Subject. The paper should be an analysis of some aspect of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. You are free to choose any approach that you think furthers understanding of the work, provided that your approach has some bearing on the theme of the 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 or the play. You should state briefly and clearly the thesis of your paper at the beginning of the paper, and summarize it briefly at the end. Short quotations from the text should support the points you make.
Content. Within these broad guidelines, you are free to write about anything that you find noteworthy in these works. Here are some suggestions, but they are meant merely as a few examples of appropriate topics, and should not prevent you from striking out in a different direction entirely — above all, be sure to pick a subject that really interests you. 1) You might take one or two of the concepts discussed in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man about art, and examine how well the novel itself embodies it — that is, does the novel illustrate as well as describe certain aesthetic notions? 2) You might take one of the concepts discussed in the first week of the course, or some other pertinent concept with which you are familiar, and apply it to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. For example, you might analyze socialization in the work. 3) Another possibility would be to analyze the work or a particular passage from it (a tight focus generally enhances the strength of a paper) with regard to one of the qualities we've discussed. For example, you might argue that a particular passage expresses the theme (i.e. central or controlling idea) of the work, or write about the author's use of narrative point of view, or about the use of conflict as an organizing principle. Remember that if you wish, you can focus the paper on a fairly minor aspect of the work — there is absolutely no obligation to treat the work in its entirety. NOTE: You should 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, not to discuss whether you "liked" it or not.
Originality. There is no need to consult outside sources. Should you do so, you must credit the contributions of others. The 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 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 at the end. Quotations should be brief -- no more than a few sentences. Page references to sources should be given clearly. The paper must be submitted as a single hard copy in class on the day it is due. 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. Feel free to call me at my home for suggestions or help (253-756-7519), or to write me via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.