23 October, Essay W/S & Inconvenient Truth Intro.


  • 1. Remember Oct 30:  All sections attend the Climate Stories Lecture and Discussion at 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM in Klaus 1456; ENGL F2 and ENGL N2 ONLY attend the Lecture; ENGL D2 Meet at Please meet at the Homer Rice Classroom in the Library
  • Group 8: I need to reschedule your presentation; talk with me after class.
  • ENGL D2: no regularly scheduled class on Nov 6

W/S: Literary Analysis Essay

  • 1. Please read through the questions below, and then take yourself and your draft to the number that corresponds to the question that best describes the biggest challenge you face in your Essay draft.
  • 2. Once in your groups, take turns reading/describing your draft and then discuss revision strategies. I will circulate from group to group and answer questions.
  • 3. Once in your groups, take turns reading/describing your draft and then discuss revision strategies.
  • 4. I will circulate from group to group and answer questions.

The numbers of the questions below correspond to numbers on the board
  • 1. Claims: Does the draft address the situation and assignment: Does the Essay make an arguable claim about Hamlet and Bad Collections or one or more of the following, subsidiary, terms: hoarding, archives, vibrant matter, preservation, salvage, recycling, accumulation, or object oriented ontology.
  • 2. Secondary Sources: Does the draft show the argument fits into larger conversations, define key terms, provide context about Hamlet by citing/analyzing at least one secondary, scholarly/valid source? 
  • 3. Evidence/Close Reading: Does the author develop his/her claim through fully analyzed evidence that supports all related claims in the draft? Does the author develop her/his claim through close analysis of the linguistic features and meaning of at least three passages from Hamlet
  • 4. Organization: Does the draft sustain the claim throughout?  Are transitions from one portion of the Essay to the next clear and logical? Has author adapted typical organizational patterns of academic writing? Is there a conclusion? 
  • 5. Conventions:Does the draft include at least two visuals? Does the draft meet grammar, mechanics style, and syntax conventions with few or no errors? Is draft in MLA? 

Writing FAQ’s

  • Does your essay begin with some version of “William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet during the Renaissance OR Hamlet is the greatest play of all time”?

    If yes, revise that sentence: Try replacing that opening line with a declarative sentence more in line with your claim. Maybe, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet dramatizes the limits (or failure) of preservation.

  • Do you open your essay with a cold-open, i.e. a reading of scene that demonstrates the topic you plan to spin your claim out of?

    If yes, feel free to cite a bit of the text from the scene. Also cite the strangest bit of text OR the bit of text with your key term/idea in it.

  • Do you really explain your claim at the end of the first paragraph?

    If no, be sure to finish big in the last final sentences of the first paragraph. Those sentences do really important work tying the whole of the paper together.

  • Do you lead with your claim in the topic sentence of the “literature review” paragraph?

    If not, how can you revise that sentence so that you lead with the claim in the first half, and then introduce what will follow in the second, i.e. As is well known, Hamlet dramatizes the limits of preservation.

  • Does anyone have a topic sentence that begins, “In act five, scene one Hamlet will not let go of the dead?

    If yes, revise. Lead with your claim; not where the evidence you plan to read occurs. So a revised version of the sentence above may read, “Hamlet will not let go of the dead.”

  • Do you skip straight from the citations to your claim?

    If yes, SLOW DOWN. Remember to explain the citation to the audience. If you are talking about Hamlet’s oath to the Ghost for example, pick out some of the images and talk about them. So what’s “distracted globe” mean? Why does Hamlet switch from the globe metaphor to the book/library metaphor? What’s a “saw” (1.5.782)? Why is it weird to remember something by removing all other memories? How does the irony of these lines show ways the preservation project may be in trouble? Try to explain these lines to someone who hasn’t read them and then move into how/why your explanation supports your claim.

  • Does the amount of close analysis following your citations, justify the length of the citation?

    If not, just cite the amount of text you need, i.e. two lines or two words.

  • Do you signal why you move from section to section?

    If no, let readers know why you are moving from section of the paper to another. For example, why move from Hamlet’s oath to Ghost scene to the scene with the players? What new information does the scene with the players give us, your readers, about ways Hamlet’s preservation project is progressing (or not)? Lead a transition paragraph with a sentence that shows us why you move onto the player’s speech and how it fits into the larger aims of the paper.

  • Do you write about Hamlet in chronological order?

    If yes, please note: the scenes in your paper do not need to appear in the same order they occur in the play.

  • Do you write about Hamlet in the present tense?

    If not, revise. Always write about literature (any literature) in the present tense

  • When you connect your paper topic to a contemporary climate or environmental issue, does the connection take the complexity of the topic into account?  

    If no, revise. For example, just learned from your paper how terribly difficult or even impossible the preservation of life can be. How much other death did Hamlet cause in the rush to bring his father back from the dead? Now that you know how complicated preservation is, what can you say to a preservation projects going on now in the face of Climate Change?

  • Do you have questions about MLA?

    If yes, check out these sites: Perdue Owl, MLA and Citing Images from a data base in MLA

Scene Analysis: An Inconvenient Truth

As we watch the clip from Gore’s movie/slide share talk, please keep the following in mind:
  • 1. Context: What “happens” in the selected sequence on the level of plot? What is the function of this sequence within the larger narrative action (foreshadowing, climax, transition, exposition, etc,)? What is the overall goal of the clip?
  • Describe the Frame is it open form: frame is de-emphasized, has a “snapshot” quality? Is it closed form: frame is composed and self-contained, the frame acts as a boundary and a limit?. How does the frame help communicate the goal of the documentary to the audience?
  • 3. Describe the Set. Is it in a studio or a location? What props are used? Are they used symbolically? How do the sets help Gore convey his message? 
  • 4. Describe the Design (symmetrical or asymmetrical; balanced or unbalanced; stylized or natural; does it belong to a certain period or artistic style). How does design help Gore communicate his goal?