Tag Archives: english

Spring 2020, Starting a Paper

A Fanciful “Frontier”: The Image of the Lone Cowboy in Disney World’s Frontierland and Its Impacts on Young Audiences

In a Tortoiseshell: In her paper, Katherine McIntire analyzes the Disney World theme park “Frontierland,” arguing that by relying on the historically inaccurate concept of the lone cowboy it promotes problematic values that are antithetical to Walt Disney’s philosophy. Her incredibly clear introduction orients the reader to the analytic work she plans to do and to the many sources she plans to consult while constructing her argument. By giving herself space to tease out the specifics of her primary source and the various key terms relevant to her argument, Katherine effectively lays the groundwork for her motive and thesis Continue reading

Motive, Spring 2020

The Future of Human Nature: Drawing the Line Between Genetic Enhancements and Genetic Therapy

In a Tortoiseshell: In this excerpt of her essay on genetic enhancement and therapy, Asher Joy exemplifies how to create a motivated thesis by engaging in a complex, scientific debate. Drawing on interdisciplinary sources, Asher adds her own contribution to the debate at hand by pointing out a particular issue with the discourse surrounding genetic modifications and discusses the implications of such an error. Continue reading

Feature, Spring 2020

“These my Exhortations”: Reading “Tintern Abbey” as a Lesson to Dorothy

In a Tortoiseshell: In her essay on William Wordsworth’s famous poem “Lines Written a few miles above Tintern Abbey,” Julia Walton enters the scholarly conversation with an against-the-grain reading of the function of William’s sister, Dorothy, in the poem. After establishing a clear motive for her reconsideration of this text, Julia combines meticulous close reading with evidence drawn from period sources to support her original thesis. Julia’s essay has been selected as our feature piece; it is published in its entirety to show how Julia’s many pedagogically successful moves work together to create a full, well-written essay. Continue reading

Close Looking, Spring 2020

The Country of Origin Effect in Dolce & Gabbana’s Commercial, “DG Loves China”

In a Tortoiseshell: In this excerpt of her essay, Yuxi Zheng solidifies her thesis by analyzing scenes from Dolce & Gabbana commercials. Yuxi takes special care to break down the minute details of each scene to explain the messages conveyed through the dialog, acting, and directorial edits. By engaging in this close looking, Yuxi makes an astute argument that explains why D&G was not able to create an advertisement that successfully catered to the intended Chinese audience.  Continue reading

Close Looking, Spring 2020

Circles, Movement, and Temporality: (Re)Animating the Past in Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away

In a Tortoiseshell: In her Junior Paper for the English Department, Liana Cohen interweaves analysis and evidence in her writing through the utilization of eloquent close reading of the films Vertigo and Spirited Away. Indeed, placing her exercises of close-reading alongside richly contextualized analysis of film theorists and Freudian psychoanalysis, Liana crafts a compelling prose that explores how both films attempt to reanimate the past.

Continue reading

Orienting, Orienting, Spring 2019

The Roar of a Chinthe

In a Tortoiseshell: In this comic, “The Roar of a Chinthe,” Adelle Dimitui orients the reader to Burmese culture and mythology. Her story distills the myth of the chinthe, a lion-like creature that stands guard in pairs at the entrances of many Burmese temples. Together, her visuals and text showcase traditional Burmese architecture, dress, and symbolism.

Continue reading

Key Terms, Spring 2018

The Language of Monstrosity

In a Tortoiseshell: Madelyn Broome’s “The Language of Monstrosity” argues that in film adaptations of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, the creature’s lack of language leads to a lack of depth in audiences’ emotional responses to the creature’s misfortunes.  This excerpt highlights the author’s use of her key term “human” not just as a familiar tool with which to support her argument, but as a mechanism for creating motive.

Continue reading

Motive, Spring 2018

A Dangerous Affair: Lady Susan’s Seductive Power in Love & Friendship

In a Tortoiseshell: In this junior paper on Love & Friendship, a film adaptation of Lady Susan by Jane Austen, Megan Laubach’s motive is multi-faceted. Her introduction begins with in-text motive as Megan notices that Love & Friendship, despite being narrative in form, feels like an authentic adaptation of a novella written as a collection of letters. Then, Megan situates her in-text motive in a larger scholarly debate within film criticism about narration, leapfrogging from scholar to scholar in order to both disagree with them and insert her own voice into the conversation: this is scholarly motive. Taken together, Megan’s introduction is an excellent example of how to motivate a larger research paper topic on the orders of both primary and secondary sources.

Continue reading

Evidence & Analysis

Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Collins: A Confluence of the Stupid and the Sinister

In a Tortoiseshell: In this essay on the character of Mr. Collins in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Heather Newman crafts the intriguing argument that Austen’s portrayal of Mr. Collins’s stupidity conveys sinister underpinnings that are commonly overlooked by readers. In order to prove her argument, Heather utilizes abundant evidence and accompanies that evidence with insightful analysis that directly ties back to the overall argument.

Continue reading