Write an Essay Using and Refining 1 of the Following Thesis Statements

Write an essay using (and refining) one of the following thesis statements. The goal is to write a focused, thesis-driven essay that features your close analysis of, and citations and quotations from, the Shakespeare we have watched and read in the first part of the semester. Draw from your notes and discussions. This is not a research paper; it is your formal analysis of the primary source(s). Please do not consult other sources. The body of your essay should be your written, detailed analysis driven by an interpretive argument rather than an evaluative one. You should include direct quotes from the works to serve as evidence to support your argument, and you may also include screen captures or images from the show or film(s) if they represent the scenes you discuss and analytical points you make. You should include in-text parenthetical citations throughout your paper. Inside the parenthetical citations you put time markers when referencing examples and evidence from the show or film; you put the act, scene, and line number when quoting from Shakespeare’s play but not referencing a particular show or film.

Sample Thesis Statements

1.) We are currently living through a pandemic, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet shows evidence of having been written, and set, during outbreaks of The Plague. An analysis of the 2010 production of Romeo and Juliet shows that it is a play preoccupied with The Plague as seen in Shakespeare’s lines, implicit blocking and props in his lines, and several key situations and scenes.

2.) Based on my analysis of the film version released in 1961, the lyrics, characters, and plot of West Side Story resonate with our current 2020-2021 context when it comes to __________________. (choose based upon the focuses of our discussions and your analysis: racism, immigration, police violence, systemic injustice, misogyny)

3.) An analysis of the 2010 production of Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre illustrates the importance and the interpretive effect of production choices as relate to casting, blocking, music, costumes, and actors’ awareness of the live audience.

4.) Although we might not expect it from a superhero movie, Peter Parker has significant connections to Shakespeare’s Prince Hal, as a comparative analysis of Henry IV, Part 1 and Spider-Man: Far from Home illustrates.

5.) … to be continued …

What is Thesis Statement

A Thesis Statement is that sentence or two in your text that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about. You may think of a thesis statement as an umbrella: everything that you carry along in your essay has to fit under this umbrella, and if you try to take on packages that don’t fit, you will either have to get a bigger umbrella or something’s going to get wet.

A Thesis Statement:

 Tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
 Is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
 Directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an of a question or subject, not the subject itself.
e.g.The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way
to understand the war or the novel.
 Makes a claim that others might dispute.
 Is usually a single sentence (or two) somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the
reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade
the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

You are researching and writing an essay on Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman (1949). Instructions: Part 1: There are a few different ways you could approach the writing of this essay: The thematic approach: You will choose a theme or idea that you see in the play and then make an assertion about how and/or why that theme is being used. Consider the themes discussed in Unit 2: Love Alienation/Otherness The American Dream/Nightmare The Quest for Identity/Coming of Age Conformity/Rebellion Perform a character study.

Discuss what motivates this character to do what he or she does or perhaps discuss how and why the character deals with the conflicts within the play. You could also choose to compare and contrast two characters. Compare and contrast the play—or some element of the play—with another literary work.

Please contact your instructor if you are planning to use a literary work for comparison that has not been covered in this class. In addition to or in place of the approaches described above, you might want to employ a formalist\’s approach to analyze and interpret the literary work you have chosen. You might consider the following questions and considerations: How do paradox, irony, ambiguity, and tension work in the play? Is there a central or focal passage that can be said to sum up the entirety of the work? What are the key symbols in the play?

Part 2:

Once you decide on an approach and a topic: If you have any questions or need guidance, discuss your choices with your instructor. Make sure you have a strong thesis statement. This should not be a question or something “obvious” and undebatable like a synopsis of what happens in the play. Instead, it should be your own fresh idea that takes a firm stance on your chosen aspect of the play. Set forth to prove your assertion about the text. To do so, you need to: Analyze your primary source (Death of a Salesman) and find quotations that support your assertion. Find secondary sources (scholarly articles) to back up your assertion. (Include these sources in your working bibliography.) This is your scholarly research. By finding scholars to support your ideas or even counter them, you are backing up your own thoughts using evidence from experts in the field.

Follow MLA Format:

Use MLA format for the paper: Purdue Owl: MLA info Length: minimum of 1000 – 1500 words Include a Works Cited Page, not to be counted in the 1000-1500 word minimum Appropriate Scholarly Secondary Sources Included: minimum of 3 scholarly sources Be sure to have an appropriate title for your essay (See Titling Your Essay) Write with an analytical purpose: Do not spend too much space summarizing the text. Assume that your reader has already read or seen the play. Aim for an organized paper that offers your reader some new insight into the play. In summary: You make an assertion. You prove it with textual examples. You back it up with other scholarly support from your research.

Part 2 discussions Research Topic and Working Thesis

Post information about the topic of your research for your paper on Death of a Salesman (see the Unit 7 Researched Essay Dropbox folder for additional details). Your posting and comments should address the following: your potential thesis statement in bold the reason you have chosen the topic for your research paper the interest you have in the subject matter any discoveries you have made about your topic through your research so far The thesis statement you include here is a “working thesis”; you may find that you change and refine it as you continue to work on your researched

Thesis Statement and Working Bibliography

First, in bold, write your updated thesis statement for your researched essay. Please reference the following link for some handy tips on improving your thesis statement: University of Illinois\’ Center for Writing Studies – http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/tips/thesis/ Next, list at least three academic sources that you plan to use for your researched essay.

Compose them as though they are entries in a Works Cited page. Make certain that they are listed in alphabetical order and use correct MLA format. Below is an example of a working bibliography: Goldman, Marlene. \”Penning in the Bodies: The Construction of Gendered Subjects In Alice Munro\’s Boys and Girls.\” Studies in Canadian Literature / Études en littérature canadienne [Online], 15.1 (1990): n. pg. Web. 23 Nov. 2013. Prabhakar, M., and K. Venkat Satish. \”Alice Munro\’s Stories and Feminism.\” Cyber Literature. 4.1 (2011): 57-61. Web. 23 Nov. 2013. You can go to the Purdue OWL to find a more detailed discussion of creating a bibliography for research. Before continuing on your research project, read over the other bibliographies and reply to at least 2 other students\’ posts.

Comment on the format (MLA, using the Purdue OWL as your guide) and see if you recognize any errors. Also, pay attention to any emerging trends or themes in the article titles and take note of any topics or titles that interest you. You might find some sources useful for your own research! essay. A good thesis is usually in third person (no “I” or “you”), is a statement (not a question), and tells the reader the main points you are claiming in your paper. Make sure that your claim is original and interesting, not simply an obvious statement of fact. Please see below for more information thesis statements: Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences – http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/topic.htm The UNC Writing Center: Thesis Statements – http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/thesis-statements/

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