Philip Nel > Courses > English 703: Critical Approaches to Children's Literature (Spring 2013) > Keywords Paper Assignment

Keywords Paper

Philip Nel's English 703: Critical Approaches to Children's Literature

CHOOSE WORD BY: In class, 25 March 2013.
PAPER WORKSHOP: In class, 26 April 2013
PAPER DUE: In class, 8 May 2013.
PAPER LENGTH: 500-3000 words.

Assignment

Write an entry for Keywords for Children's Literature. Your entry cannot be a word that is already in the book. It needs to be a keyword that the book has failed to include.

Choosing a Word

Choose a word that is crucial to the discussion of children's literature, but also that is contested or conflicted. As Raymond Williams wrote in his Keywords (1976, 1983): keywords "involve ideas and values," get used in "interesting or difficult ways" -- and in different ways by different people. So, if you find that, in critical conversations, a particular word is getting used in different ways by different people, then that's a candidate for your keyword. If you're stuck, take a second look at the introduction to Keywords for Children's Literature or at Williams' introduction to Keywords (in your class pack). And, of course, you're more than welcome to ask me. I expect to be consulted about this. I know it's a challenging assignment.

Writing the Essay

Here is a version of the assignment Lissa Paul and I gave contributors to Keywords for Children's Literature (2011).

Adopting, modifying, and expanding criteria from Bennett, Grossberg and Morris’ New Keywords and Burgett and Hendler’s Keywords for American Cultural Studies, we developed the following guidelines:


RESOURCES

for English 703: Critical Approaches to Children's Literature

  • Further Reading
    • Graff and Birkenstein, "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (2006)
 

 


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Last updated January 25, 2013 .