Select TWO characters or people (you can mix and match) that we have read about so far this term. （ literature : Tartuffe , A Modest Proposal, Confessions and The Death of Ivan llyich ） Create an argument based on this essay prompt. Discuss what you read about these characters’ or people’s pursuits of the ideals life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You are only allowed to use your textbook (NO outside sources are allowed). You may use quotes from the text, but do not include more than 20% quotes or summation of a story or situation. Remember, you want to develop an argument in your introduction that culminates in a strong thesis. You will have main points that support your argument throughout your essay. You might use a quote or a summary of a part of your reading to support a main point, but you want most of your essay to be YOU. You have read these stories, memoirs, proposals, so now you are an expert on this subject. Trust yourself. Your essay MUST be no fewer than 3.5 pages and no more than 5. Essays will not be graded if they do not meet the minimum or exceed the maximum word count. Part 1· Analyze the two characters that you selected. Here are some ideas you might consider. o Strengths o Weaknesseso Morals and Values o Respect for othersPart 2· Discuss each character’s pursuit of these 3 ideals? · Was he or she successful? Which ones do you believe he or she achieved?· Was there an ideal(s) that this character/person just never found? Important Literary Essay (PLEASE READ).doc Sample Outline 2013.docEssay Guidelines
1. Length – Your essay should be approximately 3.5-5 pages long (3.5 FULL
pages…all the way to the end of the page). You will not receive any credit for an
essay that does not meet the three and a half FULL page minimum. To analyze or
discuss a topic sufficiently will require more than a brief paper. The main
consideration is: Did the discussion cover the topic adequately, or was it just a
superficial treatment? You have all had freshman composition courses and know
how to put a paper together.
2. Structure – Your essay should consist of an introductory paragraph which sets
forth your topic and an arguable thesis statement. Don’t just put forth a bland
presentation of material. The paper itself should argue a point. The introduction
should be more than just a sentence or two; its purpose is to interest the reader and
give some indication as to the focus of your discussion.
You will want to include several supporting points to explain your argument. You
may want to use brief quotes from the textbook to help support your argument,
but remember that this essay is at least 80% you!!
You should end with a concluding paragraph. The paper should not end with a
discussion of your last point. Write an adequate conclusion that brings closure to
You will also have a works cited page. Even though you are only using your
textbook, you will want to cite it in your essay and on the works cited page in
3. In analyzing or discussing your topic, make sure that you use specific details
from the work under consideration. Give evidence from the literary work itself to
support your topic. This means referring to the characters, events, settings, and
whatever else may be used to bolster your case. You tend to strengthen your
essay when you quote from the work itself. Papers that deal in vague generalities
will not receive high marks.
4. Be careful about writing plot summaries. A plot summary proves nothing except
that you know what happened in the work. ALWAYS assume that your reader
has read the stories. You do not need to retell the stories again. Your paper
consists of a statement or idea (thesis) which you are trying to prove to be a valid
analysis of the work. You may have to include a few details of plot summary but
remember: this is not a book report.
5. Do not use secondary sources. This is a paper containing YOUR ideas, not
those of another source.
6. AVOID PLAGIARISM!! Plagiarism is the attempt to pass off the words or
ideas of someone else as your own work. This is illegal and is a violation of
TSU’s Academic Honesty policy. It is very tempting to go to a website and
lift a paragraph or two, or even an entire paper. IF YOU PLAGIARIZE,
YOU WILL RECEIVE A GRADE OF “0” ON THE ASSIGNMENT.
Blatant plagiarism could result in failure of the course and/or further
ramifications from the university. Please review the plagiarism policy in the
7. Use correct grammar and mechanics and write in standard English. This is a
college level course and you are expected to have the writing skills of a college
student. Grammar and mechanics (punctuation, style, sentence completeness,
spelling, etc.) will account for 10 % of the grade on the paper, BUT no paper with
significant and severe writing problems will receive a grade higher than 75 %.
8. In writing your essay, use only standard, formal English. This is a serious paper
and your writing style should reflect this seriousness. No cliches, no
colloquialisms (such as “fixing to”), no first person singular pronouns (“I”), no
second person pronouns (“you,” “your,” etc.), and no contractions (he’s, can’t,
9. Grading – Content = 40%; Structure = 30%; Grammar and mechanics = 20%;
10. Read your paper before submitting it so that you catch any careless errors. Keep a
hard copy of your paper and keep a copy on a flashdrive or some other storage
device. Submit your final version back through the Turnitin link provided in the
weekly assignments. I WILL NOT GRADE ANY LATE ASSIGNMENTS ON
WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE:
1. Be objective. Use third person pronouns or first person
plural (“we”). No “you” or “I” point-of-view papers will
be stylistically correct.
2. Use present tense verbs when referring to the action,
characters, events of a story, or to the author’s intentions in
the story. Use past tense when writing about the author’s
life, the historical context of the work, or the work’s
3. Book and play titles are underlined or italicized. Titles of
short stories, essays, or short poems are placed in double
quotation marks (“”).
4. Short quotations from a literary work are placed in double
5. Long quotations (4 lines or more) should be doubleindented only—no quotation marks. Single-spaced.
6. Give a page number in parentheses following all quoted
7. Make sure you use MLA formatting for your essay and
works cited page.
1. Introduction to your paper
a. This will give the reader an overall view of your paper.
b. It will also include a thesis that tells the reader what you will be trying to
convince him or her in the paper.
2. Body of the paper
a. You will select several points to use to defend your thesis/argument. You
will discuss those points and then use the sources to support the
information you have provided for these points.
b. I would suggest at least 3-5 points.
c. You do not have to use this many letters.
d. Make sure you use inner citations when you use information from sources
to support your major points.
a. Give the reader a “wrap-up” or summary of your entire paper. You do not
have to repeat everything, but you want to give the paper closure.
b. Make sure you don’t introduce any new thoughts in the conclusion. It
leaves the reader hanging.
4. Works cited
a. Make sure that it is in MLA format.
b. Make sure that you cite from your textbook.
c. If you use the Word 2007 documentation system, make sure your font and
color match what is in the rest of the paper.
1. Death is something that happens often, but it is rarely a topic of a party
conversation. Many people do not want to accept that his or her life might one day
end, although everyone knows that it is inevitable. In the time that Tolstoy wrote
the story, “The Death of Ivan Illyich,” many people were seeking to gain power in
the workplace and were often living beyond their means. This desire to be “better
than the rest” in business often had a major impact on familial relationships and
concerns. In this story, Tolstoy addresses the rejection and acceptance of death
and the losses that may be associated with power and ambition.
2. Body of the paper
a. Ivan sought “surface” relationships for social benefits.
b. Ivan chose to allow his job to distance him from his family.
c. Ivan felt neglected and pitied himself when his family did not
acknowledge he was dying.
d. Because of his attitude and response to his family, Ivan felt as if he were
dying without even God.
e. Because Gerasim was open to accepting Ivan’s upcoming death, Ivan
appreciated having his nurse with him until closer to the end of his life.
f. In the end, Ivan had a better understanding of his situation, but by then it
was too late.
g. The ideas of this story can still be used as a lesson for today’s readers.
3. Because of choices he made in his life, Ivan faced death alone. Although his family
was always nearby, they did not accept or acknowledge his death. In the end, Ivan had a
moment of realization about the way he had chosen to live his life, but it was too late. He
could not express his remorse to his family. This same lesson can be learned by others
today. The idea is to embrace each day and relationship to the fullest so that one has no
regrets when his or her time to die comes.
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