INES Grievances

An explication is a commentary revealing the meanings of a text. Explication is a fundamental skill for anyone engaged in interpreting texts – whether teacher, critic, editor, historian, attorney, clergy, or any professional involved with written language. Explicating texts helps students to learn critical thinking and verbal skills pertaining to the synthesis and presentation of information.

It consists of two parts:

1) A detailed reading and analysis of the linguistic, compositional, and expressive parts of a text. This is an analysis of particular parts of the text that serve as evidence for part 2.

2)The synthesis of these parts into a coherent meaning for the whole. Basically, this means that your evidence from part 1 adds up to prove your thesis/assertion about the text. This assertion should be explicitly stated and should concern some hidden aspect of the text that needs further analysis or interpretation.

Fiction/Prose: A close analytical reading of a text. The goal is to fully explicate, or explain the text addressing particular features. Important features may include one or a combination of the following: narration/speaker, setting/context, mood, meaning/tone, syntax, diction, imagery, figurative language, sound, form, and/or allusions. The final product should being with an introduction and thesis statement about the overall meaning of the piece, or about a particular focus in the text that you will be analyzing. Try not to be too general in your thesis/assertion, or your paper will seem too much like a summary of obvious points. Use the paper sample on pg 53 to look at a good paper example.

Fiction/Prose writing is cited using (Author pg#) Example: (Baldwin 55)

Drama: Drama writing is similar to fiction/prose, except for its focus on stagecraft, structure, and context may be different in some cases. Also, drama can permit evaluation of a particular passage or situation in a play, rather than a more general focus. Paper example is on page 796.

Drama writing is cited using Act/Scene/Line format. Example: (1.3.55-72) means Act 1, Scene 3, Line 55-72

Poems: A poetic explication follows the order of lines/stanzas in the poem itself, examining words, phrases, and structures in detail. The explication includes your main thesis/argument about the poem and its meaning or significant. It can include discussion of the speaker in the poem; the situation or setting; the poem’s form, rhyme, meters; its use of figurative or metaphorical language; its tone, and ultimately, its overall effect. It may refer to the poem’s context, but it focuses primarily on the poem itself. There is a poetry paper example on pg 505.

Poetic lines are cited by line number in the poem. Example: (2-3), or (5) refers to the lines in a poem

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College Level Formatting

  • – 12-point Times New Roman Font
  • – Double Spaced
  • – No extra spaces between paragraphs (double space means 1 space between each line AND paragraph)
  • – Heading and Title
  • – Page #s
  • – Neat and clean. You should be proud of what you hand in.
  • Submitted through Blackboard in a .doc or .docx format. No google drive links or .pages (Apple computer) files – you will need to convert them to the above formatting before you submit.

Thesis

  • Your thesis should not be an IMMEDIATELY obvious concept from the text. This means you should not just catalog a common theme in the given text, because this leads to the writer just summarizing the story. Youneed to have a point that needs to be proven with evidence, rather than a point that is obvious to the average reader. You need a claim, or “argument”, to prove.
  • You should determine an argumentative thesis statement about your text of choice that requires the use of textual evidence to prove it. This evidence is in the form of primary/secondary sources. You can always talk to me to help develop your thesis. More about thesis statements will be offered in other materials in this class.

Citation – Overview

  • In my class, you can choose to use either MLA format or APA format.
  • The materials I provide, like the MLA Study Guide (on blackboard) are for MLA, but if you are more familiar with APA then feel free to use that. I also provide a link to the OWL @ Purdue citation guide which includes both.
  • I am being flexible about citation, but I reserve the ability to judge if the citation formatting does not meet basic standards of proof. I should be able to tell what source is being used where, and how to find it if I need to verify.

Proper Quoting

  • Proper quotes must have:
  • • a) A lead in (The author says, the author explains, etc.) • b) Quote itself attached to lead in (This is the actual quote that you take from the article) • c) In-text citation (Author pg) • d) Explanation of quote in following sentence. Explain why this quote is important to your thesis, and or argument. Quoting Examples and Types • Examples: • 1) George Orwell , in the article “Politics and the English Language”, states that, “A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image” (Orwell 125). • 2) George Orwell describes the function of metaphors as “assist[ing] thought by evoking a visual image” (Orwell 125). • 3) George Orwell speaks in detail about the purpose of metaphors; “A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image” (Orwell 125). • 4) George Orwell speaks of the “newly invented metaphor” and its ability to help thought processes by “evoking a visual image” (Orwell 125). In Text Cite Example • In text citations follow quotes from primary/secondary sources. The MLA version looks like this: In text cite for MLA: (Author’s last name pg) (Hultman 65) Refers to the works cited entry: Hultman, Nathan, and Jonathan Koomey. “Three Mile Island: The Driver Of US Nuclear Powers Decline?.” Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists 69.3 (2013): 63-70. Academic Search Premier. 22 Sept. 2013. Web. Works cited (List of sources) • Titled “Works Cited” in the middle of the page. • Please use proper works cited formatting for either MLA or APA. • Use my MLA Format Guide, or Owl @ Purdue to double check your entries. • Web links or webpage/article titles alone are not a works cited.
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Secondary Sources

  • No summary sites, encyclopedia, or dictionary entries. These are not research.
  • No personal blogs or articles with no author. Generally, we look for “published material”, which is published in an academic journal or book.
  • Summary sites include Sparknotes, Bookrags, Wikipedia, Schmoop, Gradesaver, and many others that just summarize the story and are study/summary guides, not research.
  • If you can find it through a simple internet search, it is probably not a good source. There may be some exceptions. If you aren’t sure about a source, ask.

Use of Research

  • You should quote from your sources directly. When you quote, it should help to explain the details of your argument or thesis. You can also paraphrase or summarize, but quotes are stronger forms of evidence and are part of the paper requirements.
  • All sources listed on your works cited should be in-text cited in your paper, so I can identify where they came from. If they don’t appear in this way, then I have no evidence you used this source and it won’t count.
  • Please do not use extensively long quotes or block quotes.

Other requirements

  • Make sure to read the syllabus and follow the requirements!!
  • You should know how to write a college level paper, but please double check using this presentation if you are unsure.
•Your thesis should not be an IMMEDIATELY obvious concept from the text. This means you should not just catalog a common theme in the given text, because this leads to the writer just summarizing the story. Youneed to have a point that needs to be proven with evidence, rather than a point that is obvious to the average reader. You need a claim, or “argument”, to prove. 

•You should determine an argumentative thesis statement about your text of choice that requires the use of textual evidence to prove it. This evidence is in the form of primary/secondary sources. You can always talk to me to help develop your thesis. More about thesis statements will be offered in other materials in this class.
You should quote from your sources directly. When you quote, it should help to explain the details of your argument or thesis. You can also paraphrase or summarize, but quotes are stronger forms of evidence and are part of the paper requirements. 

• 

•All sources listed on your works cited should be in-text cited in your paper, so I can identify where they came from. If they don’t appear in this way, then I have no evidence you used this source and it won’t count. 

Please do not use extensively long quotes or block quotes.

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