For this essay, you will use 1-4 academic/scholarly articles on 1984 and possibl

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Dec 18, 2022


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For this essay, you will use 1-4 academic/scholarly articles on 1984 and possibly your previous research for our class to help you develop an original argument about the novel.
First, you will read 1-4 academic/scholarly articles on 1984. Two is the minimum, but I strongly encourage everyone to read 4 articles because you’ll find yourself coming up with better ideas if you do this. Reading widely really helps.
You will need to fully understand the arguments of the articles that you read because you will construct your own argument using one of the options below.
Let’s say you really agree with what one or two academic/scholarly authors have to say about the novel. In that case, your job will be to find additional evidence in 1984 which the authors do not cite in their articles and provide this corroborating evidence in your own essay. If you choose this option (the easiest one), you will need to incorporate the arguments of ONLY ONE academic/scholarly author into your own 3-part thesis. You will clearly explain the arguments of your outside source in your intro or elsewhere in the essay.
More challenging
Another way to develop your argument for Essay 4 is to disagree – partially or completely – with one or more of your outside sources. This is more challenging than just finding points of agreement. In this case, you would construct your argument as a refutation of ONE of the sources. If you want to quote more than one academic/scholarly source, of course you are welcome to do so. For example, you are welcome to agree with one source and disagree with another, using the source you agree with to refute the other. You could also construct an argument that disagrees with two academic sources.
Most challenging
If you take the time to carefully read a large number of academic/scholarly sources, say, four of them, you may find yourself experiencing the happy epiphany of an original idea. If this occurs, you will find yourself in possession of an original argument which none of your sources has made. This is challenging and time consuming, but extremely rewarding. I suggest you aim for this option and settle for Option 2, and failing that, Option 1, only if you have to. In this case, you will cite all of the sources that have inspired your argument – and explain how they have helped you arrive at your argument.
Important Note: You can get an “A” on the paper using any of the 3 options above. If you end up selecting Option 1, just execute it well. Also, I’ve labeled the three options above as “easy,” “more challenging,” and “most challenging” as a convenience. Even the so-called “easy” option will be sufficiently challenging for the purposes of Essay 4 in English 102.
1) You may find that your research topics for Essays 1, 2 and 3 are worth further research as they apply to 1984. If so, you will be able to use some, if not all, of the arguments and resources you used in your prior work for this class to develop your argument about 1984.
For example, let’s say that you wrote about the negative effects of surveillance or the importance of privacy for Essay 3. You also wrote on your personal position on freedom of speech in Essay 2. If you want to analyze the negative impacts of surveillance in 1984 or the negative effects of suppressing freedom of self-expression, you may be able to utilize some of the arguments and research that you’ve already done as you develop your thesis for Essay 4. Of course, you’ll still need to do additional academic research specifically on 1984. You’ll also still need to select one of the 3 OPTIONS above as a means of developing your 3-part thesis.
I mentioned at the start of the semester that the class begins with the question of torture and that it ends on the same question. If you want to consider your early research on Waterboarding — Enhanced Interrogation or Torture? in the context of 1984, you’re welcome to do that.
2) Let’s say that you don’t necessarily want to write an essay that synthesizes some or any of the themes that we’ve already covered in this class. In that case, when you do your research on 1984, feel free to research topics that have nothing to do with the surveillance state and its global/personal impacts, privacy, freedom of speech, or the fourth estate. Many scholars have written on 1984 from many different perspectives. In this case, most likely you would be analyzing 1984 from a historicist perspective, since most literary critics look at 1984 using a historicist lens, whether they offer a feminist critique, a political argument, an analysis of religion, a biographical argument about the author, or take some other approach.
Here’s a general definition of the term historicist: Most literary criticism of 1984 assumes that the novel will tell us something about the historical moment in which the novel was written and published – in this case, post-WWII England/London. According to historicists, the novel will also tell us something about Orwell’s attitudes and the culture in which he grew up. A historicist approach to a work of literature will look at contemporary (to the time of publication – in this case, 1949) power dynamics as represented by the literary text. So historicists will analyze 1984 with the idea that they’re going to learn something about the culture as filtered through the perspectives of Orwell at the time of the writing and publication of the novel.
If you want more info, here’s a link. You can also look up the terms new historicism and historicist literary criticism if you’re interested. But don’t worry about these terms too much. to an external site.
Note: I will be able to tell if you have skimmed or failed to actually read and understand 1984.
What to Do in this Essay:
You will start Essay 4 with a detailed intro to your research topic. Introduce 1984 right away in your intro. You will most likely also include an intro to your outside academic source(s) here as well. If you don’t do so in the intro, you’ll definitely need to do so in your early development paragraphs.
Include a clear, 3-PART THESIS that explains in detail what your arguable claim about your research topic is. Remember, avoid reporting on/explaining a topic. We don’t need info—we need an argument!
RESEARCH academic/scholarly sources – you’ll need 1-4 academic/scholarly sources on your topic. Note that Options 1 & 2 only require you to cite one outside source. If you choose Topic 1 above, you may also include news sources, depending on your research topic.
QUOTE your 1-4 academic/scholarly sources + 1984 + optional news sources using a Development Paragraph Key.
POST all of your own outside sources as an annotated Works Cited list in Canvas Discussions. Only assess political bias and run the CRAP test on news sources.
CONCLUDE your essay with a 1-2 paragraph “bigger picture” assessment of your argument. Each conclusion will be topic-specific, so I will need to see your complete Working publish before I can make individualized suggestions on what you can think about as you write your conclusion.
Technical Requirements
10 pages minimum
MLA format
QUOTE a minimum total of 1 or more sources, depending on which option you select above: 1 academic/scholarly source and 1984.
Optional: you may also quote news sources if they are relevant to your argument.
Assume an ignorant audience who has NOT read any of our sources.
Upload a WORD, PDF, google doc, .rtf file or other compatible file format to CANVAS for a Unicheck originality report.


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