Copy of chosen
criticism due Wed., Oct 6, at the midterm
Review due by or before NOON on Friday, November 12, in folder on Tompkins 270 or as an attached file sent in email
Graded, worth 15% of final grade
Length: 5 pages, inclusive of Works Cited.
For Wed., Oct. 6
Choose a single published scholarly essay, preferably published no
1990, from an academic journal or
book chapter (or section) directly about any of the works we've read or
will read that you wish to understand further.
Make two copies of this published work, one on paper or as file for you, and one on paper or as a file for me.
For Friday, Nov. 12
Read the published work carefully, taking notes about its argument. Where do you agree with it? why? where do you disagree? why?
Write a 5-page critical appraisal of the essay, noting how well it succeeds or fails at explaining and illuminating the work (or works) of eighteenth-century literature you chose, as based on your own understanding of what is important and interesting to know about that literary text. By all means consider the language and readability of the published piece, who its target audience seems to be, and if it is helpful to students like yourself. Just because it's published doesn't mean that it's necessarily better than you can do. Your job in this critical review is two-fold: you need to show that you understand and can summarize the complete argument of the published text, and that you can offer informed opinion about its quality as an interpretation and a piece of writing.
The professional version of this assignment is the academic review, definitely a current genre with some constant (though not necessarily agreeable) traits. To see how the pros do it, go to the book reviews section of any of the journals listed below.
Recommended academic journals for 18th-Century Studies:
The Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation
Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 (SEL)
English Literary History (ELH)
Recommended Books for Chapters: see 18C Genre page
How to cite an academic article or book chapter in MLA form for a Works Cited bibliography :
Formula for an article:
"Pamela as Fetish: Masculine Anxiety
Fielding's Shamela and James Parry's The True Anti-Pamela." Studies in Eighteenth-Century
22 (1992): 37-49. Print.
Note hanging indent of 2nd and subsequent lines. First line is flush left.
Note that any novel title is in italics within the quotation marks for the article title.
There is no punctuation between the journal title and the volume number.
Any works cited entry ends in a final period.
If the article is in an online periodical: replicate the complete print entry formula, but then 1) if the online version has page numbers, after the inclusive page numbers and period put the name of the hosting site, in italics (e.g. Project Muse, or JSTOR), then the word web for medium, then the date you accessed it, MLA no longer requires the full url (universal resource locator) within angle brackets < >.
Tolson, Nancy. “Making Books Available: The Role of Early Libraries, Librarians, and Booksellers in the Promotion of African American Children’s Literature.” African American Review 32 (1998): 9-16. JSTOR. Web. 3 April 2008.
A book chapter, formula:
First name. “Title of Chapter.” Title of Book in Italics.
Place of publication: Press, year. Inclusive
pages of chapter. Medium.
Mild Empire: the Rise of Women’s Writing.” The
Rise of the Woman Novelist: From Aphra Behn to Jane Austen. Print.
If it’s a
collection of edited essays, after
title’s period put title of collection; then after title of collection
then Editor’s full name. The place of publication, press, date,
Grundy, Isobel. "Against Beauty:
Eighteenth-Century Fiction Writers Confront the Problem of Woman-as-Sign." ReImagining Women: Representations of Women in Culture. Ed. Shirley Neuman and Glennis Stephenson.