In a Tortoiseshell: After establishing her thesis, Akhila moves towards orienting. Tasked with the tricky dilemma of introducing the reader to both the general subject area and the scholarly conversation that surrounds her work, Akhila deftly sets a foundation that allows a compelling argument to follow. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In her exploration of two animated shows, Megan analyzes the erotic undertones present during the mental violation of a young female character. As she engages with this piece of evidence, Megan not only draws a compelling parallel but goes a step further to include detailed notes of visual design and its deeper ties to animated pornography, which ultimately ties to her paper’s global motive. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In this excerpt of her essay on Hugo Chávez’s mythologization of Simón Bolívar, Anais Mobarak demonstrates how best to establish scholarly motive when numerous texts are in conversation. Anais is clear and deft in her explanation of a tension that exists between two scholars, highlighting the relevant points made by each writer. She then plays peacemaker, suggesting a new lens through which to view Chávez and his complex relationship to Bolívar. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In these first three paragraphs of her essay on revolutionary action in prison abolition, Meryl Liu provides powerful and efficient orienting for her readers. She introduces relevant historical events, gives context for the scholarly discussion, and defines her own key term that acts as a framework for the remainder of the piece. By illuminating a “unique and intriguing tension” Meryl captures the reader’s interest and primes them for the thesis of her paper, which follows immediately after the excerpt published here. Continue reading
In a Tortoiseshell: In the following excerpt, Nisha Chandra uses the conventions of a speech for the imaginary opening of Princeton’s medical school to craft compelling analysis, guided by her definition of key terms.
In a Tortoiseshell: In this East Asian Humanities paper, Lara Katz juxtaposes two poets’ unique styles of engaging with the themes of loneliness and powerlessness. Through strong evidence choice and masterful close reading skills, Lara analyzes the works’ poetic forms (length, literary devices, voice, etc.) to demonstrate how this juxtaposition reveals more about the texts than if they were considered in isolation. The following excerpt deconstructs the poets’ respective approaches to poetic focus and reader engagement through imagery. Continue reading
Starting in college, students are taught to employ the lexicon in the context of traditional academic papers. However, all three pieces in this section combine familiar argumentative methods with the powerful narratives evoked by their creative formats. In her imagined inaugural speech for the (fictional) opening of Princeton University Medical School, Nisha Chandra makes an argument about racial equity in medicine. Editor Alice McGuinness illuminates Chandra’s use of the lexicon, including her treatment of key terms, evidence, and structure. Shirley Chen’s exhibition statement for a hypothetical museum exhibit employs orienting and motive. In her commentary, editor Meigan Clark argues that Chen invites viewers to participate in the exhibition’s argument and scholarly conversation. Finally, editor Joe Himmelfarb discusses how David Smith’s short story “The Quarters” employs motive and methodology.
— Frances Mangina, ’22
All the papers in this section are unified by their use of close reading, a particularly versatile form of analysis that can offer strong evidence for an author’s argument. Lara Katz’s paper compares the treatment of loneliness and powerlessness in two poems, one by Chinese poet Su Shi and the other by Japanese poet Ono no Komachi. Editor Jasmine Rivers explains how Katz breaks down larger pieces of evidence into close readings on a more manageable scale. William Koloc’s paper on Cloud Atlas is also grounded in close readings of a literary text, in this case a novel rather than poetry. In her commentary, editor Natalia Zorilla focuses on how Koloc combines a series of small-scale close readings to build a cohesive argument. Megan Pan’s paper stands out because it involves close readings of an anime show rather than a written text. Editor Diane Yang discusses how Pan’s close readings overlap with her use of analytic lenses and her development of global motive.
— Frances Mangina, ’22
Strong motive is generally a prerequisite for a strong argument. When authors respond to a particular puzzle or incongruity in their evidence, they narrow the scope of their argument and also clarify its implications. Papers with compelling motives often tap into broader personal or societal narratives. For example, editor Emily Wu points out that Sam Bisno’s paper builds on an incongruity in a painting by David Hammon to explore the artist’s storytelling and its relationship to the Civil Rights Movement. Ayra Maheshwari’s paper on air pollution in India and the accompanying editor commentary also focus on global motive. Conversely, in her discussion of Willow Dalehite’s paper on Irish music, editor Natalia Zorilla emphasizes the personal narratives that motivate Dalehite’s argument. Both Christina Cho’s and Owen Travis’ editor commentaries (discussing David Veldran’s paper for the Philosophy Department’s Aesthetics and Film Junior Seminar and Anais Mobarak’s paper on Hugo Chávez’s mythologization of Simón Bolívar, respectively) focus on scholarly motive. Despite their scholarly framing, both papers engage with the role of narrative in today’s society: the stories we tell, whether through film or political mythology, affect our ethical interpretation of our surroundings.
— Frances Mangina, ’22
In any piece of writing—academic or otherwise—orienting information is not a mere prelude to what follows. Providing just the right amount of context is crucial if the reader is to understand the argument. Both pieces in this section contain strong examples of narrative that rely on orienting for their emotional and argumentative impact. Akhila Bandlora’s paper orients readers in the theoretical literature surrounding racialized bodies to add to the reader’s “understanding of Black pain.” In her commentary, editor Diane Yang emphasizes Bandlora’s skillful differentiation of an array of scholarly sources. Similarly, in her essay, Meryl Liu provides relevant historical context to orient her argument in the larger narrative surrounding the non-reformist prison abolition movement. According to editor Owen Travis, Liu’s treatment of key terms in her orienting section provides a strong framework for her subsequent analysis.
— Frances Mangina, ’22