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Home » People » Karl Sherlock » English 120 » Resources » topx | Essay 3 Invention

Essay 3 Topic Invention: Face the Wall

The following activities will help you to explore, organize and develop further your topic for Assignment 3.  Meanwhile, a sign-up sheet for conferences will be passed around while you are in groups. Don't forget to put your name down for a day and time next week to discuss your working draft in my office, and keep a record of it for yourself. (The conference schedule will also be posted securely to the course website.)    
Working in groups of three, discuss and (most importantly) record your notes on the following topics.

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I. Precis and Introductions
One at a time, read your precise to the members of your group and discuss
  • how the thesis specifically answers the demands of this assignment;
  • what literary theme will be used or developed in the body of the essay, based on clues in the the thesis.
II. Topics, Thesis and Issues
  1. Discuss one at a time why you chose the specific literary work (or film) to discuss in this assignment, and what makes your topics similar (or different) in their use of the "wall" theme.

  2. After everyone has had a chance to answer the first question, one at a time summarize then brainstorm with your peers your intended outline of points in the body of your essay. (If you have no idea what you're going to write, then brainstorm that with your peers, instead.)  

  3. Discuss how each of you will (or should) successfully write a critical essay, instead of a review.  Point to specific arguments and strategies you will use.

III. Support and Sources

Which textual support will each of you draw from the authors' works in your essay, and why?  Discuss your answers to the following:

  1. How will this textual support help to develop your literary analysis?

  2. What sorts of external academic or scholarly sources do you and your peers intend to use for your topic, and why?  Which specific intellectual aspects of your topic do they address?  (Remember, this question is about the scholarly ideas of your paper, and not about what you quote from the poems, stories, or films.) 

IV. At home...

Use your notes from today's discussion to refine your topic, outline its major points, and draft a working draft of the essay for next week's conferences.

Do not--I repeat, DO NOT!!!--wait to hear from me about your topic; you MUST produce an actual working draft.  Also, don't neglect to bring a proper MLA-style Works Cited page.

Last Updated: 04/02/2017


Karl J. Sherlock
Associate Professor, English
Office Hours: 558A (inside Bldg. 52)
Phone: 619-644-7871

  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District