29 February 2012


Checklist for Research Papers

____ Three drafts (including final) that trace the process of the writing.

____ Fully filled-out Edit Sheet

____ Pages Numbered

____ Clear parenthetical citations (MLA)

____ Notes Pages (MLA)

(At least one note explaining primary text)

____ Works Cited Page (MLA)

(Minimum 10 sources from scholarly journals or university presses)

____ Close reading for every quotation

____ Interpretive Thesis

____ Methodology Explained in Intro Paragraph (optional)

____ Topic Sentences

____ Title, but no title page

____ Consideration of strong counter-argument (optional)

____ To Be search & destroy

____ Proofread

Technical Translation Edit

Edit Session for Technical Translation Assignment Professional Writing
ENG306 Professor Mead

Work through your original sentence by sentence.

1) Circle all prepositions and underline the phrase that follows. Eliminate when possible by re-ordering the syntax of the clause.

2) Identify the main “actor” of each sentence and place it as the subject of the main clause.

3) Study predicates. Identify the main “action” and place it as predicate of the main clause.

4) Search out and destroy all repetitions.

5) Consider changing run-on simple sentences into complex sentences.

6) Try to make translated document half the length of original.

Mechanical Edit Sheet

Edit Sheet (Mechanical) for Research Paper

Author __________________________ Editor ______________________

Does the paper have a Notes page immediately after the last page of the text?

Is there a note for the first use of the primary text?

Are the notes discursive?

Does the paper have a Works Cities page?

Are all works listed cited on the paper?

Is the format correct (we’re using MLA)?

Are all sources suitable? (Cross out references books, Internet sources, study guides, textbooks, popular presses, etc.)

Are all in-text citations properly formatted?

Are all citations CLEAR? (Is it clear when the author is talking and when the outside source is talking?)

Is there a Works Consulted list? (This is optional).

Is the format correct?

Is the paper titled on the first page of the text? (No title page)

Does the title imply the thesis?

Are the quotations single spaced?

Are lines of poetry quoted in lines?

Are quotations as brief as they should be?

Are paragraphs properly formatted?

Are forms of the verb to be kept to a minimum?

Are passives kept to a minimum?

Is sentence construction varied?

Is the spelling perfect?

Is the paper free of the following common grammatical errors:





Paragraphing Edit Sheet

Author ________________ Editor ______________

Use the instructions (page 2)to edit your partner’s paper.

Is the thesis interpretive? How?

Is the methodology specific enough? How could it be MORE specific?

Does EACH underlined section of close reading SPECIFICALLY address syntax, tone, diction, imagery, repetition, grammar, or word choice? Mark the ones that do not. Below, suggest how they might.

Intro Paragraph: Put thesis statement in bold, methodology in italics.


Hedda Gabler explores a great many social pressures, anxieties, and human needs. Chiefly, students of the play have focused on the portrayal of marriage and class in Ibsen’s society. In this paper, I propose to argue that Ibsen’s primary theme is not either marriage or class, but rather the more abstract—and basic—possibility of personal freedom in contemporary society. Specifically, Hedda Gabler suggests that any appearance of personal freedom is a cruel illusion. The best way to pursue this argument is to consider comparatively the two major characters who appear to be the most able to be free, Lovborg and Tesman, and the two major characters who seem least able, Hedda and Thea. I will show that even the “freest” characters are no more free than those whose lives are most obviously determined externally.

Body Paragraphs: Underline topic sentence; italicize the part of the sentence that defines the paragraph’s topic; put in bold the part that connects the topic to the thesis. Underline prose that interprets use of language.


As men from respectable families, men with professions and status, and simply as men, Lovborg and Tesman would seem to be icons of personal freedom. Almost as soon as Lovborg is mentioned in the play, Tesman says, “I am so glad to hear it. He is quite respectable again” (560).1 Notice the syntax of Tesman’s assessment of Lovborg: respectable is bordered on each side with adverbs of intensification. Lovborg is not merely “respectable,” but quite respectable again. These intensifiers suggest that by a subsequent action—in this case by writing a critically and popularly successful history book—a man can not only mitigate past indiscretions, but erase them. Could a woman, once she has lost respectability, become “quite respectable again,” merely by writing a book? Would a book she might write even be published? Lovborg’s success implies that, at least for professionally successful men, personal freedom is a possibility. One may also notice that the men seem to have the ability to speak up for one another. Tesman, at least publicly, seems happy about Lovborg’s success. It is only when the professional success of one man threatens the professional success of the other that a tension arises. Otherwise, it seems quite a “live and let live” existence, a happy boys’ club.

1 All quotations from Hedda Gabler come from Drama: Classical to Contemporary. Eds. John C. Coldewey and W. R. Streitberger. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.

Thesis-Paragraphing Edit Sheet

Edit Paper #3

Editor __________________ Author____________________

Concentrate today on THESIS and PARAGRAPHING. Try to spend at least half your time hammering out , specifying, polishing, and developing your author’s thesis statement and introductory paragraph. Spend the second half of class identifying the topic sentences of each paragraph and making sure they explicitly advance the paper’s central argument.

Write out the thesis statement as it appears in the first paragraph.

How is it an argument?

How is it provocative?

How is it interpretive?

How does understanding that _________________challenge the obvious interpretations of the literature?

What EXACTLY is the methodology?

How EXACTLY does the author use her or his secondary sources?

How many instances of close reading are there?

Underline the first sentence of each paragraph and write “1SR” beside the sentences that do not follow the First Sentence Rule. Rewrite one of those sentences below and correct it.

All-Purpose Edit Sheet

Professor Mead
Edit Session Worksheet

Edit sessions serve you in several ways: they help sharpen editing skills by giving you a student text in which you have little or no emotional investment; they reinforce the structural standards of argumentative papers; they assure that your paper is at least drafted forty-eight hours before the due date; they foster cooperation and diligence.

Edit your partner’s paper as if you were to receive the grade achieved by the paper. Criticism is the benign application of reasonable standards to a text; therefore, it is neither denigration nor nit-picking, but a supportive act of directional encouragement. Be critical. Be specific. Be creative.

Editor ______________________________ Author __________________________

Intro Paragraph

Ideally, a 1st paragraph in a college paper contains a clear, provocative interpretation of a subject’s topic—this is the paper’s thesis, and a thesis is a paper’s only raison d’etre. Below, write the paper’s THESIS.

HOW is the thesis interpretive? If it isn’t, say so and suggest an improvement.

HOW is the thesis provocative? If it isn’t, say so and suggest an improvement.

A 1st paragraph should also indicate HOW the author expects to support the thesis (this is sometimes called methodology or forecast of support). Does your partner’s 1st paragraph contain this information? How could this section be created or improved?

Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should advance ONE subordinate idea that promotes the thesis. The TOPIC sentence, typically the first sentence of the paragraph, should therefore explicitly connect the paragraph’s topic with the paper’s thesis. Do your partner’s topic sentences do this? If not, suggest alternate sentences that will follow 1SR.

¶ 1

¶ 2

¶ 3





Describe HOW the author uses her or his secondary sources

Body paragraphs should, in general, move from the abstract (topic sentence) to the concrete (textual references) to the abstract (interpretation of text in light of thesis). Check your partner’s ¶s for this “sandwiching” structure. Comment below.


Textual references are used to interpret USE OF LANGUAGE. In other words, you do not quote to summarize, exemplify, describe, or remind; you quote to study use of imagery, syntax, tone, word choice, diction, sound effects, alliteration, assonance, &c. Choose ONE of your partner’s quotations that does NOT study the use of language, and offer suggestions on how the quotations might be studied.

Suggest 2 alternate titles to the paper.

Additional comments:

05 February 2012

Thesis & Topic Sentence Considerations

Thesis & Topic Sentences: A Worksheet for Class Discussion
After you have arrived at a thesis statement or a topic sentence for your paragraph, consider the following questions.

Scope—Can I address this idea adequately in a paragraph of twelve sentences or an essay of the required pages? Do I actually want to write about a topic more specific, narrower, in a distinct context?

Specificity—Is the paragraph topic or the essay’s thesis too broad, too abstract, too sweeping? Have I found the correct, accurate nouns and verbs? Is my central idea in the predicate?

Supportability—Is there concrete evidence that I can analyze to advance my argument? Is this evidence strong enough? Too obvious?

Sustainability—Is the idea big enough to require a full paragraph to explain or a full paper to persuade? Is this an idea that will grow through the paper, or will I simply repeat it again and again with different examples?

Practice Sentences Would these sentences be good thesis statements for an essay, topic sentences for paragraphs, or neither? Could they be re-written to be adequate for either a topic sentence or a thesis statement?
1) The Return of the Soldier examines the difficulty of reconciling the dreams of youth with the realities of adulthood.
2) As Jenny learns more about Margaret, her prose is less and less sympathetic of Kitty.
3) Jenny’s observation explains Kitty’s interest in Chris.
4) Although The Return of the Soldier is set during World War I, its subject is not war, but what constitutes “civilization.”
5) The landscape of Chris’s home—and how it has changed—charts the man’s decay from childish dreamer to mature, but resigned adult.
6) West’s equivocal and ambiguous use of the word safe early in the novel prepares her reader for an equally equivocal but devastating use of the word cure at the novel’s end.
7) The novel argues that the lower classes will always be misinterpreted by the upper classes.
8) In this scene, Kitty dresses for her first dinner with Chris.
9) The colors white, red, and green are especially important in this novel.
10) In The Return of the Soldier, the War is a metaphor for growing up.
11) Rebecca West chooses to present her novel in first-person for very important reasons.
12) Because Chris has lost his memory of the previous fifteen years, he wants desperately to see Margaret, a girl he knew in his youth.

01 February 2012

Great War Select Bibliography

World War I Bibliography

There are thousands of books and articles about the Great War. The books listed below may be useful for beginning your research. The books can be found in the SMU, TESC and/or WSL libraries, others can be ordered through SUMMIT.

Title Author-Library
All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Remarque—SMU, TESC
Angel of Mons, The David Clarke
Armageddon Revisited Amos N. Wilder
Battle of the Somme Gerald Glidden
Battle Tactics of the Western Front Paddy Griffith
Bitter Truth, A Richard Cork-TESC
Castle of Steel Robert K. Massie
Company K (N) William March
Concise History of World War 1, A Esposito, Vincent, ed.
Dare Call It Treason Edward Watt-WSL
Death’s Men: Soldiers of the Great War Denis Winter
Donkeys, The Alan Clark-WSL
Doughboys, The Laurence Stallings—TESC, WSL
Dreadnough Robert K. Massie
Experience of WWI, The J. M. Winter—SMU, WSL
Face of Battle, The John Keegan-WSL, TESC
First Day at the Somme Martin Middlebrook
First World War, The John Keegan
First World War as Political Tragedy, The Stevenson, David
For the Sake of Example: Capital Court Martial Anthony Babington
Gallipoli Robert Rhodes James—SMU
German High Command at War Robert Asprey—TESC
Good Soldier Svejk, The Jaroslav Hasek-TESC
Goodbye to all That, Robert Graves--SMU
Great Departure, The Daniel M. Smith
Great War, The Cyril Falls
Great War: 1914-1918, The Marc Ferro
Great War: An Imperial History John H. Morrow, Jr.
Great War in Africa, The Byron Farwell
Great War and Modern Memory, The Paul Fussell—SMU
Great War and the British People J.M. Winters – TESC
Great War Reader James Hannah
Great War at Sea, The 1914-1918 Richard Hough-WSL
Guns of August, The Barbara Tuchman—SMU
How the First World War Began Edmond McCullough
Illusion of Victory, The Thomas Fleming
In Flanders Fields Leon Wolff—SMU, TESC
Imperial Germany and the Great War: 1914-18 Roger Chickering
Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice John R. Schindler.
Johnny Got his Gun Dalton Trumbo
Jutland Costello and Hughes-WSL
Jutland: 1916 Nigel Steel, et. al.
Knights of the Air Ezra Bowen—WSL
Laws of War, The Ed. Howard, et all—TESC
Lusitania, The Patrick Osullivan
Lusitania Disaster, The Bailey and Ryan-WSL, TESC
Memoirs of George Sherston, The Siegfried Sassoon
Memoirs of an Infantry Officer Siegfried Sassoon-TESC
Naval Battles of the First World War Geoffrey Bennett
Origins of the First World War James Joll—TESC,WSL
Origins of the World War, 2 volumes Sidney B. Fay-SMU
Over There Byron Farwell
Over There Frank Friedel—TESC, WSL
Paris 1919 Margaret MacMillan
Passchendaele: The Untold Story Robin Prior & Trevor Wilson
Paths of Glory Humphrey Cobb-SMU
Peace to End All Peace David Fromkin-WSL, TESC
Penguin Poetry of the First World War John Silkin--SMU
Price of Glory, The Alistair Horne—TESC
Real War, The 1914-1918 Hart Liddell-WSL
Regeneration, Eye in the Door and the Ghost
Road, a trilogy about World War 1 Pat Barker
Rites of Spring Modris Eksteins—SMU, WSL
Road to Verdun Ian Ousby
Roses of No Mans Land Lyn MacDonald
Siegfried Sassoon Diaries ed. Rupert Hart-Davis, TESC, WSL
Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning J. M. Winter - SMU, TESC
Silent Night Stanley Weintraub
Soldier’s Notebook, A 1914-1918 A. A. Brusilov-WSL
Somme, The G. D. Sheffield
Somme, The Lyn MacDonald-WSL
Somme, The Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson
Storm in Flanders Winston Groom
Storms of Steel Ernst Junger-WSL
Tannenberg Geoffrey Evans-WSL
Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain—WSL, TESC
Three Soldiers John dos Passos
Tolkien and the Great War John Garth
Under Fire-The Story of a Squad Henri Barbusse-TESC
Understanding the Great War Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau
Undertones of War Edmunc Bluinden
Voices from the Great War Peter Vansittart—TESC
War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon ed. Rupert Hart-Davis - TESC, WSL
With the Armies of the Tsar Florence Farmborough
World Crisis, The Winston Churchill—WSL