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BIU English 106 Slide set #4: Nov. 30 - Dec. 7

BIU English 106 Slide set #4: Nov. 30 - Dec. 7

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106 slides on genre and narrative 106 slides on genre and narrative Presentation Transcript

  • BIU English 106 Slide set #4: Nov. 30 - Dec. 7 Introduction to Literary Forms and Critical Writing I Dr. Daniel Feldman [email_address]
  • Writing Blurbs 6
    • There is no one way to start a writing project, let me tell you. You begin with a subject, gather material, and work your way to structure from there. You pile up volumes of notes and then figure out what you are going to do with them, not the other way around.
    • --John McPhee, essayist and journalist
  • Vocabulary from last week
    • ?
    • ?
    • ?
    • ?
    • Exposition
  • Outlining Essay Structure
    • Formulate a focused and persuasive thesis.
    • Choose sources that relate most closely to your argument and put others aside.
    • Plan your essay
        • an introduction
        • body paragraphs that organize and develop your argument
        • and a conclusion
  • Thesis Statements Review
    • Which choice would work better as a thesis statement for a three-to-five-page college paper?
    • A law enforcement program known as "community policing" has had significant success in deterring criminal activity in downtown Mishtarot.
    • "Community policing" is a law enforcement program used in many municipalities around the world.
      • The second statement simply reports a fact. Although a thesis can include factual information, it must make an assertion that can be supported in the paper.
    • Which choice would work better as a thesis statement for a three-to-five-page college paper?
    • Because air pollution is of serious concern to people in the world today, many countries have implemented a variety of plans to begin solving the problem.
    • So far, research suggests that zero-emissions vehicles are one solution to the problem of steadily rising air pollution.
      • The first assertion is too broad to make an effective thesis for a college paper. To develop the idea adequately, the writer would need more than three to five pages .
    • Which choice would work better as a thesis statement for a three-to-five-page college paper?
    • The Sex Pistols could not have succeeded without singer and lyricist Johnny Rotten, who provided the stage presence, poetry, and authentic working-class rage that appealed to the group's young English audiences.
    • So far, research suggests that zero-emissions vehicles are one solution to the problem of steadily rising air pollution.
      • #2 is too vague. The words “popular” and “important” do not provide as sharp a focus as the details in the other version do: “stage presence,” “poetry,” “authentic working-class rage.”
    • Which choice would work better as a thesis statement for a three-to-five-page college paper?
    • This paper presents the results of my investigation into electronic surveillance in the workplace.
    • Though employers currently have a legal right to monitor workers' e-mail and voice mail messages, this practice can have negative effects on employee morale and is not worth the risk.
      • #2 clearly asserts a central idea for the paper. The other version is too vague.
    • Which choice would work better as a thesis statement for a three-to-five-page college paper?
    • In his autobiographical Narrative, Frederick Douglass draws on techniques used in popular texts of his day—sentimental literature, the Bible, and dramatic oratory—to persuade his audience to reject slavery.
    • Frederick Douglass's autobiographical Narrative is an interesting exploration of the issue of slavery.
      • #2 is too vague to make a good thesis. The words “interesting” and “issue” do not provide a clear focus for the paper.
    • Which choice would work better as a thesis statement for a three-to-five-page college paper?
    • Video games are not as mindless as most people think .
    • Although they are widely criticized as mindlessly violent, video games are a form of popular art that deserves to be evaluated as seriously as television and film .
      • #2 presents a clear, focused assertion that the writer can back up with a persuasive argument .
    • Which choice would work better as a thesis statement for a three-to-five-page college paper?
    • Judges should have discretion in sentencing drug offenders so that those convicted of nonviolent or first-time offenses do not automatically go to prison .
    • Currently judges do not have much discretion in sentencing drug offenders, so even nonviolent or first-time offenders automatically go to prison .
      • #2 describes a factual situation; it does not make an assertion that the writer can defend in the paper .
    • Which choice would work better as a thesis statement for a three-to-five-page college paper?
    • Social workers in Israel leave much to be desired .
    • The social service system in Hamilton has broken down because the social workers are underpaid, poorly trained, and overworked.
      • #2: In addition to stating a clear assertion, this second statement sketches the organization of the paper.
  • Topic Sentences
    • State the main point of a paragraph in a topic sentence: a summary of what to expect in the following ‘graph of text.
      • A body paragraph clusters information supporting your thesis.
      • Every ‘graph sentence relates to the topic sentence and serves to unify the paragraph.
        • EXAMPLE: “Music also plays an important background role in Dubliners .”
          • In an essay on aesthetic motifs in the book
          • Followed by examples: harp in “Two Gallants,” distant music in “The Dead”
  • Topic Sentence Review
    • Which choice would work better as a topic sentence in an essay on the benefits of recycling?
    • Broken and obsolete computers must be recycled so that they don’t end up in landfills, where they can leak toxic substances into the soil .
    • Many offices update their computer hardware regularly, so they generate hazardous waste .
      • The second statement does not relate directly to the paper’s main idea, and it states a fact instead of making a secondary claim that can be developed in the paragraph.
  • Topic Sentence Review
    • Which choice would work better as a topic sentence in an essay on the benefits cell phones have brought to developing countries ?
    • Cellular telephones are dramatically improving lives in developing countries.
    • In India, fishers and farmers living in areas without phone lines are using cellular telephones to market their products .
      • #1 is too broad to serve as the topic sentence for a single paragraph in the essay. It states the point of the entire essay.
  • Topic Sentence Review
    • Which choice would work better as a topic sentence in an essay on the scientific studies on weight loss ?
    • A recent study suggests that eating the same thing every day can help people lose weight.
    • Would you believe that eating boring food can help you lose weight?
      • #2 is too informal for a composition paper, and it is a question, not an assertion.
    • Which choice would work better as a topic sentence in an essay on the scientific studies on weight loss ?
    • Census statistics indicate that workers are willing to accept a commute of an hour or more if moving to a distant area means that they can afford a larger house.
    • According to the Israeli Bureau of Statistics, the average amount of time an Israeli spends commuting to work is twenty-four minutes.
      • #2 states a fact. A topic sentence must make a point that can be developed in the rest of the paragraph.
  • Exposition
    • Exposition is the author laying out the situation by providing background information to the audience about the plot, characters, setting, and theme.
      • In analyzing exposition, ask what details did the author have to present at the outset to get the reader involved in the story?
  • Endings
    • Gabriel, leaning on his elbow, looked for a few moments unresentfully on her tangled hair and half-open mouth, listening to her deep-drawn breath. So she had had that romance in her life: a man had died for her sake. It hardly pained him now to think how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life. He watched her while she slept as though he and she had never lived together as man and wife. […]
    • A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again.
  • Endings
    • Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills … falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
  • Endings
    • Men like poets, rush 'into the middest', in medias res, when they are born; they also die in media rebus, and to make sense of their span they need fictive concords with origins and ends, such as give meaning to lives and to poems. The End they imagine will reflect their irreducibly intermediary preoccupations.
    • --Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending
  • Endings
    • What human need can be more profound than to humanize the common death? When we survive, we make little images of the moments which have seemed like ends; we thrive on epochs.
    • It reflects our deep need for intelligible Ends. We project ourselves—a small, humble elect, perhaps—past the End, so as to see the structure whole, a thing we cannot do from our spot of time in the middle.
  • Endings
    • What human need can be more profound than to humanize the common death? When we survive, we make little images of the moments which have seemed like ends; we thrive on epochs.
    • It reflects our deep need for intelligible Ends . We project ourselves—a small, humble elect, perhaps—past the End, so as to see the structure whole, a thing we cannot do from our spot of time in the middle.
    • Arbitrary chronological divisions are intemporal, but we project them onto history, helping us find ends and beginnings.
  • Scheherazade
  • Plot
    • Plot as I conceive it is the design and intention of narrative, what shapes a story and gives it a certain direction or intent of meaning. We might think of plot as the logic or perhaps the syntax of a certain kind of discourse, one that develops its propositions only through temporal sequence and progression.
  • Plot
    • Narrative is one of the large categories or systems of understanding we use in our negotiations with reality, specifically, in the case of narrative, with the problem of temporality: man's time-boundedness, his consciousness of existence within the limits of mortality. And plot is the principal ordering force of those meanings that we try to wrest from human temporality.
    • --Peter Brooks, Reading for the Plot
  • Elements of Narrative
    • Mimesis: the representation or imitation of reality; the verisimilitude of literature
    • Sjuzet , or Story: the order of events presented in the narrative discourse
        • “ What we are told”
    • Fabula, or Plot: the order of events referred to by the narrative.
        • “ What really happened”
      • BUT: We only know FABULA/PLOT from SJUZET/STORY!!!
  • For Wed, 7.12
    • For Wednesday 7.12
      • Read: Byatt, “The Thing in the Forest” and Brothers Grimm, “Little Red Riding Hood”
        • Via email
        • Byatt, on reserve in library for photocopying
    • Writing for next Monday, 12.12
      • 2-3-page essay on plot structure or genre in “Indian Camp,” “Happy Endings,” “Thing in the Forest,” or Memento
  • Writing Blurbs 7
    • “ The most important thing to learn in college is … how to use an ellipsis correctly.…
    • Invariably the student who does so is a top performer who comes to class prepared, does the work without complaining, engages in thought-provoking discussions, turns in assignments on time, and does not grumble about the workload. That does not mean that all students who use the ellipsis incorrectly are dolts or troublemakers—not so. But there is often a consistent, less-than-full effort apparent in their work.” -- Franci Washburn
  • Vocabulary this week
    • abstruse
    • esoteric
    • verisimilitude
    • mimesis / mimetic
    • post more words on Facebook
  • Beginnings
    • “ Beginning are fun”
    • --why?
    • “ Once upon a time”
    • “ There was/were once”
  • Genre
    • Genre -- A category of artistic creation, as in literature, characterized by similar form, style, conventions
    • Examples: Fairy tale, realist novel, Gothic novel, romantic comedy, thriller
  • What are the conventions of fairy tale?
    • Vladimir Propp, The Morphology of the Folktale , 1928 (trans. English 1968)
      • Владимир Яковлевич Пропп
        • «Морфология сказки» (Ленинград, 1928)
      • 7 (or 8) types of “Actants,” characters
      • 31 (or 32) types of “functions”
  • Assignment for Mon., Dec 12
    • 2-3-page essay (~600 words) on genre or narrative:
    • How does Byatt’s “The Thing in the Forest” exploit and challenge the genre of fairy tale?
    • How does Atwood’s “Happy Endings” exploit and challenge the genre of romance?
    • How do the beginnings and/or endings of one of this week’s readings influence your analysis of the text?
      • E.g.: How does the first (and last) line of Byatt’s text influence your understanding of the story?
  • Assignment for Mon., Dec 12
    • 2-3-page essay (~600 words) on genre or narrative:
    • How does the plot structure of any one our readings this week affect the verisimilitude (“believability”) of its characters?
    • “ I think there are things that are real--more real than we are,” says one of the characters in “The Thing in the Forest.” Such as what? How does narrative contribute to notions of what is real? What is invented, imagined, and real in narrative? Use examples from this week’s readings.