University of Wisconsin–Madison

COLLABORATIVE ESSAY ASSIGNMENT IN A LITERATURE COURSE

PROFESSOR RAMZI FAWAZ

ENGLISH 177 (AMERICAN FANTASY)

For this final paper, you will write a ten-page collaborative essay with your group members analyzing a single cultural object (movie, book, or graphic fiction) that we have not discussed in class. I have included a list of possible texts to study below and only one group will be allowed to analyze each option. You may approach the text you choose from any scholarly angle and focus on any aspect of the text as long as it relates to the key themes of this course and has something to do with fantasy. The essay must also include the following three components:

1. A historical assessment of the text at hand (the historical context in which it was made and/or discussion of the historical moment the text is set in).

2. An extended analysis of the text itself that uses the historical context and outside scholarly sources to unpack its content.

3. At least two scholarly sources (one from our class and one that you find on your own) that you use to analyze the text.

You should not approach these three components as a list or an organizing structure for the paper. Rather, they should all be synthetically woven together. You will need to find scholarship that helps you situate the text in its historical moment as well as an outside scholarly source that is more theoretical or conceptual. You will develop this paper in parts. Your group will start by developing a short proposal describing your projected argument and plan for organizing and executing the paper; your group will then produce a five-page rough draft version of the longer paper; finally, you will complete and submit the final paper. The due dates of these various components will be decided by your TA. This is not a traditional research paper, which means you do not need to conduct extensive outside research on the text beyond what is being asked here.

All members of the group will receive the same grade, meaning that you must all equally contribute to the completion of the paper. You must decide amongst yourselves who will do what (or else equally engage in all activities simultaneously). Collaborative writing comes in many forms; you may all wish to write different portions of the paper on your own and then synthesize them. Alternately, you may wish to write it up together. There are many options and it is up to you to delegate responsibilities. When you turn in the final paper, you will also turn in a self- AND peer-assessment statement where you will discuss what you contributed to the paper, what you think you did best (and what you could continue to work on), and how you think your peers did in contributing to the project.