Essay Two Assignment

DescriptionEnglish 106 – Essay Two Assignment


Prepare to write an analysis of a literary element’s significance in a work of poetry, short fiction, drama, or in the novel. This is the same type of essay as in the first assignment. In doing so, locate six sources of literary scholarship and use them to compose an Annotated Bibliography. Compose the essay, supporting your claim with evidence from the text. Along the way, cite at least two of your expert sources. Use them for background, support, or as points to contest.


Any work assigned as reading, including all short fiction, poetry, the two plays, and the novel.

Annotated Bibliography:

An Annotated Bibliography is a research tool, gathering basic information about sources relevant to a chosen research topic. Here, that’s the work you’re studying.

Bibliographies in MLA all follow the same rules: double spacing, hanging indents, alphabetized source lists, and so on. Review requirements as needed. Remember that annotations follow the hanging indent rule, and thus begin immediately under indented lines of the citation itself.

**Caution: While interdisciplinary scholarship can inform literary studies in many cases outside our course, the focus of this assignment is to access literary scholarship for its added insight and expertise, so research or publications in other fields shouldn’t be a focus. For example, a student writing about Slaughterhouse-Five would seek articles in literary journals about the novel, or about Vonnegut’s themes in other works. On the other hand, articles from science journals about firebombing, or from medical journals on PTSD, will not serve the assignment.

Advice on Finding Sources: To find good sources, search the LCCC databases, and seek sources from professional journals and scholarly publications (book-length treatments). Most users will be EBSCO, Proquest, Project Muse, and the two literature databases (though be careful – these can link to encyclopedia-style general entries, which are not useful for the project). NY Times Book Reviews can also be problematic.

**Even more useful will be the reference librarians’ assistance. Seek it if you have difficulty.

Do Not Use as Sources:

Sparknotes (and other similar sites), websites, student publications, or .edu study guides.


The essay should develop and support a claim about the role or significance of a literary element in the work’s ideas. Claims should be supported with plentiful text evidence, cited with MLA in-text citations. Two outside sources should be cited in a useful way.


-The essay should fall in the range of 1350-1850 words. This typically means five to seven pages, but the word count is easily reviewed in Word.

-The essay must include a Works Cited page including all cited work. (**This is in addition to the Annotated Bibliography.**)

-Format the essay according to MLA rules, including the header and title.

-All essays require their own distinct, attention-getting title – the name of the subject work will not suffice.

-Compose the Essay in Word or Word-convertible software. Submissions not in Word will not be graded.

-Title and format your essay according to MLA rules.

*** Among other things, this means students will be required to manually prevent Word from adding extra spaces between paragraphs. This is accomplished in “Page Layout,” under “Spacing After,” which should be zero.

The End Result:

Submit a Word file containing an Annotated Bibliography on page one, followed on its own new page by the essay, which must include its own Works Cited as the last page.

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