Thursday, March 31, 2011

Write About Jane Austen and the French Revolution

Writing Assignments for Humanities Class
1.        Jane Austen Theme. 
I would suggest that you write a traditional five paragraph essay (introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion).
Review the paragraph forms from the Brookhill Guide.
Include well chosen quotes from the book to prove your thesis.
A very workable method of writing the paper is to do a comparison/contrast paper.  Compare two (or three) characters, couples, or themes.
Your thesis sentence must express the depth and range of your paper.

Wrong Type of thesis:  Pride and Prejudice has good couples and bad couples.
Better  Type of Thesis:  Mr. And Mrs. Gardiner show that they are more open to understand people, more willing to intervene in family events, and more exemplary in their own conduct than Mr. And Mrs. Bennet.

Paragraph one of the body should show how or prove from the book that the Gardiners “are more open to understand people.”  Just stating it is not proving it. 
Paragraphs two and three of the body should prove the next two assertions.

2.        What America Can Learn from the French Revolution Paper.
This paper is a position paper.  It will involve taking facts from the books (and possibly from the Schama documentary) and comparing events in or leading up to the French Revolution with events in our own country today. 

If you are unsure of events from the FR, look in both the Spielvogel and Gonzalez books. (As is often the case, Francis Schaeffer has some good comments also.) 
If you are unsure of what has been happening in America over the past few years, we hope you enjoyed your nap.  You will need to talk to someone who is informed or read from some recent political news  sources.

This is a difficult paper to write because the danger is in making loose and unfounded assertions.
Wrong method:  In the French Revolution, people were running around killing everyone.  In America today, the streets are not safe because of the killings happening everywhere.
Better method:  According to the authors of A History of the Modern World, the French Revolution occurred because of the financial collapse of the government.  In the United States today, our government is spending at a faster rate than ever and is creating larger deficits.

This paper needs to only be three paragraphs.  Try to find one to three points of comparison to make and make them reasonable.  You can, of course, argue that the French and American situations are so different as to forbid a comparison.

3.        Deadlines: 
              First rough draft due Friday, April 1;
              First completed paper due Wednesday, April 6;
              Second rough draft due Friday, April 8;
              Second finished paper due Wednesday, April 13. 

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