Two Options for Paper #2


Option #1 | Option #2
Guidelines for Paper #2, Option #1

ENGLISH 102 - Nel

Due Date:
Tuesday, February 15. Complete Draft Due.
Monday, February 21. Final version Due in my office by 3 p.m. (Slip it under the door if I'm not there.)

For your paper, formulate a thesis about The Taming of the Shrew. After selecting an article about the play of your choice, you will need to answer these three questions: What is the scholar's thesis? Do you agree or disagree with that thesis? Why?

Choose either the article by Karen Newman (pp. 169-70) or Linda Bamber (pp. 163-68).

Guidelines:

Getting Started....

1. Summarize the article. What is the scholar's argument? When you write the paper, devote part of your introductory paragraph to a brief summary. See A Guide to Freshman English on paraphrasing (p. 10).

2. Evaluate the article's claims by reading and rereading. Read and reread The Taming of the Shrew, with a mind to the scholar's claims, your claims, and evidence (or lack thereof) for both you and the scholar. On what sort of evidence does the scholar's article rely? Is it persuasive? What about your evidence? How does the play support your position? Make use of the "What Is Close Reading?" handout as you take careful notes and underline all relevant words, phrases, and images.

Writing the Paper....

1. Formulate a thesis. Make sure your thesis is specific enough to be covered adequately in the space of your discussion. A common trap of a thesis is to identify a theme, but fail to make argument about that theme: In Hamlet, Hamlet's character chooses to be mad. This "thesis" (which isn't a thesis) identifies madness as a theme, and begins to make an argument about how madness function, but falls short. Instead: Hamlet exploits the fine line between madness and sanity in order to gain power over others. To demonstrate this, the writer would argue for a link between Hamlet's "mad" behavior and his relative position of power in relation to other characters. Refer to the handout titled "Thesis vs. Topic." When you're writing the paper, the thesis will fall at or near the end of your introductory paragraph.

2. Provide support. To persuade your readers to your position, you will need to provide some evidence in support of your claims. A quotation from the play should be used as evidence to prove your assertions.

3. Analysis and explanation of evidence. Be sure to analyze the quotation and discuss its significance. Explain for your reader how your evidence supports your claims.

4. Conclusion. Your last paragraph should synthesize, not summarize. You should resolve -- and not merely repeat -- your argument.

And, after you finish your draft....

1. Revise and edit. Read your paper out loud to yourself. Often you will hear what your eyes will miss.

2. When in doubt, get help. My office hours are on the syllabus (and by appointment). My email address is nelp@cofc.edu. Also, please make use of your Bedford Handbook and the Writing Lab at 216 Education Center. The phone number is 953-5635, and their hours are 9 to 4 and 6 to 8, Monday through Thursday, and 9 to 12 on Fridays.


Guidelines for Paper #2, Option #2

ENGLISH 102 - Nel

Due Date:
Tuesday, February 15. Complete Draft Due.
Monday, February 21. Final version Due in my office by 3 p.m. (Slip it under the door if I'm not there.)

For your paper, formulate a thesis about The Taming of the Shrew. First, choose a filmed version of the play -- say, Franco Zeffirelli's Taming of the Shrew (1967, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), Jonathan Miller's Taming of the Shrew (1980, BBC, starring John Cleese and Sarah Badel), or even films based on Shrew, such as George Sidney's film of Cole Porter's musical Kiss Me Kate (1953, starring Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson). Next, watch this version, taking notes as you consider these questsions: (1) What interpretation of the play does this production emphasize and how does it emphasize it? For example, what words or phrases do the actors emphasize? How do they portray the characters? What elements of the plot does the director emphasize? Have there been any changes to Shakespeare's play (for instance, abridging the final speech or omitting the induction)? (2) Do you agree or disagree with the production's version of Shakespeare's Shrew? Why? Your answer to question #2 will be your thesis and, in support of your answer, you'll be referring to both the text of Shakespeare's play and the film.

Guidelines:

Getting Started....

1. Watch the film. What is the film's argument? Take notes as you watch. When you write the paper, devote part of your introductory paragraph to a very brief summary of the film's interpretation of the play. You can find these films at the Charleston County Public Library or at video rental stores.

2. Evaluate the production's interpretive claims by reading and rereading. Read and reread The Taming of the Shrew, with a mind to the film's interpretation, your interpretation, and evidence (or lack thereof) for both you and the filmed production. How does the play support your position? Take careful notes and underline all relevant words, phrases, and images.

Writing the Paper....

1. Formulate a thesis. Make sure your thesis is specific enough to be covered adequately in the space of your discussion. A common trap of a thesis is to identify a theme, but fail to make argument about that theme: In Hamlet, Hamlet's character chooses to be mad. This "thesis" (which isn't a thesis) identifies madness as a theme, and begins to make an argument about how madness function, but falls short. Instead: Hamlet exploits the fine line between madness and sanity in order to gain power over others. To demonstrate this, the writer would argue for a link between Hamlet's "mad" behavior and his relative position of power in relation to other characters. Refer to the handout titled "Thesis vs. Topic." When you're writing the paper, the thesis will fall at or near the end of your introductory paragraph.

2. Provide support. To persuade your readers to your position, you will need to provide some evidence in support of your claims. Quotations from the play and references to the film should be used as evidence to prove your assertions.

3. Analysis and explanation of evidence. Be sure to analyze the quotation and discuss its significance. Explain for your reader how your evidence supports your claims.

4. Conclusion. Your last paragraph should synthesize, not summarize. You should resolve - and not merely repeat - your argument.

And, after you finish your draft....

1. Revise and edit. Read your paper out loud to yourself. Often you will hear what your eyes will miss.

2. When in doubt, get help. My office hours are on the syllabus (and by appointment). My email address is nelp@cofc.edu. Also, please make use of your Bedford Handbook and the Writing Lab at 216 Education Center. The phone number is 953-5635, and their hours are 9 to 4 and 6 to 8, Monday through Thursday, and 9 to 12 on Fridays.


Paper #2 |
Thesis vs. Topic | Syllabus for English 102 | Sample Essay (Intro + Outline)
This page was last updated on 8 February 2000.