Monday, April 24, 2017

Paper #2/Final Exam: Welcome to the Course!

Somehow, I thought this picture would be appropriate for your final exam...
 INTRO: So you’ve just finished this class, generically known as “General Humanities II.” In one sense, this means it “generally” addresses the second half of the required Humanities survey through various approaches/books. Of course, that seems like a very uninformative and uninspired way to describe a course; it would be like calling Star Wars “a general action movie concerning various battles on and around alien worlds loosely tied into Eastern religious beliefs.” The better you describe a course or film, the more people want to take or see it, and the better the audience understands the connections between the various plots, characters, and texts. Even in the world of literature, a good title can make or break a book, giving the reader a hint of the author’s intentions: Pride and Prejudice, The War of the Worlds, Candide, etc..

ASSIGNMENT: For your Final Exam paper, I want you to give this course a better—a proper!—name. It can be anything that suggests the underlying theme of the course according to you (and who better to know, since you’ve completed the course?). I then want you to write a 4-5 page essay that explains why this title is appropriate and explores the way some of the books in class support, expand, and challenge the title’s theme/ideas. In doing this, I want you to choose at least 3 of the books in class to use as examples: quote briefly from each book to show some of these themes in action, and what the prospective student might look for in each one. You can also suggest other books that might go well with this theme that we didn’t read this semester, but might in the future. Consider this essay an “Introduction” to the class that would help a student know what he/she was getting into, and perhaps, function as a trail of bread crumbs through the course itself. But remember, it all starts with the title—so choose something that captures some essential element or perspective of the course.

  • 4-5 pages double spaced
  • Use at least 3 of the books from class: quote, briefly discuss, etc. (but no need to tell us the stories or summarize the plot—this isn’t Spark Notes)
  • Be sure to cite quotes correctly (see former handout about this): introduce quotes, provide page numbers, and include a Works Cited page at the end
  • Due by our Final Exam day: Friday, May 5th by 5pm (no late papers accepted!)

Good luck! And who knows, your course title may become the new name of the course (I’ve been trying to get it changed for years).

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