Thinking, Writing, and Research: Engaging Arguments about Literature


General Resources

Improving a Thesis and an Argument

Improving a Thesis

Playing Devil’s Advocate

Structure and Outlining


Sample: Structures of Articles You Have Read

Sample Sentence Outline to Prepare for Writing

Research and Sources

Source Types

Source Workshop (CRAAP test)

Scholarly Source Workshop

Analyzing Literature

Guidelines for Analyzing Literature

Grammar and Formatting

Sentence Edits

MLA Guidelines


Literature and Criticism

Short Works of Literature with Contrasting Critical Interpretations

Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” (1894)

Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee” (1849)

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (1863)

Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market” (1862)

Robert Frost, “Mending Wall” (1914)

William Blake, “The Little Boy lost” & “The Little Boy found” (1789, 1794, 1818)

John Keats, “La Belle Dame sans Merci” (1819/1820/1848)


Unit One: Engaging with Argument and Writing a Summary and Response

Essay One Assignment


Essay One Grading Rubric


Unit Two: Analyzing Argument and Writing a Position Paper

Unit Two Development: Issue Proposal, Exploratory Paper, Position Paper

Issue Proposal

Issue Proposal Assignment

Issue Proposal Evaluation

Exploratory Paper

Exploratory Paper Assignment

Preparing Exploratory Paper

Evaluate Exploratory Paper

Essay Two: Position Paper

Essay Two Assignment

Essay Two Grading Rubric

Position Paper Argument Worksheet

Sample Argument Structure: literature

Sample Argument Structure: non-literature (for comparison)


Unit Three: Writing a Rogerian Argument

Essay Three Assignment

Essay Three Grading Rubric

Sample Introduction Using Rogerian Argument

Essay Three Outline Worksheet

Sample Essay Three Outline Worksheet (non-literature, for comparison)


Unit Four: Writing a Researched Position Paper, as a Presentation with a Slideshow

Essay Four Assignment

Essay Four Grading Rubric

Formal Speech

Structure and Emphasis

Words and Sentences

Coordinating a Slideshow and Oral Presentation

Sample Slideshow with a Written Speech (and Cues to Change Slides)

Sample Outline with Illustrations

How to Cite Images

Presentations as Part of a Conference

Sample Conference Panels

Conference Attendance Etiquette

Guidelines for Panel Chairs