Tag Archives: english

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.

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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.

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Cast List: Social Performativity within Hamlet and Consequent Dramatic Abilities of the Play

In a Tortoiseshell: This excerpt from Victoria Gruenberg’s essay, “Cast List,” concerns the layers of performance in Hamlet and the implications for both the performers and the audience when experiencing the show. Because the essay deftly situates the complicated audience-performer relationships in the play and considers the broader questions Hamlet asks of metatheater, we believe this essay demonstrates the characteristics of a strong conclusion Continue reading


The Intellectual and the Physical in The Faerie Queene

In a Tortoiseshell: This excerpt comes from an English paper that analyzes “the differences between contemplation and action, or…the intellectual life and the physical” in the epic poem The Faerie Queen through a close reading of three passages. It is particularly strong on in its masterful use of evidence and textual analysis. Continue reading


“If you will only”: The Presence of Loneliness in “Song of Myself”

In a Tortoiseshell: In this series of excerpts, the author’s process of developing a thesis is foregrounded. Excerpts 1 and 2 are taken from the introduction and conclusion of the original essay submitted to us, and Excerpt 3 is a revised introduction. Each excerpt includes the essay’s thesis, and as the author reiterates it his argument becomes more and more refined, improving significantly over the course of writing and revision.  Continue reading