These instructions are a reminder/update of what’s going on for the next couple weeks.
First, just so everyone is clear - there is no regular essay due next week. You should be working on your revisions instead. These revisions will be due by next Friday at 5:00 p.m.
We will continue to discuss revisions for the next two classes. There are also many details on the syllabus. But as a reminder, here are the basics.
You are expanding, rewriting, or reimagining one of your earlier essays. While you should pay attention to my advice and the advice of others, your goal should be neither to minimize your work nor to slavishly follow comments, but to present your best work, where your focus will be your argument. You should do much more work than you would for a weekly essay, but I am not expecting lengthy papers - 5 good pages is the minimum, with at least 2 of those being wholly new writing.
Using at least one outside academic source is required. You need to cite your source(s) accurately, although I will not penalize you for, e.g., incorrect formatting in your bibliography. You should use Pitt’s library (physical or digital) for your research. We will briefly discuss citation in our next class.
Using literary criticism is an obvious strategy, but it would be easy enough to fit in sources from other disciplines - Biology, Psychology, Philosophy, etc. If the source(s) is/are academic, and you are citing them, that’s the minimum requirement. Note the links at the bottom of the post!
I will discuss at least 1 or 2 of your essays in class next week, so I’m looking for volunteers. If you want us to discuss your work (and you should - it’s a very helpful process), send me a link to the one you want to discuss, or email me the version you have started to revise, before our next class.
The following links summarize my position on plagiarism, the English departments position, and give you an introduction to the MLA citation method. Other methods of citation are fine also! The MLA is just the default for this class - not a requirement.
I am also giving you a link to the MLA Bibliography, on Pitt’s digital library (you may need to be on campus, or to log in remotely to the digital library, to access it). For research in literary criticism, this is the usual starting point. For instance, you might load the bibliography, then conduct a search on Edward Abbey to see the wealth of research which is open to you.