a. the student must first choose a text.
b. the student must read the text
c. the student must then select one continuous passage of approximately 12 lines that interests the student and is appropriate for textual analysis. It is advisable that the student choose a passage integral to the text as a whole, and/or which expresses significant concepts.
d. The student assembles a compendium of related passages. A compendium is best considered a list of ‘facts’ about the passage and the text which will be discussed in the body of the paper. A ‘fact’ is another passage from the text that can be used to interpret the selected 12-line passage. So, the compendium is best a collection of other passages from the text as a whole.
e. The student writes the body of the paper and submits it to turnitin.com (an anti-plagiarism software). the body is five pages of argument (not including a cover sheet) that advances, explains and defends the thesis, with no quotations from the passage or compendium except brief phrases. The argument refers to the text by referring to the numbers of the passages in the compendium.
f. The methodology of analysis will consist of a close reading of the text in the form of an interpretive commentary (closely and critically examining concepts, propositions, arguments, etc.) by which the student will defend and develop the thesis. The introduction ought to briefly and clearly sate the thesis. The body of the paper ought to interpret your passage and explain its relationship to the text in which it appears. That is not at all a paraphrase of the text and mere paraphrase of the text is advised against and will result in a very low grade. A conclusion is unnecessary. Things to avoid: opinion, unsupported and anachronistic interpretation.
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