Draft Due Date: October 26 (5%)
Final Revisions Due: November 9 (15%)
Description: The Art of the One Liner
Using ONE of the texts we've read thus far: The Alcatraz Proclamation to the Great White Father and His People, Escape From Alcatraz (film), Escape from Alcatraz (book), Howl and Other Poems, The Birdman of Alcatraz) choose ONE line out of the text to conduct a close reading that emphasizes one or two of the types of close readings (linguistic, semantic, structural, and/or cultural readings) that you've practiced in class and in your previous two essays.
You may choose any one line that you see fit, as long as it is 25 words or less. Your primary goal in this essay is to construct an argument about the representation of Alcatraz, using your line as a starting point for analysis.
Also, in choosing your line, look for examples that speak to some of the themes we've discussed in class, examples may include: style and structure, justice and injustice, violence, freedom, torture, incarceration, space and place, gender, masculinity, race, land, narrative framing, to name only a few. Finally, keep in mind these questions to help guide your selection: "How is Alcatraz related/depicted/described in this line?" and "Why is this depiction interesting or worth writing about?"
Your essay must have a clearly stated thesis: don’t be afraid to telegraph this statement by including language like: “This essay argues/examines __________."
Your essay will be evaluated on the clarity or your argument, the soundness of your evidence (which can make reference other lines from you text!), and how well you use the close reading techniques we've discussed in class. Be judicious in your choices, and make sure to select a line you can adequately analyze in 3-4 pages.
This essay should be in 11 or 12 pt Times New Roman font, with conventional margins. For other questions regarding stylistics or formatting, consult the link to Duke University’s MLA Style Guide on the course blog.
For any other questions, please email me.