literary essay on Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
Novel: Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
Be aware that you will be writing about a novel, which in its broadest sense is any extended fictional narrative almost always in prose, in which the representation of character is often the focus. Good authors use the elements of fiction, such as plot, theme, setting etc. purposefully, with a very clear goal in mind. One of the paths to literary analysis is to discover what the author’s purpose is with each of his choices. Avoid the problem that many students have, which is to hold the erroneous assumption that simply retelling what happened in detail is good enough (no, it is not). Plot summary is necessary, but not the intended goal in a literary essay.
In addition to being written at college level, your essay must meet the following criteria.
- Include an introduction with a clear thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
- Use specific supporting details from the book and at least two from outside sources.Go to the Miami Dade Databases (not Google) for your sources.
The following are not acceptable sources:
- Class Lecture Notes
- Study Guides (SparkNotes, Cliff Notes, BookRags etc.)
- Wikipedia/ Encyclopedias
- Popular Magazines (People, Glamour etc.)
- Popular information websites such as about.com or Ask.com
- Personal Blogs
Why not? Because for one, they are not original sources. Encyclopedias and textbooks are useful to provide an overview or introduction to a topic for complete beginners. These are meant to get you started on a subject. They are not research documents.Wikipedia: Many instructors forbid reference to Wikipedia at all. Some professors do allow its use, and the use of encyclopedias in general, but don’t do it. It’s generally reliable for checking routine facts and extremely specialized topics, but Wikipedia, actually all encyclopedias suffer from the problem that they are not a primary sources. Wikipedia has the added problem that although it is working on correcting errors, it still has weak quality control. It is susceptible to deliberate sabotage, vandalism, even censorship. So don’t use it if you’re not familiar enough with the subject matter to spot biases or errors, and don’t cite it in any academic paper at all.
- Use at least three quotes from the book.
- When citing your sources, use MLA style for literary essays. It is helpful to keep your handbook open to the MLA tab as you write.
- Minimum 750 words
- Language: This is a composition class — your writing and grammar count.
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