“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien Throughout this course, you have learned to develop a literary, critical voice in analyzing prose fiction, poetry, and drama. The literary, critical essays you have written thus far demonstrate your engagement with the texts beyond rudimentary basics to inquiries of critical, social, and historical significance discernible in the texts, with the underlying assumption that literature can be both a reflection of and response to contemporary time. These critical essays you have written did not require research since your exploration and interpretation of the texts were of primary importance.
The next step in the process of your critical development requires that you step outside of yourself and learn of the conversations other people have been having about various literary texts. Many of these conversations have generated valuable debates and ideas about specific texts that have enhanced our understanding of them. People who have made significant scholarly contributions to the studies of literature, while incredibly intelligent on their own merit, have been able to do so by virtue of exchange of ideas and the intellectual stimulation and inspiration that often come from it. As such this research project aims to broaden your critical perspective and advance your analytical skills by asking that you insert yourself in a preexisting literary conversation and make an original contribution.
You will have an original thesis (by original I mean something that you have come up with on your own and not plagiarized), but you will also integrate into your paper what other people have said about your chosen text in relation to your thesis. Considering what people have said about your text will allow you to “see” more in the text than you might on your own and help you to build new ideas upon old ideas.
Pre-Written Pages: 3
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