2.1 – The writing demonstrates an understanding of the course texts as necessary for the purpose at hand
For MA 1, our primary and only source was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The purpose at hand was to explore how the creature impacted our previous definition of what a monster was. I knew that I would be writing a literary analysis paper, meaning that the text would need to be cited in order to provide direct evidence for my argument. I did this with quotes from pages 60 to page 129. My thesis for this essay emerged from a line of inquiry about how the creature became labeled as a monster. This idea is central to Shelley's text, because it explores what monstrosity is, and this is a valid application to the claim that I form. The text was inseparable from this essay because the prompt was based in the text applied, thus if I failed to properly use the text, I would loose all ability to form the correct essay.By correctly using texts, an essay gains strength through the authority of its author. If I were to incorrectly apply the text, say, by using the cover art of the novel to support my arguments, then I loose strength as a writer because the text was not correctly used. It is important to understand how how to correctly apply a given set of texts to a situation because it demonstrates knowledge of the text and what is an appropriate use of it according to the genre of the paper. It would be ineffective to use an 18th century painting to support an analysis about a 21st movie if the two had nothing in common. Using the class texts as appropriate shows that I can independently develop ideas from a line of inquiry with the same base material as others.
3.1 - The argument is appropriately complex, and based in a claim that emerges from and explores a line of inquiry.
The claim of a paper is a road map as to what is going to be discussed. Without the claim, an essay would have no structure, no organization, and no thoughtful progression and development of an idea. Since the claim is the guide as to what will be developed, it must leave room for all the ideas that it has the potential to discuss. A thesis that is too general will take too long to fully develop because it has so many dimensions to it. This is why a claim must be carefully crafted for the essay it is a part of, it will determine the length of the essay through its complexity of though. I developed my line of reasoning for this paper from the idea that someone calling another a monster will in turn cause that person to act like a monster. I developed this into the claim that "The concept of monstrosity stems from the cyclic process in which one party imprints their preconceived notions of monstrosity onto another, and by this, the subject in itself becomes a monster by circumstance." (pg. 1) The process of forming a claim is taking an idea or question, and forming it into a specific question that can be answered by specific analysis of text and other sources, much as I did in MA1. A claim is important also because it states what you are even talking about. A good claim will let the reader know what you are going to talk about, and, if it is written well, it will give the reader a good idea of how long you will take to complete you full train of thought, and hint to the ideas that you will use along the way. Claims are important to the larger scale of society because they are the means through which we form arguments and discussions. They are the means by which we communicate ideas to one another.
3.3 - The argument involves analysis, which is the close scrutiny and examination of evidence and assumptions in support of a larger set of ideas.
Analysis is the means through which a claim is developed, much like the solutions that develop a photograph. Analysis is the was in which raw textual evidence is turned into a effective tool to mature an idea that comes from the claim. In this essay, I look at the moment when old man DeLacey is comforting the creature in his house to prove that humans are able to look past appearances and rationally talk. The quote provides textual authority to my argument, and proof that the novel has parts that relate to what I'm saying, but how do I use the text to support what I am trying to say? Analysis, analysis, analysis. I spend the next quarter to a third page looking at why this evidence is important and relevant to my argument.
The first thing we did as a class exercise was to analyse advertisements and explore the connotated and denotated meanings in them. One was a lady holding hamburgers over her breasts. This was meant to connote that the burgers were as good as female breasts, obviously meaning to attract the male demographic. It is important to analyze things because otherwise, no deeper meaning could be taken out of something than what is explicitly said. By analyzing things, we look the me meaning behind it, why something is a certain way, why someone acts a certain way. Conducting analysis is, essentially, asking "why?"
3.5 - The argument utilizes a clear organizational strategy and effective transitions that develop its line of inquiry.
The most important aspect to a literary analysis paper is that the people who read the paper are able to understand the ideas you are addressing and the manner in which they are presented. Organization is key to not only clearly presenting your ideas to an audience, but also important to the development of you idea. When I first wrote this essay, I wrote an outline to bring into conference, but because my initial thesis was too broad, I had trouble figuring out how to clearly and effectively say everything I wanted to. Meagan helped me in this aspect, but I still felt unsure about how to proceed with the development of my claim. As I revised the paper thanks to a peer, I was able to clear my thesis to a point that organization became easier. I tend to judge how organized an essay is by how easy it is to write. If it is appropriately structured, it should be easy for me to write a paragraph, because I know exactly how I am going to develop an idea and exactly what evidence to use. Thus by effectively being able to organize my ideas in a paragraph, it becomes easier to develop my claim along its line of inquiry. In my claim, I established that there is a cycle to monstrosity, I knew that if I could define this cycle into clear phases, I could easily organize my essay along the phases of this cycle so that the reader is able to understand how I develop my claim. (pg. 1)
4.1 - The writing demonstrates substantial and successful revision.
I was quite lucky for this paper, I have a brother who works in the publishing business who helped me not only proofread the essay, but also to develop the ideas more effectively. Like I mentioned above, when I first wrote the paper, it felt far to broad in its application of the monstrosity cycle. I was unsure of how to correct this error, but fortunately my brother was able to show me that by narrowing my thesis, I could more clearly define the cycle through which I was analyzing the definition of a monster. In your comments you mentioned that "Those two [ideas] while connected, don’t always seem to be in this paragraph you jump from one idea to other back and forth, but I think that too much time is spent on flight v. fight which doesn't seem related at all." (m2) After seeing errors in reasoning that I may not have before, it was helpful to the strength of the entire paper to adjust and narrow my discussion in that paragraph. In some cases, such as this, only revision can show where ideas were unnecessary and distracting from the essay, that is why I cut the idea chain relating to "fight or flight." This is because it was loosely added in when I tried to connect the cycle of monstrosity more towards the humans' actions. It was poorly done, and my time was better spent developing other ideas in the revision process.