English 126, Composition II: Writing about Literature

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English 126Paper #2: ConnectionsTask: For this paper, you will be drawing connections between two texts in order to discuss howthe second one alters some key theme or element of the first text.Your paper should be four-to-five pages (1000-1250 words) and should tackle a specificcharacter or theme for comparison, showing how one text reworks the other. Pay close attentionto the differences between the texts—in language, characterization, and plot—to discuss howeach imagines and interprets the actions and events.Stick to one character or key theme. Do not attempt to connect every aspect of the two texts youhave chosen to work with.Pairs of texts to choose from:“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Case of the Speckled Band”“The Purloined Letter” and “A Scandal in Bohemia”“A Scandal in Bohemia” and “A Scandal in Belgravia”“Adventure of Silver Blaze” and “The Marchioness”In drawing your connections, you must also determine why the re-workings are significant.Focus on how the changes in the second text rewrite some element of the first text. Think aboutthese questions:What do the changes tell us?How do they alter our understanding of the character and the plot?How does that rewriting change the larger story or our understanding of it?Structure: Your paper should be five to eight paragraphs long with an introduction, body andconclusion as follows:Introduction: This should provide the context for your thesis and should introduce the texts, theauthors, and the character or theme you will be discussing. End with your thesis. (See below forspecific instructions on the thesis.)Body paragraphs: Each body paragraph should identify and address a specific point ofconnection that relates to both texts. Your body paragraphs should follow this structure:Topic sentence identifying the point of connectionDiscussion of the first text on that point, with a quotation and analysisTransition (this may be a phrase or an entire sentence).Discussion of the second text on that point, with a quotation and analysis.Wrap-up analysis identifying what the reader should take away from this paragraphIdeally, each paragraph should include examples from both texts illustrating the point ofconnection. However, if the paragraph becomes too unwieldy and you feel you must split it in
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