Critical essay about Their Eyes Were Watching God
Critical Essay Summary and Response
4-5 pages (Works Cited not included)
This assignment requires you to find a critical essay about Their Eyes Were Watching God,
summarize it, and respond to it with your own thoughts. Databases that will be most useful for your search include JSTOR, Academic Search Complete, and the MLA International Bibliography. Don’t be afraid to use our Interlibrary Loan resources and to check out book chapters as well as articles. If you have trouble locating sources, feel free to come and chat with me. At the top of your essay, create an MLA citation (8th edition) of your essay. Be sure to state which database you retrieved your essay from.
Here’s the information about how to cite an electronic article (taken from the Purdue OWL website):Citing An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service) Cite articles from online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. Thus, provide the title of the database italicized before the DOI or URL. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL instead. Provide the date of access if you wish.
Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. “Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater
Invertebrates.” Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley
Online Library, doi:10.1002/tox.20155.
Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical
Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest, doi:10.1017/S0018246X06005966.
Accessed 27 May 2009.
Pay attention to your verbs: use words besides states when summarizing what your critic alleges. Here’s a useful list:https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/files/2016/09/SynonymsForSaid-1yitpce.pdf NEVER use the word “says.”
The first part of your essay will summarize the article you have chosen; the summary must not exceed two pages. Remember that you cannot possibly relate all of the points the author has made; focus on the central argument and on claims that are most significant to us as participants in the discipline. In particular, you need to identify the controversy or problem that the author seeks to address. What is the author’s thesis, and how does he/she back up the claims in the article? In grading your paper, I look for a summary that is concise and clearly written.
The second part of your essay should contain your response and assessment of the author’s argument. You may choose to assess whether the evidence presented supports the author’s thesis, whether the author has considered alternative explanations for the same outcome, and/or whether the argument is internally consistent. Is the author correct in their claims, what might they have overlooked, and what else might still be accounted for in this discussion? Support your own arguments with evidence. Note that I weigh the response and critical discussion most heavily when grading the paper.
Be careful about voice when writing your essay. You should always make clear to the reader who is “speaking” in your paper – the published author or you as the essay respondent. This is usually not a problem in the part of the essay given over to summarizing the book, but ambiguity about the voice can be a source of confusion when you turn to the critical discussion. Please observe the standard formatting conventions.
Papers should be set in 12-point font,
double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides.
Print out a copy of the article and attach it to the essay you turn it with your essay. This article should be highlighted and marked up, indicating that you have engaged thoughtfully with the text while composing your response.
On Nov. 16th, you will bring a 1 page rough draft of your original essay, three discussion
questions springing from the critical article you have read, and a printed copy of the
critical essay you’re using. We will discuss the criticism you have located as a class we
conclude our discussion of Their Eyes Were Watching God. This is worth 10% of your summary and response grade.
Words to avoid because your instructor hates them: a lot, very, really, interesting, great, things
Also note that you should always seek to avoid passive voice in your writing. I will be grading your essay for style as well as content. For further information about passive voice, see here:
1.) Use correct MLA Bibliographic information at the top of the paper.
2.) Use correct MLA style throughout.
3.) Choose a peer-reviewed article from the library database.
4.) Summarize the essay in no more than two pages.
5.) Critically respond to that essay in two to three pages.
6.) Avoid passive voice, check for proofreading errors, and be aware of your writing style.
7.) Print out the original article, mark it up as you read and reread it, and attach it to your summary and response essay.
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