All assignments due by 9 a.m. via email:

Length: 4-5 pp. for undergrads, 10-12 pp. for grads

Strongly advised: examine the Writing Papers webpage, consult it frequently during your writing process

Paper #1: Due Friday, 2 October

Read Andrew Marvell’s “The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn” in your anthology (540-43).  Write an analysis and explication of it. Your paper should have a point, an arguable thesis that you keep in sight throughout for the reader’s edification. Avoid summary (simply paraphrasing the poem into your own words) for its own sake.  Concentrate on analysis (why the poet does what he does, not just what it is). Original thinking is key, and gets the nod.

Please do not feel obliged to do library work on the poem, or to surf the internet for bad ideas. 
And remember: it is plagiarism to use ideas that are not your own; online “sources” such as Wikipedia are illegitimate; the rationale for using secondary materials is to show your academic audience that you  have researched your topic thoroughly and that you are making an original contribution to scholarship on the site. Here are some things to think about as you begin, but please do not program your paper as a set of answers to these questions:

who is the speaker and what does she want?
what seems to concern her?  What may really be bothering her? (You might be surprised to find out what Marvell scholars say.)
which passages of the poem seem particularly significant and worthy of analysis? Is there a section of “Nymph Complaining” that really demands significant and detailed treatment? (This is key.)

Send me your paper in a Word document from your email address to mine: You can always turn your paper in early. Most of my students do. Late papers will result in an F grade (see syllabus). Last-minute computer problems are no excuse.

Midterm: Due Friday, 6 November

Donne, Jonson, Herbert, Herrick, Philips, Lanyer, Marvell: what common field marks do they share to identify them as poets of their time? Or, what one specific thing do they all have in common?

This is a take-home examination. Detail and specificity, as well as adventurous thinking, are definitely prized here. Since this is an exam rather than a formal paper, strict adherence to the conventions and formatting of formal writing are not necessarily required. At the same time, please consult the Writing Papers webpage.

Revision Option for first paper and exam:

Here’s the good news: the grade on your first paper and exam is approximate. This means that you may revise once for a better grade. Here’s the bad news: you really have to revise the essay, and you must schedule an office conference before you undertake your revision. And that grade is final. It’s up to you to schedule our meeting, if you care to have it. The due date for the revision is negotiable. My office hours and email address are on the syllabus.

Final: Due Monday, 14 December

Your final mission is simple. What is Miltonic? What is characteristic of the author we have been reading and studying for the last month? By which field marks would you know him? Use short but appropriate quotations from Paradise Lost to make your point. Or, if you feel ambitious, you may use examples from other works of his that you have read.

The exam should be typewritten and no shorter or longer than 5 pp.

Paper Comment Policy for second paper and final exam:

Because it is not my practice to write comments on final papers and exams, yours will not be returned, unless you really, really, really want it back, with lots of comments. You must request this, however.

Strongly suggested: for writing help, criteria, and related matters, see my Writing Handouts webpage.