ENG 201-001 Paper #1, due Monday 10/27 Pick ONE of the

ENG 201-001
Paper #1, due Monday 10/27
Pick ONE of the following topics and write a thesis paper with sources. Minimum length is 3 FULL pages (i.e.,
all the way down to the bottom of the third page, not two pages with a couple of sentences at the top of the
third page), but the paper may (and probably should) be longer than that. Papers must be typed and doublespaced. Sources should be cited consistently in either MLA format (name, page number) or APA format
(name, year). A Works Cited Page with full source info must be attached at the end. Remember to use
quotation marks around other people’s exact words and to clearly indicate which ideas are not your own
when paraphrasing sources. Grammar counts! Poor grammar will lower your grade, and good grammar will
raise it. A grammar bonus of one full letter grade will be awarded to papers containing no grammatical
errors whatsoever.
Some literary critics have suggested that women and men do not write the same way. Do you think
this is true or not? Have you noticed differences between the stories written by women and those
written by men? What do you think the differences are? Would a sharp reader really be able to tell
whether a story was written by a man or a woman even if they didn’t know who the author was — or
is the difference all in our imagination? (For this paper, you must discuss a minimum of 4 stories: 2
by different men and 2 by different women.)
2. People tend to regard “serious” art as being “realistic” – i.e., describing events that could happen in
real life. And yet, although everything we’ve read in class is great literature, many of the stories
include supernatural elements: we’ve had appearances by psychics, angels, and maybe even the
Devil himself. Is it really the case that a “realistic” story has more to teach us than an unrealistic
one? Why or why not? (For this paper, you must discuss a minimum of 3 stories.)
3. Writing a short story in the first-person is a tricky business. Writers don’t just do that because they
feel like saying “I” instead of “he” or “she” — when you use the first-person, the narrator is one of
the characters and can make the same errors any character can make. The narrator can be mistaken
about something, or maybe even lying. When this is a concern, we say we have an “unreliable
narrator” on our hands. Examine the stories we’ve read that were written in the first-person. Are
any of those narrators “unreliable” ones? Why or why not? (For this paper, you must discuss a
minimum of 3 stories.)
4. In this class, we have read two stories each by Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce. In both cases,
some fans have suggested that the boy in one story grows up to be the man from the other. In
Hemingway’s case, do you think Nick from “Indian Camp” grows up to be the nameless American
from “Hills Like White Elephants?” As for Joyce, do you think the nameless boy from “Araby” grows
up to be Gabriel Conroy in “The Dead?” Why or why not? Are there thematic similarities in the
texts, or ways in which the characters think or behave, that make you suspect one explanation or the
other? (For this paper, you may discuss either just the Hemingway or just the Joyce, or both.)
5. Devise a thesis on your own and get it approved by me before writing it.