The Third Reflection Essay will be due on Tuesday 11/25 at 5 p.m. on your blog.
Focus in your writing on how politics relates to sustainability in The Lord of the Rings (Books 1-4) and on what kind of definition of sustainability politics helps to form in the story. Politics involves a sense of what is a good community and how communities organize themselves in relation to their natural, social, technological, and cultural environments. You may draw on ideas from David Bentley Hart’s reflection on Tolkien’s anarcho-monarchism, on our trip to the Constitution Center, and/or on other sources. Develop in your first paragraph an enthymeme thesis, and a statement of significance, as we will workshop in our seminar together. You should focus in the body paragraphs on close readings of two passages from two separate chapters, at least one of which should be in Books 5 or 6. Each passage should be not longer than four pages long. The concluding paragraph should expand upon the statement of significance in your opening paragraph, as we will discuss in seminar. Please use at least three outside scholarly sources, not Wikpedia or .com sites, or dictionaries or encyclopedias. You may cite the Davis book, Dickerson & Evans, and the Bible, but these won’t count toward your three outside sources. You should weave into your close readings contexts from the social and natural environment of the text, as well as backgrounds from the author’s life, perspectives of readers then and now, and textual sources, as these are appropriate. In this you should draw on Timo Maran’s nature-text model and likewise on MNEMs, as models discussed in class for environmental reading.
Please use MLA style for citations and a Works Cited bibliography. The Works Cited bibliography should be in the same document, please don’t put it in a separate document. Please put page numbers in the upper right corner and do not use a separate cover sheet, the first page can begin with your name in the upper right corner and below it a centered title, and below that the start of the text.
The reflection should be 1,500 to 1,700 words in length, no longer or shorter.
We shal schedule preliminary meetings on the week of Nov. 10. By the time of our meeting, please send to me via email a short draft topic and thesis, and a short list of possible scholarly sources. This should take the form of a paragraph and three sources, including a draft enthymeme thesis. The email must be received with the completed assignment by the time of our meeting or 5 points will be subtracted from your essay grade, as this is part of the workshop process for this assignment.
Please double space the essay and write it in a Word document, which needs to be submitted as an email attachment, in an email in which you “cc” yourself to make sure that it has gone through and is openable. You are responsible for any technical problems, so please make sure that you allow enough time to accommodate any potential difficulties.
Late work will not be accepted without an official health or dean’s excuse. Please remember that you need to pass each major written assignment (each of the three reflections) in order to pass the course. If you receive a passing grade, you will also have the opportunity to revise it for a higher grade by the end of the seminar’s scheduled final exam, which is on Mon. Dec. 15, by 11 a.m. An excellent revision can garner additional points equal to one higher letter grade than the first version, but that depends on the quality of the work.
The essay will be graded approximately according to this rubric:
25 successful enthymeme thesis and statement of significance in an engaging and well-integrated opening paragraph
25 Effective framework of topic sentences for body paragraphs, related to the overall essay thesis and the conclusion
10 First close reading’s depth of analysis and detail
10 Second close reading’s depth of analysis and detial
10 Effective use of outside sources, citations and bibliography
10 Effective conclusion
10 Good editing and overall effective and graceful writing style
Please avoid trying to structure your paragraph in a “five-paragraph theme” style.
Enjoy your exploration of the topic!