This is the guidlines for the essay. My topic for the essay was to look for and make observations and analytical assertions about quotes in Song of Solomon about the bible and fairy tales.
Introduction (Paragraph 1): Begin your essay with a discussion of a brief quotation from Song of Solomon that relates in some vital way to your assigned topic and that reveals something surprising or problematic or interesting about the novel’s view of a major topic of your choosing. Your discussion of this moment should include close attention to language and context. The quotation you choose should be a complicated moment in the book, one that gives rise to a problem, an ambiguity, a reason for a paper. Then, use your assertion about your first example to consider a larger complexity in the novel. Mentioning specific examples you will later investigate in your essay, explain the larger complexity or problem. Your discussion of this tension should lead you to a question that invites your reader to consider what the novel suggests about a larger topic. Your final question should be in the following format: What does Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon suggest about [big topic]? Keep your big question simple! Don’t hide or telegraph an answer in your question! Don’t start the question with “how.” Don’t ask an either/or or a yes/no question. You might choose to put some smaller preliminary questions before your big question. These preliminary questions should be provocative and can be either/or questions or questions that begin with “how.” But let your last question be big and idea-inviting.
Paragraphs 2 & 3 (You may write more body paragraphs): For each of these paragraphs, choose a pair or trio of passages from Song of Solomon that enable you to answer your first paragraph’s big question. Make sure that you contextualize whatever quotations you select and make close observations about specific uses of language. Your body paragraphs should end in clear statements, derived from the close reading you’ve done in each paragraph, that directly address your big question. These statements should be different from each other. It is essential that a paragraph’s end statement somehow reflect the most specific and interesting observations made in that paragraph – don’t lapse into overly general observations, and don’t leave out any of the examples of that paragraph.
Final Paragraph: Discuss the relationship between the findings of your several body paragraphs. What larger idea about Song of Solomon’s view of a major topic emerges? Given what you’ve discovered, consider what it means that the novel would employ the image or idea pattern that you’ve investigated. In order to answer this question, you may need to bring in some new passage, not necessarily directly about your topic, from elsewhere in the narrative. Your final statements should directly address the question you presented in the opening paragraph but it should also use your findings to form a larger statement about a major topic in the novel. Your final paragraph must not merely list the findings of the earlier paragraphs, but the new idea you present must clearly emerge from your earlier findings. Here are some further strategies that might help lead you into a more far-reaching final idea statement: –Consider what you’ve shown in your body paragraphs and then consider the ending of the novel and its major plot points. Does the ending make sense in some new way? –Consider what you’ve shown in your body paragraphs and then consider the ideas and questions raised by the novel that most interested you as you read. Do you see those questions differently now? Any new answers? –Consider what you’ve shown in your body paragraphs and then try to remember something that didn’t make sense to you when you were reading the novel. Does it make sense now? –Consider what you’ve shown in your body paragraphs and then, in an almost meditative state, consider
your own worldview. Is there anything about the world, about yourself, about your sense of community, nation, identity, relationships that you feel differently about now after having read and thought about this novel?
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