Your first midterm paper asks you to perform a careful, close analysis of some issue arising from one (or more*) of the texts by DFW that we’ve read to this point.** Your task in the course of this analysis is to present an argument about the significance of the issue you’re interested in, supported through scrupulous attention to the textual (and extra-textual***) evidence you have uncovered in your close reading.
This paper might arise from an issue you originally raised in a blog post, but should be developed significantly from that point. Feel free to come see me during office hours if you want to discuss your ideas.
Your paper should be 4-6 pages, double-spaced,**** and should adhere to MLA conventions for the citation of all quoted or paraphrased material*****. The paper should be turned in to your drop box on Sakai by 5 pm on Wednesday, February 25.
*Keeping your focus to one text will make your life easier, but you might make reference to another text if you see the same issue operative in it as well.
**Including the texts that we read between now and the time the paper is due.
***The extra-textual might include philosophical, theoretical, critical, or other significant contextual material, all of which is subject to the same rules about citation as are the primary texts.
****In a reasonable, i.e., Times-Romanish, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins. Do I really need to stipulate all that? You’d be surprised.
*****If you’re not familiar with MLA style, you might consult this online guide (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/). Scroll down for links to specific information about in-text and works cited format.