English 210
Dr. Campbell
Paper 2

Deadline: November 1, 2011. Paper versions are due in class; electronic versions should be uploaded to Angel by 9 p.m.
Length: Length 3-4 typed, double-spaced pages (750-1000 words, but can be longer if you wish)

Paper 2 does not require secondary sources, although you should have a clear thesis and good development of your arguments. Here are some guidelines for you to follow:

1. Content is very important, but good organization, sentence structure, and editing skills are also important. Citations and the Works Cited page should follow MLA format.

2. Guidelines for turning in papers in this class are here: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/format.htm. You also have that page in paper format; it's attached to the revised syllabus. Please read those guidelines carefully and also the comments on Paper 1 before turning in your paper.

3. Remember, you can take the draft of your paper to the WSU Writing Center (http://universitycollege.wsu.edu/units/writingprogram/units/writingcenter/undergrad/) before turning it in for a free consultation with a tutor. This is especially useful if there were grammatical errors such as comma splices, fragments, awkward phrasing, and so on in your first paper.

The following are suggestions for possible topics for your paper, but you can also develop your own topic in consultation with me or with your discussion leaders. Most of them ask you to compare and contrast at least two pieces of writing. These topics are quite general; it's expected that you will narrow the topic when you write your paper.

For all of these options, you are welcome to use one work we've read and one work we haven't read, if you like; that may give you more scope for new analysis. For example, if you are working with "The Ice Palace," you might want to read another F. Scott Fitzgerald story such as "The Jelly Bean," which has the same characters, or "Winter Dreams" with The Great Gatsby or "The Rich Boy."

1. Your own topic. Please check with me (via email or by stopping by my office hours) about your topic. The only firm requirement is that you must discuss at least one of the works we’ve read in class.

2. We've read a number of works from the early twentieth century in this segment that have shown changing attitudes toward sex and courtship, and more generally the roles of men and women, from those of the nineteenth century. Using at least two stories or poems, analyze this shift in attitude and--equally important--the ways in which these authors portray the shift. (Or compare two characters with this in mind.)

3. Explore the ways in which one or two poets (McKay, Millay, or Frost, for example) use conventional and tightly organized forms such as the sonnet to express strong and disruptive emotions, such as rage at racial or sexual injustice, passion, fear of death or meaninglessness, and so on. What would be the advantages of using such a form to express strong emotion?

4. Choosing one of the stories we've read in class, analyze it in the context of a story on a similar topic that you found in one of the magazines we discussed on Laptop Day: Vanity Fair, The Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker, The American Mercury, and so on. You'll need to go back to the library and look through a volume or two to decide what to discuss.

5. Compare the poems we read by Claude McKay with some of his dialect poetry, such as that in Constab Ballads.

6. Analyze some of the forms of humor in this segment (Thurber, Parker O'Connor, works you may have found in the magazines) with those of the nineteenth century (Mark Twain or humor from 19th-century periodicals). Is there a change? If so, what is it, and what does it say about the era in which it was published?

7. Think about another theme, motif, or technique that you've noticed in the class and write a paper about it. Some suggestions: the connection between romantic desire and money (as in Fitzgerald); the success (or failure) of the American dream; travel and rootlessness; the short story in dialogue form; violence in and beyond nature; and so on.