Quote from the novel and discuss quoted passages. Write readable, coherent, focused paragraphs and sentences. TIPS FOR SUCCESS (for a strong essay): Avoid too much summary. Don’t use a lot of space retelling the story. Make the most of the writing exercises we’ve done leading up to this essay assignment. These were meant to help you discover interesting questions about the text. Take the time to revise your essay. Do an essay conference at the Writing Center. Proofread your whole essay carefully; proofread your thesis statement extra carefully. WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR: Orientation and direction. What’s YOUR angle on The Heart Goes Last, and where do you want to take your reader? Show me a way of looking at this text and make me understand why it’s worthwhile to look at the text in this way. Thesis statement. Yes, the thesis statement is closely related to #1 (above), but some students do ok with orientation and direction without ever capturing their argument in a thesis statement. You will get a better grade if you can make a supportable claim which you articulate in a statement of 1-2 sentences at the end of your introduction. Discussion of formal/ stylistic features of the text. Examples include (you don’t need to discuss ALL of these!): rhythm, sentence structure, word choice, narrative structure, relation to literary conventions (examples: “dystopian fiction,” “speculative fiction”), etc. Awareness/ anticipation of other voices/ positions. How well do you use your secondary sources and/ or counterarguments? Note that secondary sources are not required for this essay, but if you don’t use secondary sources, you must at least incorporate a hypothetical counterargument (“Some readers may object…”) Do you give your reader the sense that you are having something like a real conversation with the critics and/ or other readers (“listening” to what they have to say and responding in a thoughtful, relevant way)? Make sure to include your primary AND any secondary sources on your Works Cited page. Focused paragraphs with good transitions. Well-connected, well-constructed sentences.
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