Close reading

“Engaging with Criticism “

•Goals: Engaging with others’ critiques of literature is a central activity of literary criticism. The goal of this exercise is to encourage you to begin thinking about how an example of such scholarship begins to lay out its argument in a way that also contributes to your own development of an academic writing skill.

•Step 1: Reread E. E. Snyder’s “Moreau and the Monstrous” article from last week. Your goal at this stage should be to become aware of the main argument offered in the essay. Pay particular attention to the introductory paragraph(s), the first lines of each paragraph following, and continued use of key terms from the thesis. What are the central issues the writer addresses in this argument? How does this argument develop (perhaps becoming more nuanced) over the course of the essay? Where does the author make their major claims and subclaims? What evidence does the author use? Are there close readings of the novel in this article? If so, what do they look like and how has the author included analysis of the novel’s language?

•Step 2: Write an analysis of a minimum of 350 words and a maximum of 500 words (this is a firm length limit) that focuses on what the general argument of the essay is (focus on the essay—be careful not to summarize Wells’s novel instead!). Conclude by describing how reading this essay affected your understanding of The Island of Doctor Moreau. Be specific by providing textual evidence from the novel that links with the article.

•Step 3: After writing and revising your analysis, give this assignment a descriptive academic title that provides a hook, key terms, and identifies a source. Do not make reference to this assignment or this class in the title. The title should be above your analysis, separated by a blank line, and centered on the page. It should capitalize any nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs used.

•Step 4:One blank line below the word count, provide a correctly-formatted MLA-style citation for the essay. Note: if you use a citation generator, they almost always introduce errors. Refer to the Purdue OWL template (linked below in the Resources section) for what a correctly-formatted citation should look like, so that you can submit a correctly-formatted citation.

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