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Choose one fairy tale to focus on.
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This assignment asks you to write a thesis-driven interpretation about an assigned text, guided by an analysis of key genre conventions and complemented by secondary sources.
Your argument should define your assigned text as an example of a specific genre according to one or more key conventions present in this text, and analyze how the text employs, reinterprets, or subverts those conventions in order to elicit a certain response from a particular discourse community, or address a relevant issue within that discourse community.
Because form and content are inextricable, your analysis should focus on the text’s language and stylistic choices, as well as its ideas or narrative. Secondary sources should be used to provide context and background information, and to engage with other people’s arguments about the text or genre.
Rhetorical Situation: Your audience for this essay is the academic discourse community including your instructor and your peers, with whom you will workshop and collaborate as you develop your ideas. Beyond demonstrating your critical reading and academic writing skills to your instructor, your purpose in writing this essay is to contribute meaningfully to the ongoing class discussion of genre, rhetorical situation, and your assigned texts.
Length: 1500-1800 words, typed, double-spaced, and formatted in MLA style.
Sources: A minimum of two (2) secondary sources, not including the primary text, must be used to develop the essay. At least one of these sources should present a complex argument that contributes significantly to the essay’s thesis. Sources may be academic or non-academic, and a works cited page is required as part of the final draft.
Process: Multiple drafts, peer review, and substantive revision are required elements of this assignment. Missing or incomplete drafts and other process work will result in a grade penalty on the final draft, up to and including failure.
Tips and Advice
Your thesis should make an arguable claim (one that another well-informed person could reasonably disagree with) about your chosen fairy tale. Refer to the WR 50 chapter in the AGWR for additional information on the types of arguments you might make.
You won’t be able to discuss every single aspect of your chosen tale’s genre or rhetorical situation in only 1500-1800 words. You will need to choose specific genre conventions to connect to the tale’s audience and/or context.
Likewise, you probably won’t have enough space in 1500-1800 words to discuss more than one fairy tale. Choose ONE fairy tale to focus on.
You should use the critical essays included in our Norton edition and our Fairy Tale Bibliography for your required secondary sources. Refer to Chapter 3 “Citing and Integrating Sources” in the AGWR on how to cite sources properly in your RA.
Annotate your secondary sources in your Works Cited page. Each annotation should contain the following information, written in your own words:
A quick summary of the author’s main argument and key supporting evidence;
A few comments about how this source is prompting you to think about fairy tales in new or unexpected ways, or why you’re using this source in your GA essay;
A quick explanation of how you will use this source in/for your GA essay, or what purpose it serves in your argument.
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