HW due 10/30: The Stranger Essay

REMEMBER: You must have Thus Spoke Zarathustra read and annotated by Monday. 

The Stranger Essay

3 page literary/philosophical analysis of The Stranger. You are expected to use The Myth of Sisyphus as a complement to your discussion.  How does Sisyphus help us to understand Camus’ philosophy as communicated through Meursault?  IMPORTANT: While Sisyphus is used to give some form to the discussion (i.e. helping to shape the thesis), the discussion is focused on analysis of The Stranger.  While not necessary, I would encourage you to research Camus further to give you further context.  Folks, I expect this essay to demonstrate great thematic/philosophical control of  both texts.  Waiting till the night before is probably not a good idea.  Your reading responses and annotations should prove to be quite beneficial here.  This should be typed in font size 12 (times new roman  or arial).  You should have a title!!!  The title should reflect your thesis.

General Requirements:
• 3 pages

General Formatting:
• Double-spaced; size 12 font; Times New Roman or similar
• .75 margins on both left and right sides. Justify margin. Indentations– .5” or 1 tab space.
• All pages beyond the first page should be numbered. Page numbers should be placed at the bottom right of each page.
• No Cover Page. Include name, class, and date.
• Be sure TITLE reflects the theme of the essay
• Include Title, Author, and General Theme of work in first paragraph of essay…For Example—Jean Paul Sartre’s Nausea
• Follow MLA guidelines

Avoid the Following:
• Avoid Pronouns: I, it, you, me, we, us
• Avoid Troublesome language. Try to avoid or avoid completely the following words: it, these, this, those, kind of, almost, seems, maybe, like, then, later, eventually, basically, so, many, a lot, things, due to the fact (or any variations of the fact that), in reality, very, really, forms of the verb “to be”
• In the intro, nix all book-review commentary—i.e. “is fascinating, interesting…”
• Be extremely careful with your use of all words…yet, for these words in particular, don’t think they are cheap: Truth, Beauty, Love, Nature, Reality
• Avoid gross existential generalizations; remember, we learned early on that to come to a set definition of existentialism would be difficult if not impossible. Remember, the various existential schools of thought—those whom we’ve covered (i.e. Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Sartre, Dostoyevsky) and those whom we have had briefly touched on in précis presentations (i.e. Jaspers, de Beauvoir, Heidegger, Camus, etc.). These individuals help to define our context, so once again, avoid the generalizations.

Keys to Good Writing:
• Cohesion—Every sentence fits together; paragraphs flow smoothly. Ensure that the entire discussion comes together as one unified discussion of your text and its context.
• Concision—Less is more. Use fewer words to explain yourself. Begin fusing sentences by merging ideas into tightly knit phrases.
• Precision—Accuracy. Use words that accurately capture what you mean. Don’t settle for words or expressions that come close.
• Coherence—Does your essay make sense? Are your ideas organized in a logical sequence? Do you prove your thesis? Do the parts contain the essence of the whole?

I want to address this issue right off the bat. At Beacon, we follow the MLA guidelines. In terms of plagiarism, this means:

Scholarly authors generously acknowledge their debts to predecessors by carefully giving credit to each source. Whenever you draw on another’s work, you must specify what you borrowed whether facts, opinions, or quotations and where you borrowed it from. Using another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source constitutes plagiarism. Derived from the Latin plagiarius (“kidnapper”), plagiarism refers to a form of intellectual theft. In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you wrote or thought something that you in fact borrowed from someone, and to do so is a violation of professional ethics.

(Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 2nd. ed, New York: MLA, 1998: 151).

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