English 102 Critical Response Paper #1 Due October 7 (500 word minimum; Typed, Double-Spaced, with Outline and
Citations) ** Bring Four Copies and Three Peer Editing Sheets
Revised Paper Due October 21 (500 word minimum; Typed, Double-Spaced, with Revised Outline) ** In a FOLDER, Bring Final Draft, Instructor-Read Rough Draft,
and Peer Editing Sheets! ** ** Papers will NOT be accepted without a Folder**
The purpose of this paper is to allow you to discuss one of the
we have read so far this semester from a critical perspective. This
that you will not focus on your personal response to the work: "I
liked this story because I could relate to the main character's
While such a discussion could be a very interesting and important one,
it does not fit the scope of this class, which is designed to develop
critical discussion skills.
Some more specific hints: See page discussing MLA Format (i.e. using proper header, etc. )
First and foremost, remember that this is a Critical response
NOT a Personal response paper.
You must maintain an academic perspective throughout your paper. You
are presenting an argument and supporting it with evidence from the
or other sources. Therefore, AVOID the following types of
"It seems to me," "I think," "I believe," and "It is obvious that." In
avoid using the first person altogether.
It must contain a strong thesis statement in a strong
Be sure your first paragraph is an overview of the contents of your
essay. It's almost like an outline for your reader that is written in
sentences. Sometimes it's helpful to go back and refocus your first
after you've finished your essay.
Your thesis sentence should present a point that you will
Do NOT make announcements ("This paper will compare Joe and Sykes in
of their husbandly qualities").
You also need to make sure you introduce both the author and
be analyzed as early as possible.
Avoid using references to the dictionary (Webster's defines
. . . ").
The body of the essay should be filled with information related
to your thesis.
Each paragraph has a topic sentence and a concluding sentence.
You should use evidence within your paragraphs which further explains
your topic sentence introduced. Don't forget to clearly express
own opinions. Avoid repeating yourself.
Avoid plot summary! Use quotes from only those
text immediately relevant to your discussion!
Use past tense to discuss historical or biographical events, but
tense when discussing literature.
Each time your read a text, the events "occur" all over again.
as you describe these events, always use present verb tense:
May sleeps with Slemmons in order to make Joe happy." "Sykes
a snake in the bedroom to kill Delia."
Evidence is needed in your paper.
Be sure to "back up" all your points with either examples from the
text, citations from the text or your outside resources.
Using proper MLA format, include parenthetical citations with proper
punctuation and a Works Cited page.
Be careful when quoting verse--Use slashes to show line
by line (or act.scene.line for plays).
Introduce and explain all quotes. This means you
beginning or ending a paragraph with a quote and you should never place
quotes back to back without discussion in between them.
Avoid plagiarism !! See Policy
Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are critical to your reader.
Good grammar will make your ideas clearer to your reader.
Don't use "in which" when you mean "that."
Don't use "that" when you mean "who" (i.e. when referring to
Proofread your paper. Check for spelling errors. USE SPELL-CHECK !
Do not use run-on sentences. Again, it's better to make shorter clearer
sentences than long confusing ones.
Commas are often needed when you do write a longer sentence (but don't
Try to use smooth transitions between one paragraph and the next.
A strong conclusion leaves your reader fulfilled and your paper
Briefly sum up your thesis. Perhaps your final thesis has a little
more content than the thesis in your introductory paragraph
because the reader now knows where you are coming from.
Don't be afraid to make your final paragraph REALLY COUNT in some way.
Again, it gives the reader something to remember you by.
Possible Paper Topics (You may also create
own, as long as you have a clear focus and thesis statement):
In "Sweat," why does Delia Jones stay with
husband Sykes? Which factors influence this decision? Religion,
and Self-esteem are some possible areas to examine. Your thesis
clearly state the degree to which any and/or all factors are
How do the townspeople function in either
or "The Gilded Six-Bits"? What is their role in relationship to
main characters and the plot? How much do they influence the
Which "Characteristics of Negro Expression,"
as identified by Hurston in her essay of that name, appear in either
or "The Gilded Six-Bits"? Discuss three different characteristics in
Discuss the use of symbolism in either
"Sweat" or "The Gilded Six-Bits." Choose at least three passages
to discuss in terms of their symbolic importance.
Explain the degree to which justice is
in either "Sweat" or "The Gilded Six-Bits." Do all the characters get
they deserve? Explain.