Please come talk to me about your papers:
ANY DAY EXCEPT TODAY
· squiggly lines: grrrrrr…..
· Strong underlines: yes!
· When I ask rhetorical questions, the answer is almost certainly NO (is this relevant?)
Big Picture: Writing Formal Essays
· This is very different than our blog entries
· Stick to the TEXT: only talk about what is in the text.
o Do not worry about your vague sense of the summary of the background of the story
o Don’t worry about your vague sense of what other people think of the issues you’re discussing
o Instead, think only about what Homer (or whoever your author is) is saying
§ What are the words he uses?
§ What does he emphasize?
§ Why do you think he’s doing this?
o Quote wisely: quote evidence, which will support your argument directly.
o Ask yourself: is this quotation directly related to my thesis? If not, lose it.
o Don’t use quotes to provide basic plot summary
§ Basic plot summary is completely unnecessary: remember your audience
· Beware of moralizing
o “Achilles shouldn’t do this…”
· Make sure your comparisons are balanced:
o “Antigone is not as fierce a warrior as Achilles”
· Avoid contractions (won’t don’t couldn’t) in formal writing
· Avoid rhetorical questions (“Who wouldn’t be upset?”)
· Use Italics for title of large works (Iliad, Odyssey, Antigone, Lysistrata)
· Don’t say “I think”
· Don’t use / as in “if/when Achilles returns to battle”
· Avoid colloquialism:
o “Antigone from the get go has a bad rep that is showed in her wanting to commit a crime.”
· Whenever you start a sentence with the word IT, go back and think “what is ‘it’, exactly?”