For the Documented Essay, you will choose one of the authors that we have studied this semester and examine one of his/her works in the context of the time period in which they wrote. In short, you will be doing a Historicist reading of the text, and the times that influenced the work.
You are required to use at least 5 outside sources in order to provide a background and support for your argument. The paper will be written in MLA or APA format and must be 7 to 10 pages long. The bare minimum number of pages is 7, but a longer page count can help to ensure a higher score.
In order to approach this essay, you should start with the question: How is this author’s work a product of the historical/societal conditions in which he/she was living? For example, if you choose to write about Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” you would couch your argument in Hawthorne’s use of symbolism. What does the birthmark represent? What do Adminadab and Aylmer represent? Are they archetypes? Is Hawthorne saying something about the dichotomy of man’s nature? Who do we support? You might also pose the question: is Georgianna complicit in her own destruction or is she a hapless victim of her husband’s obsession?
These sources would go to support the argument you are making about the text.
The Library’s website will have access to a number of journals and databases that may help assist you in your search.
DO NOT use Wikipedia, Shmoop, eNotes, Sparknotes, or Cliff Notes as a source to support your argument. Restrict your outside sources to academic materials: Academic Articles, Historical Texts, and News articles from reputable sources (Huff Post, Breitbart, etc. are not acceptable).
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