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English 1102 paper topics, spring 2024

Paper 2

Read every word below carefully, more than once, before starting your essay.

Choose one of the options below and respond in an analytical essay of 800-1250 words. Whichever option you address, your introduction must culminate in a literal central question that the rest of the paper strives to answer. Note that you are not required to present opposing views for this paper: that is, all of your topic sentences (and thus body paragraphs) should deliver positive answers to the question expressing your own views on the topic.

For details of the physical formatting of your paper on papermargins, headers, titles, etc.see the simple stuff page. For guidelines on quotation and documentation, see the quotations page. All options require quotations from the readings, so a works cited page is necessary.

I encourage you to seek my help with your paper outside of class. I cannot respond to whole drafts through email, but I will be glad to go over your paper from start to finish with you in person before you submit it for grading.  If my office hours don't mesh with your schedule, let me know and we'll make arrangements for other times. 

Paper proposals: before you begin writing the essay, construct a topic sentence outline, just as we did for the first paper: begin the outline with the literal question your paper addresses, then give full topic sentences that answer the question directly for each primary point in your paper (i.e. for each body paragraph), just as they will appear in the essay itself, and conclude the outline with the paper's overall thesis, answering the central question directly and combining your essential points from the various topic sentences. See the sample topic sentence outlines on my writing tips page and on the paper proposal assignment page.

1) Marianne Moore's poem, "Poetry," suggests that life itself is "the raw material of poetry" and that poetry presents life in "all its rawness" (26, 27).  Explain how any three poems we've read convey different fundamental aspects or elements of life in vivid and powerful fashion, including at least three quotations from each poem to illustrate your claims.

2) According to William Wordsworth, "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility; the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of re-action, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind."  Explore the powerful feelings presented in any three poems we've read, showing specifically how the poets encourage the reader's "kindred" feeling of the emotion the speaker describes. Quote each poem you discuss at least three times, and raise a literal question in the introduction.


blue bullet Make every topic sentence answer the central question directly.
blue bullet Introduce all quotes: see nugget 3.
blue bullet Sweat the details: use the Golden Rules, Nuggets, Simple Stuff, and Quotations pages and proofread carefully.
blue bullet Offer concrete evidence (quotes) in support of each of your major assertions.
blue bullet See me in the office or email if you have questions or problems. 

Use the Writing Center! I encourage you to see tutors for help with your papers in the Writing Center (TEB 226). We have well-trained, qualified tutors who can give you plenty of one-on-one attention with any aspect of the writing process. Be sure to take a copy of this assignment with you to any tutoring session, or show your tutor this assignment page on the web. Set up an appointment at https://www.mga.edu/student-success-center/writing-centers.php.