Kafka and Poststructuralism

This page provides information about the written assignments for this class. All assignments need to include accurate MLA documentation.

This assignment, due at the beginning of each class period (except on days that a paper is due), essentially asks that you to copy down important passages from a text and comment on them in your own words. The purpose of a DEJ is to provide a structure for responses to a reading, to make decisions about significant aspects of text, and to reflect on personal or intellectual connections to a text. In addition, DEJs serve as an ideal way to take notes on a text and thus to begin thinking about future ideas or paper topics.

To create a DEJ, simply fold a clean piece of notebook paper in half, lengthwise (which will yield a two-column sheet of paper). Read the assigned text carefully at least once (twice is much better). Then, from each assigned text, select a total of THREE sections that seem particularly relevant, troubling, powerful, or significant. Copy each section word for word into the left column of the sheet of paper (and include an MLA in-text citation). Then, in the right column, note your reflections about each copied section. Structure your reflections by noting two things: (1) rephrase/explain what the quote says in your own words, and (2) write down your reaction to the quote. The reaction can take the form of questions you may have, an explanation of why you find the section significant, a connection you're making to another text, etc. The important thing here is that you write down some significant thoughts about the quote. Points (1) and (2) together should to be at least as long as the quoted material.

You may handwrite your DEJ or type one up on a computer and turn it in at the beginning of class.

Two regular papers are required in this course (see calendar for due dates). Generally speaking, these papers are standard, formal, academic papers in which the writer presents a guiding argument and supports it with textual evidence. More specifically, papers in this class should cover the following elements:
    • papers need to be about the texts we have read up until that point in the semester; generally speaking, about 80% of the textual evidence in a paper should be from texts we've read; so feel free to make connections to other texts, but make sure that the bulk of your discussion refers to our class texts.
    • include "thesis language" and clear voice markers as you've practiced them in ENGL 3090; in other words, use "I" when you're stating your own point and use "author tags" (according to X, as X suggests, as X puts it) when you're referring to someone else's points. 
    • always use "quotations sandwiches:" introduce a quotation AND comment on it in your own words afterwards. Do not start a sentence with a quotation or end a paragraph with one. Create a context for all quoted material.
    • structure the paper around a main idea; state that main idea clearly in the introduction; then, develop strong paragraphs in which you support the main idea with details from a variety of texts we've read.
    • papers should be between 5-7 pages long

Overall, the final paper will be an extended regular paper, about 10-14 pages long. All the elements mentioned above apply to the final paper as well. We will be deciding on additional elements for the final paper as a class in the course of the semester.

Christa Albrecht-Crane    christaa@uvu.edu