I first wrote this paper two weeks ago only to receive a failing grade because I did not follow the class assignment. I felt that a personal response was to describe how and why I felt the way I did on a certain ARGUMENT in the story. I chose that the reader should not feel sympathy for the protagonist, Emily Grierson. I followed the basic format of writing a paper, pulling evidence from the text with my own commentary on the subject. I did not however say, I did not like this use of symbolism because "________________" or I did not like this story because "________________." To me that is like saying, thank you very much for noticing I did not read the story. My professor said that I humanized the character and that was not the point of the assignment. So now I am desperately trying to come up with what I am supposed to be writing my paper on, and a good thesis statement that I can write the rest of the story with. My professor suggested I ARGUE that Miss Emily is crazy, and pull evidence from the text but to me that doesn't seem any less human than what I did. Maybe I'm supposed to write about the political statement or something that the short story made? Talking to my Prof. is no help, I just don't understand her, or the point of the assignment, other than I am supposed to make an argument to get the reader of my paper to agree with me on by providing evidence from the text. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
This is the outline of the assignment if that helps:
Topic: Choose one short story from your textbook. You should look for a work that particularly interests you. It could be one that captures a feeling or expresses a theme you find compelling, or it could be a work you find unsatisfactory.
Guidelines: Read the handout "How to Write a Personal Response Paper" as well as the student response paper beginning on page 28 of your textbook. Determine your thesis. Carefully read and annotate the work you've chosen, looking for textual support for your thesis. Remember that a personal response essay is written in the rhetorical mode of argument/persuasion. You must formulate a claim (thesis) and use quoted evidence from the text to support that claim.
The first paragraph should be an interesting introduction that establishes your claim. Be sure to identify the title and author of the piece you are discussing. Remember-do not announce your purpose by saying something like "In this paper, I will show..." Your thesis statement may come anywhere in the introduction; however, it is often effective to make it the last sentence of your introduction.
A short summary of the story should follow so that the reader will be familiar with the ideas you will discuss, but the focus of the paper must be your argument. Each new idea requires a new paragraph and each paragraph must have a topic sentence. Your conclusion should be strong and not a summary of the points you have already made. Again, do not use an announcement such as "As you can see.." or "In this paper I have proved..."
Follow the MLA guidelines for parenthetical citations after all summarized, paraphrased and quoted material within your essay. See page H-104 in your textbook.
Your essay must be typed, double-spaced on one side of 8.5 x 11 inch white paper. Use a 12 point font and standard margins. Note correct first page format on page 28 of your textbook: your name, my name, ENGL 1023, and the date of submission. Double space from this heading and center your title (required) and then double-space and begin essay. Pages should be numbered.
Essays not following these guidelines will not be accepted.