ENGL 101.009/.011
-- Paper # 3 Assignment --

Dr. Nick Melczarek | anmelczarek@salisbury.edu | 410-546-6203 (66203)

Contents (click to jump to the following sections)
Paper 1 Assignment (read all the way through -- there are helpful tips throughout):

»» Cultural analysis: Using Jenny Lyn Bader's "Larger Than Life" (SoL pp.720-731), Gary Engel's "What Makes Superman So Darned American?" (Sol 677-685), Andy Medhurst's "Batman, Deviance, and Camp" (SoL 686-687), and Gary Cross' "Barbie, G.I. Joe, and Play in the 1960s" (SoL 710-716) as models, write an essay of 1,500 to 2,000 words where you research the history of an American figure of pop-cultural importance (not from sports, medicine, or the military) and argue 1) that your figure is culturally important, and 2) why that figure is culturally important. What does that figure represent? How did that figure come to represent that? To whom is this figure important?

The figure you choose can be

  • a film or t.v. icon (such as Marilyn Monroe, William Shatner as Captain Kirk on Star Trek, etc.)
  • a film or t.v. character (Ripley from Alien, Shaft, Scully from The X-Files, etc.)
  • a music hero (such as Ella Fitzgerald, Kurt Cobain, Woody Guthrie, etc.)
  • a comic book/graphic novel character (Maus, The Crow, etc.)
  • a folk legend (la Llorona, Johnny Appleseed, etc.)

  • You can refer to the essays we read in Signs of Life for inspiration or good quotations, but pick your own cultural figure. Give at least three well-researched and well-thought reasons why this figure has become important in American culture.

    WARNING: given this topic, I will be very alert for any possible plagiarism, especially for material pulled from the internet. We will discuss paraphrasing and quotation in class to emphasize this point. I will also require you to submit an electronic copy of your paper to Turnitin.com, both to archive the paper and to triple-check against plagiarism.
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  • Caveats/cautions:
    -- This paper is worth 20% of your grade, so pay close attention to requirements and detail!
    -- Separate elements of this paper will receive separate grades, to be averaged together and formulate the remaining 20% of your grade.
    -- If discussing a real person, do not give me that person's entire life history; if discussing literary, film, or television figures, do not give me pages of plot summary.
    -- Use examples from the essays we've read in SoL only as inspiration or starting points: come up with your own examples.

  • Thesis note: Be sure that your thesis is an argument. Remember that you're explicitly arguing why your figur is culturally important. (You're also implicitly arguing that your chosen figure is important at all.)

  • Need a little help with your thesis? Before you start writing, have a look at "timesaver #3 (a)," "timesaver #3(b)" and "timesaver #4" on the writing tips site -- these items will help you AND save you oodles of time!!!
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    »» What I'll look for in this paper:

    As per new SU English Department Guidelines, I will require you to submit a copy of your paper electronically to Turnitin.com to be archived. We will discuss this website in class.

    Content-wise (Use the following items as a checklist for your paper):

    Writing mechanics & technical guidelines:

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    »» DUE DATES AND ACTIVITY DATES: (see updated course schedules) (back to Contents)
    »» Troubleshooting & therapy: If you have questions about the assignment or your paper that we don't address in class or during conference times, (back to Contents)