Literature Review

On Li Bai, Emily Dickinson, The Metamorphosis, Things Fall Apart, and “Birdsong”

Length: About minimum 5 detailed paragraphs or more, double-spaced 12 font size, approximately 3 pages

Overview: This will be an analytical essay. The thesis statement (main claim) should result

from an thorough process of analysis. The essay should develop the thesis carefully, point by point, and all points must be supported with evidence from the texts, including direct quotations. Overall, the essay should be well organized, readable, coherent, and free of major grammatical errors that hinder communication. It should demonstrate deep familiarity with the texts, a familiarity achieved through reading, rereading, class discussion, and analysis.

You will be asked to

1. Choose ONE PAIR of texts –LiBai +Emily Dickinson; The Metamorphosis+Things Fall Apart; The Metamorphosis+”Birdsong”


2. Then choose the THEME listed under the pair you chose.

3. Write an analytical essay about how each text in your pair explores the chosen theme.

NOTE: Do not write plot summaries of the texts! Plot summary will receive no credit. This is an analytical essay: Your goal is to discover (through analysis) and explain (in writing) some complex truths that these literary works convey.



After choosing your pair of texts and theme, collect your reading notes and class notes, and organize them well. Look through your notes to find everything that might be relevant to your topic. Mark those parts clearly so that you can find them again, or rewrite the relevant notes into a clean document, which will help you remember, organize, and think about them. Get your books in hand, too.

For each Question that you choose, please show–

*Who is the author and what experience or knowledge do they have as they write from their cultural perspective? Also account for male and female perspectives.

* Are the characters distinct, fully developed and free of bias and/or stereotypes?

*If there are illustrations, are they free of bias and/or stereotypes?

*Is it a well-developed and engaging portrayal?

Re-read, think, and plan.

· First, define what we mean by theme/ topic, I need to know what that means! Look deeper than the obvious, surface level aspects and find the significance of what is portrayed

· Next, having thought about and defined the theme, consider how it begins at the start? Was there understanding of some things and misunderstandings of other things?

· Consider where does this lead to: what changed? What important things were realized? Why were these things so important?

· Next, trace the specific process by which this happened, looking for key moments, and what caused each change.

· Use the material you have gathered and craft a thesis statement (a main claim) about the topic

· With thesis statement done, organize the material!


–Briefly orient readers to the texts and topic.

–State the thesis.

–Then develop the thesis in the body paragraphs. Plan each body paragraph very carefully, writing a topic sentence that states the point to be supported in that paragraph. Gather the evidence from each text to use as support.

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