Dryden/ENB 221/Essay 2 Assignment Sheet—The Importance of Being Earnest and
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
As you have noticed, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is about human personality and the fact that we humans have more than one. To simplify the matter, Dr Jekyll is an educated man of science, who is basically a good person, likable, and generous. Mr. Hyde, however, is a barbarian, antisocial, and a murderer. As you are discovering, The Importance of Being Earnest is also about human personality and the fact that we humans have more than one. Jack/Ernest, for example, has a serious life in the country and a life if pleasure in the city. Likewise, Algernon uses Bunbury to avoid serious situations in the city when he wants to experience pleasure in the country. Write a comparison contrast essay about human personality in these two works. Make a significant point about human personality. Avoid obvious generalizations at all costs. Saying that these works teach us that humans have more than one personality is not a thesis; it’s an obvious generalization. Dig Deeper.
If you wish you can propose a different thesis to prove; however, it must follow the same criteria. That is, you must have a thesis to prove involving both works. Use 4 quotes from each work etc.
You are not required to use outside sources, but you will provide quotes from the play and the novella as support. You will use MLA parenthetical documentation, to indicate page numbers from the play and the novella. You will include a Works Cited page. These texts are cited by author as works in an anthology. See our BlackBoard page for link to MLA format for quoting a work from an anthology. Papers without a Works Cited page will not be accepted.
• Formulate a thesis statement that is a precise articulation of your essay’s major point to prove.
• Make sure to narrow and focus your thesis so that you are arguing a specific point, not making generalizations.
• After you have composed a narrow thesis, write your introductory paragraph, and include your thesis in it.
• Then think about the body of your essay. Compose six topic sentences that are clear articulations of points you will make that support your thesis.
• After you have composed this clear, solid foundation for your essay, you can begin composing the body paragraphs.
• Make logical transitions from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, working your way to the conclusion.
• Refer often to the checklist for writing about literature (posted on Blackboard).
• You must use at least six quotes, three from IBE, and three from JH.
• The essay should be 4-5 pages in length.
• Use 1 inch margins all around.
• Include the Works Cited page.
• *Outline is due on Monday, 11/2. I’ll return them with comments on Wednesday, 11/4. Here are your directions for the outline:
• 1) Type the outline.
• 2) Write a thesis statement.
• 3) write a complete introduction.
• 4) Write four topic sentences, two involving IBE and 2 involving JH
• 5) include a quote from the texts to support each topic sentence.
• Refer to checklist for writing about literature for guidance.
*Final Essay is due Monday, November 16.
Secondary Sources (Optional): When using secondary sources—for example, books and articles about IBE (which includes anything on the web)—be extremely careful to cite every instance where you use either words or ideas from the reading. See below for guidelines on citing sources, and see our class syllabus for warnings about plagiarism. Note: attach copies of the pages you use (or from which you paraphrase) to your essay. Underline or highlight the quotes you use or sections you paraphrase. I will not accept your essay without these copies of your research.
Format: Word Processed, double-spaced, 1 inch margin–top, bottom, left, and right, stapled, no cover. Be sure to include a provocative title (use your title to focus the reader’s attention; don’t just use the title of the work you are discussing. Your title is neither underlined nor in quotation marks), your name, my name, course number and hour (ENB 221 and date.
You are welcome to see me during my office hours or email me to discuss thesis, outline, rough draft, etc.
Notes on Writing the Essay:
(in addition to the notes below, refer to your “checklist” for writing about literature.)
Audience/Purpose: unless otherwise indicated, assume you are writing for your classmates and/or other college students. Your purpose is to help your readers to understand better something about the works under discussion. You want to shed light, help them see more than what they saw before. Thus you do not simply want to recite what your readers could find in an encyclopedia or on the web. Readers are looking for your insights, well supported.
Assume that your audience has already read the work. Thus do not summarize the works, but instead move directly into your analysis.
Thesis: Your essay must have a thesis. A thesis is an arguable assertion about your limited and narrow topic. Note: a thesis is NOT a statement of topic: “I am going to write about . . .” To generate a thesis, tell your reader what you are going to prove.
Building the Essay
Introduction: You hope to catch the readers’ attention, to generate interest in your topic. The introduction should include the names of authors and works to be discussed and a statement of thesis.
Body: Your essay should move forward not by “And then, and then and then . . .” but rather by a series of logical points you want to make (topic sentences) that develop your thesis. Support each with evidence from the work and your own analysis. A successful essay will thus move between interpretations and support, getting stuck neither in plot summary nor in a series of unsupported generalizations. Aim for strong interpretations supported with evidence.
Conclusion: Some options—show how the specific aspects you have discussed are related to the work(s) as a whole: what do your observations contribute to a total interpretation of the work(s); suggest any ways in which your analysis of this work connects with us and our world today; comment more personally about your reactions to the issues you have discussed. See other suggestions on the checklist. For more information on Human Personality checkout this: https://www.britannica.com/topic/human-behavior
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