Student Teacher


As we continue with poetry, we will look closely at one poem, “Musee des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden, and two articles of literary criticism. This week’s unit will give you practice analyzing a poem as well as literary criticism about a poem.Literary criticism does not mean other writers are criticizing Auden’s work. Instead, scholars are critically analyzing his poem. Just like the papers you have been writing all semester, there are scholars who read and analyze literature, who write critical analysis essays about that literature. These writers read each other’s analyses and sometimes agree and sometimes argue about the meaning of a work. In this way, writers are in conversation with one another about the work. By writing this multi-source (research) paper, you will be joining that conversation.For your journal you’ll write brief summaries of Auden’s poem and each essay of literary criticism.Next, you will access the library database so that you can find literary criticism on the poem you chose for your research paper. You will type in the title of your poem into the databases in the link provided: “Access Library databases.” The databases you need are all conveniently located in this link. Scroll down to where it says “Start Here to find Literary Criticism” and use the database links provided:  Literary Resource Center, Literature Reference Center, Bloom Literature.*There is also a research tutorial toward the end of this week's unit with a couple of short videos which discuss literary research and how to access the database.It is important to acknowledge that research takes time. There's a lot of surfing around and reading and weeding through until you find sources that will pertain to your argument. Patience and time management will be needed to write a research paper. The idea of writing a longer, multi-sourced paper should not overwhelm you if you remember Bird by Bird. One step at a time. Remember to print off articles you know you'll use. Read with a pen in hand. Annotate. Let's use the steps we have been practicing. Use the page as a place to think. Freewrite. Don't worry about writing paragraphs initially. Just get some ideas down.A note about Literary Criticism: Sometimes literary criticism is challenging reading. One of these articles is easier to understand than the other. Print off both articles. They are short. Use a pen to underline important ideas and write in the margin what you do understand. Keep moving forward, reading the article, even if you don't understand all it is saying. You will get to parts that you do understand. Underline and write key concepts in the margins. If you go back and reread again, you will understand more than you did the first time. It is okay if you still don't understand everything, but just like with the writing in the zones exercise, you can focus in on the key ideas you do understand :)There is a link called “How to Use Literary Criticism in your Research Paper.” It lays out (in step by step fashion) how to incorporate the ideas of others alongside what you are saying about the poem. As you begin writing your research paper, you can use ideas from your Writing in the Zones exercise or Essay 3, though you will probably change your thesis along the way as you start doing research.
Literature, Composition and Rhetoric
Community College / Lower Division
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