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Critical Response Essay #3: Assignment Sheet

Assignment: You have several options for your third critical response paper; like the second essay, I am giving you the option of choosing your own question to answer for this essay. I recommend that you take this option as preparation and practice for the final essay.

Format: 3-5 pages (roughly 750-1500 words), with a title and a heading that includes the course number or title, your name, and the date; word-processed; double-spaced; font Times 12 point or similar; preferably laser-printed. [Please be aware that you'll get a better grade if you first develop your ideas fully, without feeling that you have to stop at a certain page or word limit, and then go back and condense, cut, and otherwise revise to be as concise and clear as possible. Don't let the page limit limit your exploration of ideas.]

Due: Monday, 4/19/99, in the envelope outside my office door (Fenton 240) by 7:00 pm.

Texts: Your paper must be on Beloved in some way.

Criteria for Evaluation: See the comments on the first and second critical response essays for qualities I look for in a paper.

Stats and Suggestions for Rewrites

Grade Distribution: A+=0, A=1, A-=3, B+=10, B=25, B-=7, C+=5, C=3, C-=5, D+=2, D=0, D-=0, E=1.

Options Chosen: #1: 16; #2: 0; #3: 13; #4: 26; #5: 7.

General Comments: We're seeing incremental improvement in the middle ranges, as evidenced by the ratio of Bs to B-s (25/7) this time (as opposed to 15/21 last time and 10/11 the time before). Many people have made steady improvements from grades in the C-range to grades in the B-range over the course of the semester. This is encouraging to me and should be to you. However, the number of papers that need serious work (C+ or below) stayed relatively steady from last essay to this one. And I encountered far fewer excellent papers than I expected to be receiving by this point in the semester--there's only been a slow rise from 11 to 13 to 14 at B+ or above on first drafts for each of the three critical response essays--which is quite troubling to me. So let me make a few suggestions as to how to get in the "excellent" range when you rewrite this essay, which should also give you ideas as you're entering the pre-writing stage for the final essay. And of course these suggestions are relevant for everyone, no matter what grades they've been receiving thus far in the semester. With sufficient time, effort, and concentration, anyone can write an A paper. Here are some ways of improving your odds of doing so in my course:

This advice should be applicable to any of the paper options you chose for this essay, as well as the "drafting" and "revising" stages of your final essay. The advice on the first two critical response essays still holds, of course, and, in fact, the CRE #2 page has suggestions about the writing process that should be of particular use as you're coming up with your topic for the final essay. Good luck with your rewrites and with your final essay. E-mail me or stop by my office if you want to discuss any aspect of the course or your writing.


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EN 209: Novels and Tales, Spring 1999
Created: 4/7/99, 9:13 am
Last modified: 5/3/99, 8:24 pm