In Order to Prepare for This Final Paper, You Prepare a Proposal



In order to prepare for this final paper, you prepare a “proposal”:

THE PROPOSAL FOR THE FINAL PAPER(there’s 3 separate things you need to do)In order to prepare for this serious assignment (worth much of your grade), this semester, I am assigning a “proposal” assignment. A proposal is a formal “map” of the paper you are about to write. Just like a marriage proposal, it is proof, long before you “get” the man/woman of your dreams, that you lay the groundwork: you show that you can actually support this marriage, that you’ve done the mental and material preparation necessary for entering a serious agreement, and that know exactly what you are about to embark upon.

Your Proposal for the Final Paper is expected to contain the following THREE PARTS:

1)  AN INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH: identify/introduce the books/films/ author/director, etc. If you are doing a comparison, a clear statement of why these two texts are being compared - this does not mean simply stating that the texts are “alike”, and therefore “interesting” (anyone could see that).

2)  A CLEAR THESIS STATEMENT OR ARGUMENT: a well-formulated argument is NOT simply a statement of fact, or a sentence that “describes” a text. An argument forwards a hypothesis – a speculation that you PROVE using the paragraphs in your paper.

·  This is the simplest way to describe an argument: a well-formulated argument sentence will consist of at least two clauses, connected with a “because”. You have to “set up” the argument first, and then get to your point – yr in a seminar class; a thesis statement is not going to consist of one sentence.

·  Example of a decent intro: John Boorman’s film illustrates the manner in which apartheid infiltrated every aspect of life, controlling the deeply personal and day-to-day activities of all people in South Africa. This system of governance very nearly destroyed not just the nation, but also individual lives and people’s families. Boorman’s film, “In My Country” is an intensely personal, voyeuristic view of the events surrounding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the way in which a nationally known Afrikaner poet, Anna Malan – played by Juliet Binoche – first learns about the atrocities committed “in her name”. Achmat Dangor’s 2002 novel, Bitter Fruit, which explores……….(blah blah blah). Dangor’s novel and Boorman’s film address the level of secrecy, silence, and complicity that was required for apartheid to continue for nearly half a century, while modernity – and the individual rights associated with modernity – passed by 80% of the population of South Africa. Everyone – the beneficiaries, and those whose rights were compromised – knew, on some level, what was going on in the country; in fact, the whole world knew what was going on in South Africa. Both writer and director seem to say that complicity is required in order for such ongoing atrocities to occur – that the powerful beneficiaries of an unjust system such as apartheid willingly turn a blind eye to the atrocities that support their power - because……………(this is the “because” clause I referred to earlier).

·  What follows the “because”: list the reasons why your argument is important/write about. These reasons formulate the basis of your supporting paragraphs – they are the “mini arguments” with which you will begin each of your paragraphs.


A List of 10 (ten) documented, academic sources, and a short description of the contents/arguments that the author forwards. This obviously means that you need to do the research WELL AHEAD of time. From here, you can “weed out” what’s unnecessary – this just forces you to do the research well before the night before the paper is due.

·  ALL sources for this paper must be from academic journals (through our Coursepack, or library website).

·  NO papers from websites not accessible through the library website. Reputable journal articles are acceptable.

·  You may include the background research that you’ve conducted can include historical, economical, social research – as long as it’s relevant to your paper.


A separate title page: title, your name, the date, my name, and the course number

▪1 ½ spaced, 12-point Times font, with regular margins (absolutely no excuses on this)

▪Please pay attention to my policies on grammar, mechanics, and punctuation (clearly stated in syllabus). If I can’t read your sentences, or follow your logic clearly, it will be difficult for me to read your brilliant ideas.

Keep your graded proposal in folder and turn it in with the final paper - this way, I can see how you have (or whether you have) paid attention to the problem areas identified.


Brief intro to the requirements for the final paper (not due till the end of the semester):

For the final paper, you will be writing about any ONE of the novels we have read so far in class, or a COMPARISON between TWO (ONLY TWO) novels/novel and a film, etc., using the critical articles/academic papers we have read (from the Coursepack), as additional, foundational material to help you. The paper is an analysis, not an author-biography or a summary of the story - so assume that your audience has read the story. Only use examples to illustrate your own arguments – a short summary or a direct quote can be added to “prove” your point, not to take up space.

The final paper must be/meet the following requirements:

a) LENGTH: 10 (full) pages: double-spaced, 12-point Times font, with regular margins (absolutely no excuses on this)

b) FIVE documented, academic sources (must be from academic journals (through our Coursepack, or library website). NO websites not accessible through the library website.