English 251Q: Major British Writers, Freshman Inquiry Class               Fall 2004

Winston 20  T, Th 11:20-12:35
Section 008
Dr. Morillo

First Paper Assignment

Length: 3 full pages double-spaced computer printed or typed; standard margins: top and bottom = 1 inch
right and left = 1.25 inches
Points: 5% of your final grade; pass/fail. turn it in on time and you pass
Due date: Tuesday, August 24, at the start of class

In order to later measure how your ability to interpret literature and think critically changes, I need an initial writing sample showing me how well you can read and argue already.  Consequently you have to write this short paper under somewhat challenging circumstances, before I have taught you anything in particular about poems, this poem, or how to argue about literature.  Although you will not be letter graded on it,  it does count toward your final grade and you should do as well as you can on it, because you do not want me to be starting with a sample of your work that is significantly worse than what you can actually do.

Get your copy of the text for this class. Read Byron's "She Walks in Beauty," and then write an interpretation of the importance of just one word, "aspect," to Byron's whole poem.  Look up the meanings of that word and explain in your 3-page essay which meanings are most relevant to understanding and appreciating the whole poem. Structure the paper however you see fit.

Your paper should be an argument not a plot summary or a paraphrase of the poem.  It needs to propose a thesis and then support the claims of that thesis with appropriate evidence from the poem.  Since the words in any poem are usually the most concrete and compelling evidence to use, be sure to look up any words you don't know in the Oxford English Dictionary online.  See syllabus for how to access that superior dictionary.

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