English 562
Eighteenth-Century Literature

Final Paper Assignment

Due Wednesday, April 29 printed out on paper, in the folder on my office door, at noon.
12-15 pages
, double-spaced typed/printed text.Standard margins (top & bottom 1" margins; right and left 1.25" margins).
If you have any other format questions, ask me

You will chose one of 3 options. Each option requires a brief proposal in which you formulate a preliminary question or thesis.

The proposal will be
2-3 pages, double-spaced typed/printed text. Standard margins (top & bottom 1" margins; right and left 1.25" margins). If you have any other format questions, ask me.

Options 1 and 2:
Your proposal should state a specific claim or raise a specific question about what you have found interesting in the array of primary texts.  Even though you've been provided the general topic to investigate, you still need to refine your specific plan for what you aim to argue in a paper of 12-15 pages. Your bibliography will include chosen primary texts and any additional secondary texts found useful.
Option 3:

Your proposal should articulate a research question about  eighteenth-century literature, having something to do with genre, and of particular nterest to you, workable in a paper of 12-15 pages. You should choose a topic that engages with some issue(s) relevant to the study of this literary-historical period.  In one or two pages pose a question, explain why you find it interesting, and propose a preliminary hypothesis about it.  Each proposal will end in a preliminary bibliography drawing on relevant works from the resource resources on the syllabus or works of your own selection.

The last page of your proposal will be your preliminary bibliography. Works will be listed alphabetically and  in proper MLA format for a Works Cited page. Please refer to the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers to learn how to cite works correctly in a bibliography.

Option one: Primary Textual & Historical Research on prose, tales, and tubs
The new availability online of full-text primary texts from the 17th and 18th centuries, books once limited to the dusty shelves of select archives, makes it far more possible now for graduate students to get a taste of doing some archival, primary work.  Here is your task:

Imagine you are out to convince an editor of a new critical edition of Swift's Tale whether it is important to discuss any or all of these texts as relevant to the cultural and literary contexts of Swift's Tale of a Tub:

Trepidantium malleus intrepidanter malleatus, or, The west-country wise-akers crack-brain'd reprimand (to a late book called Mr. Keith no Presbyterian, nor Quaker, but George the apostate) [electronic resource] : hammered about his own numscul being a joco-satyrical return to a late tale of a tub emitted by a reverend non-con at prsent residing not far from Bedlam
Author: W. C.
Published: 1696.
Format: eBook
Online: View resource online

A tale in a tub, or, A tub lecture [electronic resource] : as it was delivered by Mi-Heele Mendsoale, an inspired Brownist and a most upright translator in a meeting house neere Bedlam, the one and twentieth of December last, 1641
Author: Taylor, John, 1580-1653.
Published: 1642.
Format: eBook
Online: View resource online

A full and compleat answer against the writer of a late volume set forth [electronic resource] : entituled A tale in a tub, or, A tub lecture : with a vindication of that ridiculous name called roundheads : together with some excellent verses on the defacing of Cheapside crosse : also proving that it is far better to preach in a boat than in a tub
Author: Taylor, John, 1580-1653.
Published: 1642.
Format: eBook
Online: View resource online

A tale in a tub, or, A tub lecture [electronic resource] : as it was delivered by my-heele Mendsoale and inspired Brownist and a most upright translator : in a meeting house neere Bedlam the one and twentieth of December, last 1641
Author: Taylor, John, 1580-1653.
Published: 1641.
Format: eBook
Online: View resource online

All of these texts are archived in Early English Books Online (EEBO), one of many databases that have made it much easier for graduate students to get a taste of primary textual/historical research.

Your task:
Read each text online EEBO. Just as with reading Swift, you must sort out whether the text is straight or satiric, authoritative or crackpot, and if there's any history you need to know to interpret them well. Then construct an argument about whether these texts are relevant to understanding Swift's more famous Tub, and if they are, why they are. Be cautious about single-source claims of influence. You are likely dealing in probabilities, not certainties. You may wish to consider how to address the probability of whether Swfit knew these texts from the 1640s or not, how he would have had access to them, and what he would have thought of them.

If you need biographical information about people, go to the Dictionary of National Biography for all Britons, and to the Dictionary of Literary Biography vols. (neither is online, alas) for writers of more canonized literature.

Option Two: Primary Textual Research on poetry, the 18th-c Pindaric Ode

Using your close-reading skills and knowledge of a poetic genere create an argument about the importance of any or all of these archived poems, most anonymous, to understanding the 18th-century Pindaric ode:
A Pindarick Ode Humbly Offered to the Queen (1706) William Congreve
Apotheosis Basilike, or a Pindarick Ode (1701)
Reynardson, Francis An Ode to the Pretender (1713)
A Pindarick Upon the Death of Her Late Majesty (1714)
The Bostonian Prophet: An Heroi-Comico-Serious-Parodical Pindaric (1769)

Option Three.  Choose, propose and pursue your own research topic. 12-15 pages including Works Cited

Research Paper 12-15 pages.
Develop your proposal idea into a paper. Although 12-15 pages might seem long, it in fact is only enough to make a limited number of claims backed by sufficient evidence, and it is about half the length of the manuscript of a typical published essay.

Give yourself enough time revise and redraft ideas, and to proof your work with your eyes and brain, not just your spellchecker. As the key work in a professional program your papers are the main evidence for your professional skills, so show that you care about your work. The clearest mark of academic written work that is becoming professional is a correct and accurate bibliography and use of citation (MLA for this paper).

It is highly unlikely that your idea will be so blazingly original that nothing else is published on or close to it. Aim instead to complement and perhaps challenge the current state of knowledge by being informed enough by the thoughts of others while developing a sense of your own voice and style and its place in ongoing  collective debates about historical texts and contexts.

If you wish to venture beyond the syllabus, here are some other works and genres that may be of interest:

Essays, Periodical and Occasional Joseph Addison and Richard Steele: Tatler, Spectator; Eliza Haywood Female Spectator; Samuel Johnson Rambler, Henry MacKenzie The Lounger; David Hume Essays Moral and Political; Jane Collier Essay on Art of Ingeniously Tormenting

Literary Criticism: John Dennis, Advancement and Reformation of Modern Poetry; Pope Essay on Criticism; Pope Preface to Iliad; Addison on Milton (select Spectators); Johnson Preface to Shakespeare

Epic: Pope, Iliad; Cowper, Iliad; Pope, Fenton, Broome: Odyssey; Dryden, Aneid

Mock Epic Dryden MacFlecknoe, Pope Dunciad (1728, 1742)

Pastoral: Pope Pastorals; Ambrose Philips, Pastorals

Mock Pastoral John Gay Birth of the Squire, Shepherd's Week, Mary Montagu, Town Eclogues

Mock Ode Cowper Secundem Artem

Georgic Pope, Windsor Forest, John Denham, Cooper's Hill

Mock/anti/Georgic: Gay Trivia; Swift Description of a City Shower; Stephen Duck Thresher's Labour; Mary Collier Woman's Labour

MockElegy  Gray, Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Swift, Satirical Elegy on Late General, Thomas Parnell, To an Old Beauty

Philosophical Poem: Pope, Essay on Man; James Thompson, Winter/The Seasons, Mark Akenside Pleasures of Imagination, Henry Brooke Universal Beauty; Cowper The Task

Sonnet: Gray Sonnet on the Death of West; Charlotte Smith Elegiac Sonnets

Literary Forgery: James MacPherson, Fingal; Thomas Chatteron Poems by Rowley

Social Protest: Mary Astell, Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Mary Leapor Epistle to a Lady, Man the Monarch; Oliver Goldsmith Deserted Village; George Crabbe, The Village

Biography: Johnson, Lives of the Poets; Boswell, Life of Johnson

Further questions? email me morillo@unity.ncsu.edu

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