Write a focused and thesis-driven interpretation about one of the literary works we have studied from either a biographical or historical critical perspective:
- Biographical criticism: Choose one writer and literary work we have studied this semester and analyze how his/her background, experiences, etc. influence that literary work. In other words, the thesis of your research-based essay will state your overall interpretation of the connection between the author’s biography and the work itself and then support that interpretation with references to the primary source (the work) and secondary sources.
- Historical criticism: Research both your chosen literary work and historical background and context for that work in order to present your interpretation of how the work reflects the beliefs, values, and concerns of the period in which it was written. You should support that interpretation with references to the primary source (the work) and secondary sources.
- Check out these guides, depending on the era:
Your essay should be between 1400-1600 words, use 3 secondary sources from the library databases (books and articles), and should follow MLA style for citations and document formatting.
You may choose any work (or short collection of works if using poetry) we have studied this semester. Of course, some authors and works will work better for the following prompts than others.