Module 14: Lesson and Notes
The writer Stephen King says an important part of his revision process is to put the draft in a drawer and forget about it for weeks, then come back with fresh eyes. We don’t have that kind of time to revise and edit our draft for the research essay, so our peers will be the “fresh eyes” on our essays.
We will apply three verbs to a classmate’s essay: describe, evaluate, suggest. (This same process works well with communication too. Try it the next time someone tells you about a problem or dilemma!)
When you first read your classmate’s draft, simply pay attention to what you think it’s about. Put into your own words what the main topic of the essay seems to be. Likewise, when you receive feedback from a peer, does their description of your essay match what you intended your paper to be about? If not, there might be an issue with the essay’s thesis.
Give the paper a second reading and consider how it meets the requirements of the assignment? The feedback you leave should be helpful and constructive.
Leave your classmate specific advice on what will make the paper stronger. Even if the draft is already strong, offer an idea to make the paper even better.
Using Critical Approaches
This essay requires you to apply at least one critical approach. Remember, critical approaches are something scholars do, not what the authors do! Your essay is a work of literary criticism—you are the critic, applying a type of critical approach. If you take a biographical approach, do not write that an author uses biographical criticism. Instead, the essay will show how the author’s life is reflected in the literature.
Applying a critical approach is a way to consider HOW a literary work makes meaning. Think of critical approaches like looking through a lens; the type of lens we use can change the way we see an image. Likewise, a critical approach can bring out new ways of “looking” at a text.
A resource if you need more help understanding literary theories: Literary Critical Theories Condensed.pdf Download Literary Critical Theories Condensed.pdf