University of South Florida Bell Jar Book by Sylvia Plath Paper The book you need to write about is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Harper Perennial Modern

University of South Florida Bell Jar Book by Sylvia Plath Paper The book you need to write about is

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Harper Perennial Modern Classics edition), ISBN-13: 978-0060837020

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University of South Florida Bell Jar Book by Sylvia Plath Paper The book you need to write about is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Harper Perennial Modern
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The assignment explanation is attached in a word file Literary Analysis Assignment
The Assignment
The culminating assignment for the semester is the literary analysis, which will require you to think
critically about any of the text(s) we’ve read for the course, to make an argument based on your
interpretations and ideas, and to support your claims with evidence from that text (i.e., quotations
pulled from the text, not just allusions to the text). You should pick a critical approach to give a
useful perspective for thinking and writing critically. For instance, you may analyze a text in terms of
the author’s context (biographical criticism) or in terms of historical context (historical criticism) or
in terms of a cultural context (cultural criticism). Because the course theme is mental health, many of
you may want to focus on psychological approaches, as we have elaborated upon in class. There are
other approaches, too, which you may approve in conversation with me.
For any of these approaches—biographical, historical, cultural, psychological, etc.—you will have to
depend on at least one outside source to contextualize your argument. For example, if you’re writing
on The Bell Jar, this could be a biography of Plath, a history of the Rosenberg trials, or a guide to
trauma theory. These source(s) should be cited just like the literary text.
Samples of biographical, historical, and psychological criticism are available for download under the
Assignments section for this particular assignment on Canvas. Ideally, these samples would be
undergraduate work from this same course; however, as this is my first time teaching this particular
course, I don’t have samples to give you. In lieu of that, and with great hesitation, I am providing
samples of my own very early work from my senior year of undergrad and my early years of graduate
school, as well as one published article that employs biographical criticism. I hesitate because these
pieces are much longer than those you will be writing, and they sometimes refer to other critics,
which you do not have to do. Additionally, asking students to read my own work is generally not
something I am comfortable doing—yet most of this work is so early that I don’t feel too much
shame in that. More details about these samples are available under the Assignments section on
Another reminder on theses: Remember that the most common practice is to write one’s way into
one’s thesis, not to have it all worked out ahead of time. Like in a science experiment, you may well
have a hypothesis that your writing process leads you to “prove” or “disprove.” If you write your
way into your thesis at the end of your paper, like so many of us tend to do, you then need to revise
your paper to bring this thesis to the forefront and then re-organize the rest of your essay around it.
Yes, this takes more work! Yes, it’s also necessary!
The Revision Process
Speaking of revision: you will be writing two drafts of this paper. Only your final draft will be
scored; however, you will be penalized for not turning in a full first draft. That is, your first draft
must meet the word count and read as a complete essay.
You will be responsible for peer reviewing two of your classmates’ papers, and this part of the
process factors into your grade. I will assign the groups and post them on Canvas as an
announcement on the Thursday before first drafts are due. After uploading your paper to the
Assignments section by Nov. 24, you are to send it as an attachment in Canvas to your two peers
and provide feedback for them using the Comments feature (and the Track Changes feature, if you
so desire) of Word. You must also send your feedback for them to me. Feedback should not consist
of just grammatical and syntactical corrections, but concerns related to your peers’ theses,
interpretations of the text, and use of textual evidence. You should use the rubric provided in the
Assignments section of Canvas when performing peer review.
Failure to perform peer review by class time on Dec. 4 will result in a 10% deduction from your final
paper grade; failure to do it at all will result in a 20% deduction from your final grade. The peer
review process is critical for this assignment.
My comments on your draft will also be returned to you on Dec. 4. These comments will be
extensive, and I expect you to take both these and your peers’ comments into consideration during
the week you have to revise your paper.
Word count: 1,000-2,000 words
Percentage of course grade: 20% (200 points)
Margins: 1” all around
Spacing: Double
Font: Times New Roman or Garamond, size 12
Citation style: MLA
If you don’t remember how to do MLA citations, the Purdue OWL is a very helpful
Please do not email me for help with citations.
Your paper needs to be turned into Canvas. No hard copy is necessary.

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