Chapter 1: Time is on Your Side
Writing an essay at the university level means entering an ongoing scholarly conversation. Before you select an essay subject, you should know that throughout history, scholars have addressed and articulated similar concerns and ideas; many have dedicated their lives to these problems and arguments. So, rather than worrying about generating a new idea, it would be wise to aim for active and informed participation in that conversation. This is done via the process of analysis.
In order to analyze and contribute meaningfully, you must first understand all parts of a scholarly conversation. Therefore, the ability to close read and understand others’ writing is vital.
We will focus the first six chapters on producing a close reading.
For the first assignment, you will do a close reading of an essay and then write a 750-word essay analyzing an author’s complex argument based on evidence from the text.