While this paper is, primarily, an expression of your opinion, you should develo

While this paper is, primarily, an expression of your opinion, you should develop a clear, well-written argument (meaning it is rooted in textual evidence).  The best responses take on a specific topic from discussions, critiques, the text, (or, of course, from your own reading), which is then worked out in some critical/analytic detail.  Avoid trying to fit an entire week’s reading—or an entire text—into your response, since this leaves you with such a broad scope that any detailed examination is nearly impossible.
Avoid summarizing the text and, instead, argue for a particular position, for a particular “reading.” You should incorporate a strong thesis as well as evidence/material from the texts (both literary and critical); in other words, present details, such as dialogue or other citations.  This is in keeping with that old adage of “showing” rather than “telling” as you work out your argument/position.
Consider also addressing questions you have about the reading—perhaps centered on a scene, event, character, etc.  How do specific questions or parts of the novel/essay/play inform the significance of the whole?  You may also think about developing connections between works—how do formal characteristics, topics, characters, etc. resonate across our focus period, across gender and/or ethnic boundaries?  How are those characteristics treated differently and why?
Should you choose to integrate other sources, make sure you use an MLA citation (Shelley 89). 
Essay should include the following:
A compelling introduction
A clear thesis (your thesis = a topic + your perspective/argument) located at the end of the introduction
Clear progression of ideas (i.e., organization. Think sequence of arguments/evidence, body paragraphs, topic sentences, etc.)
Evidence from the text that supports your thesis
Close reading of the text (avoid summary/repetition)
Development of ideas/arguments
A clear conclusion that restates your thesis and main points
In-text citation (Last name of the author and the page number where the evidence is found)

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