What’s wisdom without action? The essays that we’re reading in this section of the course all examine different kinds of wisdom as well as consider what kind of actions might spring from these types of wisdom. For your first essay you will pick one of the essays from this section and perform a critical analysis of the text considering in particular what the text wants you to understand and how it may want you to act on that understanding. Close reading involves picking out a keyword or idea that you analyze in depth. You will need to make a very clear argument in the opening paragraph that is sustained with evidence from the text you choose. A strong critical analysis is one that goes beyond surface-level observations.
1) In the opening paragraph, this essay should have a strong critical argument that goes beyond surface level observations. You are close reading a keyword or central idea in the text and ARGUING its significance. Introduce the text the paper will analyze.
*Tip 1: Identify the texts (titles and authors) you are analyzing and explain the impact or consequences your argument will have for your readers. Be careful to avoid generalizations and stereotypes!
2) The subsequent (body) paragraphs should analyze specific passages from your chosen text to demonstrate how you’ve arrived at your argument and interpretation.
*Tip 2: Analyze don’t summarize! This is not a book report. Make points throughout the paper that relate to your argument using keywords from your opening paragraph.
3) You will need to incorporate direct quotations from the text you analyze. These quotes MUST follow MLA citation style. For information on citations, please visit the Purdue OWL (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/).
*Tip 3: Do not allow quotations to overwhelm your essay! For any direct quotation you include, make sure to write an ANALYSIS of the passage that is roughly double the length of the quotation itself.
4) A Works Cited page is required. Please consult the Purdue OWL or a handbook for instructions and formatting. *The Works Cited page is NOT included in your word minimum.
5) Your essay should be no less than 3-4 pages in length. Use 12 point Times New Roman font and one-inch margins all around. Be sure to include a title and page numbers. Proofread your essay paying attention to sentence mechanics, consistent syntax, style, and grammar.
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