is worth 250 points.