Topics for the Critical Paper #1
ENG 222, Summer I 1999
N.B. The due date for this paper is June 16.

Directions:  These papers should be 5-7 pages in length (typed, double-spaced) and should make a persuasive argument for your thesis and cite enough evidence to support your claims. Remember: these are only topics. You will need to find an issue worth arguing that is related to the topic you choose.  If you can frame that issue as a question, your thesis can be the general answer to that question.  You may email any of us with sample thesis statements if you wish to receive some feedback before you write your papers.

You should clearly identify by number at the top of the first page which topic you have chosen and ensure that all the pages of your paper are numbered except for page 1. Cite page numbers in the novel and line number for the poetry in parentheses in the body of your paper. We will assume that you are citing the editions of the books we have ordered for this class. If you make use of any secondary sources including online sources you must give full citations on your Works Cited page.  If you are unsure about the format for online citations, go to the MLA Format and Citation Guide which is available through our online course syllabus.

These papers will be judged according to four main criteria: does the paper have a thesis which is interesting and not obvious to anyone who has read the literary work under discussion? does the paper prove its thesis with enough evidence from the literary work under discussion? does the paper show an ability on the writer's part to appreciate that literary language works on both connotative and denotative levels? is the paper logically organized, gracefully-written, and largely free of mechanical errors?  For a more comprehensive statement of the grading criteria, see the link on the online syllabus.

1)  Playing god:  Coleridge and Shelley.

2)  The origin of acts:  Coleridge.

3)  Wordsworth’s conception of history.

4)  Mary Shelley and the Noble Savage.

5)  Tale-telling as anti-social act:  Coleridge and Mary Shelley.

6)  The illusion of moral order.

7)  Incest and Frankenstein..

8)  Making and raising monsters.

9)  Death and Pleasure:  Keats.

10)  The problem of temporality:  Keats.

11)  To be human is to be melancholy:  Keats and Wordsworth.

12)  Sexuality and isolation.