Paper due in class January 17

Subject. The paper should be an analysis of some aspect of The Trial. Your approach should have some bearing on the theme of this course: the relations of self and society. It should consist primarily of an interpretive argument which is aimed at furthering understanding of the work. It should not contain long passages summarizing the plot of the novel.

Content. Within these broad guidelines, you are free to write about anything that you find noteworthy in these works. Here are some suggestions, meant as examples of appropriate topics. You might take one of the concepts discussed in the first week of the course and apply it to one of the works. For example, you might analyze "routines" and "big surprises" in the ordeal of Joseph K. in The Trial. Or you might examine the question of "institutions" in the life of Joseph K. Or you might evaluate the presentation of the "material me" and the "social me" in the novel. the role of conflict as an organizing principle of the story. It might be wise to focus the paper on a fairly minor aspect of the work — there is no obligation to treat the work in its entirety. NOTE: Refrain from praising the author or the work: your approach should be interpretive rather than evaluative. It is important to try to grasp what the work expresses, and it is not especially relevant to discuss whether you "liked" it or not.

Originality. There is no need to consult outside sources. Should you do so, you absolutely must credit the contributions of others. This paper must be a product of the interaction of your own mind with the work.

Form. The paper must be at least 1000 words in length (about four typed, double-spaced pages). It should be preceded by a title page. The title should be in the center on the upper half of the title page, and the following information should appear toward the bottom of the title page: your name, the name and number of this course, my name, and the date. The paper itself should be prepared on a word processor or typed. It should have one-inch margins on all sides, with a two-inch top margin on the first page. Pages should be numbered. You should state briefly the thesis of your paper at the beginning of the paper and summarize it briefly at the end. Quotations should be brief — no more than a few sentences. Page references to sources should be given clearly. The grade of a paper turned in late will suffer.

Redaction. Once you have an idea for the paper, a good way to go about writing is to review the pertinent passages in the work, rereading carefully those which are especially relevant and making notes. Organizing these observations should lead to the first draft, which should then be revised for improvements both in style and in substance. The Writing Center is available for assistance, but if you wish to avail yourself of this resource, you should begin planning your paper early. Feel free to call me at my home for suggestions or help (253-756-7519), or to write me via e-mail (jensenmk@plu.edu). Ideally, you should put you paper through several drafts before writing up the final version. Clear and concise writing is important; every word should be carefully chosen and weighed.