Any topic (writer’s choice)

5-6 pages (double spaced, 12-point font, approx. 1500-1800 words)

-Please produce a behind the scenes analysis of the literary style of The Marrow of Tradition, choosing the following topic as your focus.

Produce a close reading of a character from The Marrow of Tradition, saying as much as you can about how he or she is developed in the novel from start to finish. Along the way, your essay should make an argument about the role played by the character in the larger context of the novel, but you should concentrate on the stylistic elements of analysis we have stressed all semester, such as plot, perspective and voice. As in the previous prompt, your goal should be to show off your analytic skills by providing a behind the scenes explanation of technique in order to make your readers appreciate the art of Chesnutts fiction.

-Requirements and Tips

Give your essay a catchy title.
Your thesis statement should appear in the last sentence or two of your introduction. A good thesis statement will be thematically rich and complex, suggesting the richness of the essay to come.
Your paragraphs should begin with topic sentencesin the first sentence or twothat fully describe the point you will be making and why it matters to your argument. If pressed, you should be able to underline the topic sentences. Can you?
Quote from the novel and analyze those quotations in detail to support your arguments. Quotes not only illustrate and prove your points, but they draw readers into your writing.
Reread! At least fifty percent of the time you devote to this essay should be spent re-reading the novel. Keep asking yourself what else? and where else? Try to get as rich and inclusive interpretation of the novel as possible. Dont settle for a single telling quotation, but find others that are like it that can be used for elaboration, clarification, and qualification.
Search for the nuances. Your responses should not fall into either/or categorizations, but rather should focus on subtle differences or surprising similarities. It is much better to open up a problem that cannot be solved than to settle conclusively on an interpretation that fails to admit of its limits.
Bring some energy to your writing. Produce a compelling argument, back it up with evidence from the text, and dont assume that there is a right answer to any of it. Show your thought and provide evidence for it.

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