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Assignment Description:

Over this term, we have looked at (and critically analyzed) various literary genres.  For your final essay assignment, you need to perform a well-reasoned critical analysis of a literary work.  You may – and I encourage you to strongly consider – employ a critical approach (i.e. feminist, historical, social criticism, etc. see the handout/discussion from our earlier class module for the fuller list of these, with details). 

Analyze a literary text in the genre of your choosing (what you sent me for approval in the prior module, though you can change).  The requirements to this are that it is a text NOT in any way covered in the class (i.e: you cannot use a text I analyzed in a class video), AND you must NOT have written anything (prior journal or essay) on it over the course of this term.  Anything assigned, even if you did not write on it before, also cannot be used.

External Academic Support is Required:

This essay assignment requires at least two instances of external support obtained from library resources or credible websites (in addition to the primary literary text, which is the text you are analyzing).  These sources must be sources directly relevant to supporting your thesis (i.e. not just providing information).  Interviews with an author,are acceptable as sources as well.

Additional Assignment Details:

The essay assignment is an argument that you are making, and it has a required length between 1,000-1,500 words.  Required standards for this assignment are the same as essay assignments before it MLA format, strong organization, concise, direct thesis with clear lines of argument, topic sentences that lay out individual lines of argument, effective support cited correctly, clear and effective warrants, strong grammar, polish, and sentence-level writing, interesting title and hook, and so forth. 

In the essay submission, you will need to demonstrate that you have reviewed and addressed all the previously marked issues found in your essays (1-3) and journals.

Put more directly, at this point in the term, you are demonstrating a mastery of the class material. In grading the Final Essay submission, the expectation is that you will have addressed all standards and issues covered in this class before submitting this final essay, and that this essay submission will very clearly demonstrate strong critical thinking and writing skills.

This is an extension of the thesis statement you did for me on this title, as well as the annotated bibliograhpy. Please make sure they all tie together and that its a great paper. Thanks. Below are the thesis statement and annotated bibliography.


To an Athlete Dying Young

Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young” poem explores how hurtful death could be to an individual particularly at a time when everything is going great. The poet explores the sudden demise of an athlete who had won a race that earned him a lot of regards in his hometown. The good things that the person has done and achieved in his life made it possible for others to remember him at all times (Housman line 10). Although death could quickly end a persons ability to achieve more success, it is his good actions and performance that help him leave a legacy that death can never shake or destroy.

The provided theme is arguable to a greater extent as it explores whether the death could truly harm a person’s legacy or not. First, from it, one could argue that death hurts the ability of a person to achieve more success as shown by Housman’s claim that “silence sounds no worse than cheers” (Housman line 15). This quote suggests that death has hindered the ability of the athlete to participate in the sport and make his fellow society members. The earth had stopped the ears is a quote that very much suggests that death had limited the ability of the athlete to engage in a game that he likes and uses it to spread his legacy. Thus, this theme could be used to argue the harm of death on an athlete and society at large.

Another argument that could be acquired from this theme is that death while hurtful it should serve as a reminder to people to create a legacy that would leave on
long after they have left. The townspeople are seen to still remember the athlete even after his demise. Thus, the proposed theme is arguable and sufficient to explore Housman’s essay to a greater extent.

Work Cited

Housman, Alfred Edward. To an Athlete Dying Young. The poem, 1936.

An Athlete Dying Young

Thai, Chan L., and Julia F. Moore. “Speaking of Death: Editor’s Introduction.” Communication Research Trends 37.4 (2018): 3.

Thai and Julia (3) claim that at some point in our lives, grief touches us and that the experience of death, as well as loss, is common to everyone. In this article, the author reports that no matter a person’s age or status in society, death is cannot be avoided and people should openly communicate more about it. This is a reliable article as it is peer-reviewed and the authors have high education degrees in this sector. Besides, the article would help in the provision of arguments relating to the effects of death in society.

Kampa, Stephen. “On Learning to Enjoy Housman.” The Hopkins Review 13.4 (2020): 538-549.

In this article, Kampa (538) provides a new approach that people could use in reading Housmans work and enjoying their meaning. There is an in-depth exploration of the message of despair and death which are prevalent in the main text “To an Athlete Dying Young”. This paper would be used in providing deeper views or insights regarding the themes of death and how it impacts the lives of people within society. This material is reliable as the author has written several articles that have all been peer-reviewed and published.

Thai, Chan L., and Julia F. Moore. “Grief and Bereavement in Young Adult College Students: A Review of the Literature and Implications for Practice and Research.” Communication Research Trends 37.4 (2018): 4-29.

The authors purport that although everyone knows and expects to die at some moment, people rarely communicate about it. Thai and Julia (12) go on to claim that the death of a person or friends


often elicits a  wide range of reactions that could be either emotional, physical, or intellectual, which are affected by either social and cultural factors. Thus, this paper will help explain why people were sad when the young athlete died in Housman’s poem.

To An Athlete Dying Young
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