More on Course Assignments

Assignments for Twice-Told Tales:

PAPERS

Paper #1: This is a 3-5 page paper in which you apply the insights of a critic to a text—in this case, a short film.  Karen Rowe’s essay “Feminism and Fairy Tales” claims that fairy tales harm women by depicting them as passive and offering only a single path to development through heterosexual (and patriarchal) marriage. Does Tom Davenport’s short film, “Ashpet,” address Rowe’s objections to the traditional fairy tale? Ground your response in specific details from both Rowe’s analysis and from the film.

Draft due: Monday, 9/13 or Tuesday, 9/14

Revised draft due: Monday, 9/20 or Tuesday, 9/21

Your first draft should be a completed paper, with a central claim, supporting evidence, analysis of that evidence, and a brief conclusion. You will work through the draft with your Writing Consultant, make any necessary revisions, and turn in both your revised and original draft (with your Consultant’s commentary) one week later.

Paper #2: This is a 4-6 page paper in which you either compare and contrast two versions of “Cinderella” or analyze one version through the lens of one of the critics we have read so far.

A. For a comparison/contrast paper: select two Cinderella (or Cinderella-inspired) texts we have read in the course so far. Selecting key details from both texts, argue for the importance of their similarities/differences. That is, are both texts more similar, or more different? What do their similarities and differences mean?

[Example: a comparison/contrast of two versions of “Little Red Riding Hood” might make the following claim: In the Grimms’ version of “Little Red Riding Hood,” the title character is rescued by a passing woodsman, while in Perrault’s, she is killed and eaten by the wolf—end of story. This central difference—and others—suggests that the Grimms’ version is not a cautionary tale but a tale of female helplessness and, especially, patriarchal power, while Perrault’s more explicitly warns against sexual dangers.]

B. For a “critical lens” paper, choose one critic we’ve read and apply his/her insights to a text s/he does not address in the selected essay. Do his/her analysis and conclusions also apply to this text? This essay roughly follows the format of the first paper, but requires you to select both texts for consideration.

Draft due: Monday, 10/18 or Tuesday, 10/19

Revised draft due: Monday, 10/25 or Tuesday, 10/26

As with your first paper, your first draft should be a completed paper, with a central claim, supporting evidence, analysis of that evidence, and a brief conclusion. You will work through the draft with your Writing Consultant, make any necessary revisions, and turn in both your revised and original draft (with your Consultant’s commentary) one week later.

Paper #3: This is a 7-10 page research paper on any element of the Cinderella tradition that interests you. It will be completed in several stages. Completion of the library tutorial, attendance at the library workshop, and all the component parts listed below are required for the final paper: failure to complete any single part of the assignment by the relevant date will significantly affect your final grade.

Annotated Bibliography: Due Wednesday, 10/27 or Thursday, 10/28

An annotated bibliography is a brief listing of 4-6 articles or books you might consult for your final paper. Your annotation should note their relevance to an assigned text for the class, either an essay or a version of Cinderella. It should also note at least one significant claim made in the text. You may include up to two primary texts in your annotated bibliography: these should be versions of Cinderella, or references to the text, that we have not discussed so far in class. We will discuss how to develop a research question in class, and you will have ample time to come up with an interesting and workable topic

Paper proposal: Due Wednesday, 11/10 or Thursday, 11/11

Your paper proposal should be a 1-2 page exploration of your chosen topic, with a preliminary thesis and a brief analysis of some of your supporting evidence. If you like, you may also turn in an outline of your paper with the proposal.

Research Paper: Due Thursday, 12/9 by noon (in my mailbox)

The final draft of your research paper should set out the research question posed by your proposal, and answer it with evidence drawn from a variety of sources, both primary and secondary. Your paper should include a works cited list in MLA format (this is separate from the annotated bibliography), a title page, and appropriate in-text citations where relevant.  Please turn in your (marked) annotated bibliography and paper proposal with your final draft.

For more about your research paper, check here.

BLOG

The course blog is a place for us to post interesting resources and references to Cinderella that we find online and elsewhere. Each student must post at least once, and comment at least three times, on the course blog; dates will be announced in class.

PRESENTATION

During the last two weeks of class, we will hear presentations on your work in progress. Each student will prepare a 5-7 minute presentation on his/her work, which will be followed by a discussion period. Your responsibility as a presenter is to be clear and analytical; as an audience member, to be attentive and curious.

Your presentation should include the same elements as your proposal—a statement of your research question or claim, an indication of your approach, and evidence in support of your claim.  However, the presentation need not be quite so rigidly formatted as the proposal, and should focus primarily on either a demonstration that the research question is indeed a worthy one, or a more detailed analysis of some of the relevant evidence in support of the research claim.  Handouts and visual aids may be used where appropriate. (For example: if you plan to analyze a long quotation, it’s often better to provide it in a handout than to read it to your audience.)

You may either read a prepared paper or speak from notes, but in either case make sure that your presentation is clear and logically organized, and that you speak clearly and understandably.  (This may mean slowing down your normal speech pattern, for example.)

Be prepared to take questions on your research.