Essay 3: Othello Literary Criticism Essay Assignment.
In a literary criticism essay, the writer evaluates a component of literature, sometimes assigned by an instructor, and other times identified by the writer himself/herself. Because there are experts who make a living off of analyzing and publishing their evaluations, literary criticism is not limited to the author’s viewpoints; it incorporates citations from experts, often in conjunction with quotations from the literature itself. The purpose of including expert criticism is to enhance your ideas with those of the experts. You’ve been doing this integration of experts in both essays you’ve written thus far, so that’s fantastic!
Research requirement: For this essay, you will need to include both expert criticism and the text itself as support for your own ideas. You will need at least 4 outside sources, 2 must be scholarly sources from peer reviewed journals. You can, of course, choose to bring in more research.
Page length requirement: For your 7.5-8 page essay, you will choose one of the prompts below.
New essay questions. Only choose 1:
Who is the most oppressed character in Othello? Suggested organization:
Body 1: X character is oppressed for this reason.
Body 2: X character is oppressed for this other reason.
Body 3: X character is oppressed for this other reason.
Body 4: X character is oppressed for this other reason.
Body 5: X character is more oppressed than Y character for this reason.
Body 6: X character is more oppressed than Y character for this reason.
Optional Body 7: X character is more oppressed than Y character for this reason.
*Y character can be one character or different characters.
Is Othello, the general, truly oppressed? If so, how? If not, why not? Yes and no is an acceptable answer as well.
Can love exist in the world of Othello?
Things to remember!
Don’t try to come up with the one “right” interpretation but do present a logical justification for why your understanding of the text is reasonable.
Assume your reader is already familiar with the play; therefore, you don’t need to summarize the text to inform your reader of what it is about. Only use a brief summary in your introduction.
Always follow a quote or paraphrase with either an explanation or an analysis.
Criteria for Success:
An introduction in which you briefly describe the text in a way that engages and orients your reader
A unified thesis statement that clearly expresses the unifying argument you will develop in your minimum 6 body paragraphs.
Well-developed paragraphs with clear topic sentences, all of which build your unified thesis.
Lots of textual support (quotations and/or paraphrases and/or hybrid presentations) through correct use of MLA citation.
For this paper, you will need to quote or paraphrase evidence from Othello to support your arguments. Quote or paraphrase as much as you need to. But be sure to explain the relevance of what you quote or paraphrase. Don’t assume your reader will understand how the textual evidence you provide supports your points. Explain to your reader how the evidence supports your points.
Lots of commentary within your body paragraphs which clarifies the significance of your examples (i.e. quotations). Explain explanatory quotes and analyze quotes that serve as proof of your points.
A conclusion with a powerful meaning making.
A correctly formatted MLA-style Works Cited
Use present tense verbs throughout the essay.
Evidence of careful proofreading (no more than three errors per page).
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