Throughout this semester, all of your major essays will be written about the same literary work you have chosen for this essay. The first essay is a description of why your chosen work is your favorite (or at least one you do not mind spending semester rereading and writing about), and what it is about. Your goal is to give your audience a clear concept of what your book is about and why you like it so much, as you would describe a favorite movie to a friend in hopes some aspect(s) of your description leads them to become interested in watching it. You will not want to provide exhaustive summary, but will wish to give sufficient detail so as to pique your reader’s curiosity. Keep in mind that your goal this semester is to convince others to read your favorite book. Before you sit down to write, consider (but do not necessarily answer in your essay) the following questions: 1. Why does this novel appeal so strongly to you? 2. What do you dislike about this book? 3. What feelings does this book elicit from you? 4. Does this book inform, is it for entertainment, or both? 5. Are there larger issues you have noticed at play in the narrative? 6. Who is telling the story within the book? The author? A character? An unknown? 7. Why do you think the book might appeal to others? 8. What is the general plot about? 9. What kinds of major characters exist, and what are they like as people? 10. Are there interesting quotes from the book you can utilize to better showcase it in your summary? 11. Is the writing designed to bias you for or against a particular major character? 12. Where and when is your novel set? 13. Are there other, similar books you’ve read that this one can be related to? 14. Are there film, theatrical, videogame, or operatic adaptations of this book? 15. Would reading this book fill in knowledge gaps in important cultural references for the reader? 16. What is the theme of the book? Again, your goal throughout this semester is to create in your readers (your instructor and your workshop group, plus anyone in your life outside school who reads your writing) a desire to read the novel you are writing about. Examining in great detail why you feel drawn to this particular selection, while providing your reader a glimpse into what they will find in it, is an excellent way to begin deep exploration of a given literary work. Do not feel you need to include literary devices in your explanations, though you are welcome to do so. Allow these assignments to revolve around deeply felt affection for this literary work, and a desire to share it with others in a manner that causes them to become invested in reading your chosen novel. From a structural standpoint, this is not the standard “five paragraph essay.” Whenever possible, breathe life into your essays by writing from your heart, mind, and soul – not from a formula. You will, however, wish to utilize the opportunities afforded in the composition classroom to learn about standard academic formatting of essays, such as you see modelled in this assignment sheet. Please avoid using “filler” or “fluff” to increase the length of your essay. Instead, if you are concerned your essay is not as long as you feel it should be, consider adding more detail to specific passages where appropriate. Standard academic fonts include Garamond, Helvetica, Arial, and Times New Roman. You are permitted to use any font that is not considered “silly” or presents challenges to the reader due to overly elaborate styling. These types of “banned” fonts include Comic Sans MS, Jester, and Gothic-style lettering. Any essay written in ASCII, Binary, Wingdings, or similar, will receive a failing grade. Avoid using internet- or text-speak. If you cannot express a specific thought without utilizing jargon, make sure you define the term in a footnote. Please remember that drafting is an important aspect of writing. All writers draft, and no writer puts out perfectly written essays on the first try. After completing your first draft, print it out and take a pen to it. Make as many corrections as you can. Then come back to your computer and save the essay as a new document. If your document title is “My Favorite Book,” your next “new document” should be “My Favorite Book1,” or similar. By saving as a new document before making any change to a previous one, you do not risk losing really good writing or information you didn’t see the value of in that moment. Should you need portions of previous drafts to fix or finish new drafts, they are on your hard drive, and you have a complete record of each step of your writing process. Once you have reviewed the corrections you wrote on your draft and changed the document, save again as a new document. This time, read that second draft aloud (to yourself or to others). Does it make sense when read aloud? Are some parts awkward or confusing? Change those as you read. I recommend you go through this process at least 3 times, leaving at least 12 hours between readings so you have time to process each draft as an entirely new entity. You will also participate in peer review on Canvas. Using their feedback, you will construct your final draft with substantive revisions. Please consult your syllabus and Canvas for information on when assignments are due. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: 1. Students must participate in peer review in order to receive credit for the assignment. 2. Students must visit the writing center at least one time following revisions after the workshop, and must provide proof of visitation to receive full credit for the assignment. The preferred method of providing proof of writing center visitation is to take a picture of the writing center tutor’s signature, or any form the tutor provides to substantiate you attended. Attach this picture the last page of your document. This picture should be the only thing on the last page. Essays that do not contain proof of visitation will be penalized 25 points. 3. All submissions must be in .DOC or .DOCX format to be accepted. 4. Minimum length of this essay is 750 words, and the value of this assignment is 50 points.
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