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本頁翻譯進度

燈號說明

審定:無
翻譯:黃筱婷(簡介並寄信)
編輯:侯嘉玨(簡介並寄信)

論文主題

雖然我條列了一些建議主題在下面,但是在和我或助教討論之中,你可以設計出屬於你的主題。每個主題都謹慎地開放,以容納學生隨著課程的發展所衍生的不同興趣。在請問助教和利用討論會讓主題更明確之前,請記得做好一切事前準備工作。為了做好修訂文章的工作,你可以藉著增加新的材料、發展你的主題句或是做研究擴充你的原始主題。

雖然每一份作業的作者和主題都不同,我對每份作業期待都相同。

  1. 每一份論文都應該把焦點放在特定的段落,並使用技巧精讀文章和批判性分析來發展出一個論點。
  2. 這個論點視為你從精讀文章中找出來的論點,而不是有關主題的相關資訊描述,而且該論點應該在一開頭的段落當成是文章主旨加以呈現,讓其他人可以一眼就清楚明白地產生贊成或反對的想法。
  3. 採用一些別人的研究也許對你的文章而言是必要的,而且你應該說明來源出處,並且為你所找出來的資料增加可信性,但這些研究不應該只是研究論文或是歷史文章。你的主要焦點要放作者們用來傳達他們想法的那種敘事體的、文體的或是修辭學的技巧。


論文1 (第五週繳交)

你目前所讀到的這些作者都親身經歷移民經過,並寫下移民者的移民史,包括從歐洲移民、新英格蘭的清教徒、和美洲原住民的戰爭、美國人的革命、奴隸制度、以及後革命社會的成形。選擇一個作者和他的作品中你認為作者寫出他對整個歷史時代的深刻體會的段落。利用對特定歷史事件和現象的調查,告訴我你所選的段落如何解釋或是無法清楚解釋歷史事件。針對這項作業或針對現代讀者的對這個段落的理解,你所發現的含意又是什麼?



論文2 (第12週繳交)

雖然美國南北戰爭前的作者他們的思想繼續影響著21世紀的讀者,他們同時是生活環境中,或是在他們所寫出來的文章裡的一群藝術家,同時也熱烈地關注力量與語言使用的關係。焦點放在這些作者的簡短段落上,精讀它,並且將注意力放在用字的選擇、句型、節奏、音調和文體配置。然後藉著問問題來發展你的閱讀:作者如何使用語言來支持或是使他或她的意思複雜化?作者對於語言的使用又使語言對於情節、想法、政治議題或是人性考量的關係,產生什麼關聯性?使用這些問題來啟發你的閱讀,但是試著不要太過廣泛或是太抽象,把你的焦點放在單一的作者以及他或她的風格上。



論文3 (第13次週前一日繳交)

在1850年之後你所讀到的作者:華特•惠特曼、愛蜜莉•狄更生、瑞貝卡.哈汀.戴維斯、薩繆爾.克萊門斯的風格和作品類型都相當地不同,但是他們作品類型和風格在文化方面仍有重要主題與議題的交集:勞工與階級鬥爭、奴隸制度與種族衝突、基督教的意義和重要性,社會角色 (由性別、種族、年紀或階級所控制),美國是個國家,也是幅風景畫,是都市化後的景象,也是個新領域,也代表了內戰,而對於身處在市場經濟中的藝術家來說,也是個問題。請選擇這些作者中的二位,或是其中一位以及之前介紹過的一位作者來作比較,當你選定一個單一的主題或是寫作技巧來當作你的比較基礎時,也請你同時選定你著重論點的段落為何。



論文4(第28週繳交)

為了寫出《爵士樂》這本小說,童妮.莫里森採用了大量的歷史性、文化性、藝術性、和大眾化的參考資料。因此,《爵士樂》充份反應一個特定的階段、哈林區文藝復興、還有對於美國歷史創新和守成這些主題,特別針對非裔美籍人未被說出來的故事的主題。請你對於《爵士樂》的年代作出研究,挑出一些事件、作家、或是文化議題 (爵士樂已經是唯一最明顯的例子)去進一步檢視莫里森的文章。莫里森如何用這些歷史性的細節去發展她的文學目的?





Essay Topics

Although I list suggested topics below, you are always free to devise topics of your own, in consultation with me and the course tutor. Each of these topics is deliberately open, in order to accommodate different interests that will become more obvious as the class develops. Be prepared to use tutorials and conferences to develop your topics along much more specific lines. For revisions, you can expand your original topic by adding new materials, developing your thesis, or drawing on research.

Although the authors and subjects differ from assignment to assignment these expectations remain the same throughout:

  1. Each essay should focus primarily on specific passages from the texts and use the techniques of close reading and critical analysis to develop a point;
  2. That point should be thought of as an argument deriving from your close reading of the text, rather than as explication of or information about your subject, and that argument should be presented in the opening paragraph as a thesis that someone might conceivably argue against;
  3. Some outside research may be necessary for your work, and you should cite sources and give credit accordingly, but these are not solely research papers or historical essays; your main focus is the particular narrative, stylistic, or rhetorical strategies authors use to convey their ideas.


Essay 1 (Due Class #5)

The authors you have read so far were intimately involved in and writing about major historical events: migration from Europe, Puritan New England, war with Native Americans, the American Revolution, slavery, the shaping of a post-Revolutionary society. Choose one author and a passage in his or her work where you feel this author reveals insight into his or her historical moment. Drawing on research into a specific historical event or phenomenon, show how the passage you've chosen makes sense of, or perhaps fails to make sense of its historical subject. What are the implications of your discovery for this work or for a contemporary reader's understanding of it?



Essay 2 (Due Class #12)

Although American antebellum authors continue to have an impact on 21st century readers because of their ideas, they are also artists in their medium, the written word, and passionately concerned with the power and uses of language. Focusing on a brief passage from one of these writers, give it a close reading, paying particular attention to word choice, sentence patterns, rhythms and sounds, and other stylistic devices. Then develop your reading by asking: how does the author's use of language support or complicate his or her meaning? What does it suggest about the relationship of language to action, ideas, political issues, or human concerns? Use these questions to open up your reading, but try not to get too general and abstract; keep your focus on the individual author and his or her style.



Essay 3 (Due, a day before Class #13)

The authors you've read from the second half of the 19th century- Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Rebecca Harding Davis, and Samuel Clemens- use widely different styles and genres, but they also intersect with important themes and issues in their culture: labor and class struggle, slavery and racial conflicts, the meaning and significance of Christianity, social roles (as governed by gender, race, age, or class), America as a nation and landscape, urbanization and the frontier, the Civil War, the problem for the artist of living in a marketplace economy. Choose two of these authors or one of them and another from earlier in the course to compare. While selecting a single theme or literary strategy as the basis of your comparison, be selective too in your choice of passages that will focus your point.



Essay 4 (Due Class #28)

To write her novel Jazz, Toni Morrison drew from a rich reservoir of historical, cultural, artistic, and popular references. As a result, Jazz reflects on a particular period, the Harlem Renaissance, and also on themes in the creation and preservation of American history, particularly that of African-Americans whose stories have not been told. Drawing on research into the Jazz Age, select some event, author, or cultural production (jazz being only the most obvious example) to examine more closely in Morrison's text. How does Morrison use historical details to develop her literary aims?




 
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