ENG 436: Topics in World Literature                         Response Paper 2 [100 Points]

Choose one of the following options for your second 3-4 page [1,000-1,300 word] response paper:

I am simplifying the assignment for response paper #2. We have done in-class writing assignments after completing both Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and Lem's Solaris. Write a response paper reviewing one of these novels, emphasizing the extent to which you were satisfied with the novel's end. That is, following up on your in-class response and perhaps rethinking it, discuss the extent to which you think the novelist successfully resolved the primary conflicts of the novel and satisfied your expectations about how the novel should end.

Instructions for writing and submitting the paper:

  • Present your double-spaced, typed paper using times New Roman or Cambria 12 font; use 1" margins on all four sides of the page.  Insert page numbers in the upper right hand corner beginning with page one. You will need to re-set your margins if using MS Word, for the Word default is 1.25" margins. You also need to use page layout and format paragraph to eliminate the extra space [10 pt.] that Word automatically puts after each paragraph.  Put your name, the course, my name, and the date of submission in the upper left hand corner of page one.  Do not use a title page; instead, simply center your title on page one just above your initial paragraph.  Of course, paper titles capitalize the first letter of each word [except for prepositions]; your own title should NOT be underlined or put in bold type or italics or quotation marks.
  • Include a list of works cited following standard MLA formatting. You can find MLA documentation and works cited rules at the Purdue Owl site.
  • Introduce the title, author, and year of publication of the primary work that you are discussing in your opening sentence or two. In other words, include a sentence like "Alain Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy (1957) demonstrates the principles..." early in your essay. Provide a brief plot overview keyed to the specific issues that you will discuss.  Good luck with that part. Your opening paragraph should end with a specific thesis statement that explains or identifies the purpose of the essay, what will be proved, and how it will be proved through identification of topics to be discussed.
  • Begin body paragraphs with topic statements, interpretive judgments, and NOT with the next item in the story sequence and NOT with a wordy delay phrase like "Another way that the concept that I am discussing is shown in the way that the story was written is..." or "The reason...is because."
  • Italicize the titles of novels, novellas, or films and place quotation marks around the titles of stories or essays.
  • When you summarize plot, use present tense.
  • Introduce your quotations, establishing the speaker and context, and document properly using the MLA format. For example, 

In the opening of Hiroshima mon amour, as images of the two lovers' entangled bodies are intercut with scenes from the Hiroshima museum and newsreel footage of the aftermath of the bomb, a women's voice saying, " Like you, I know what it is to forget. Like you, I want an inconsolable memory....Like you, I have forgotten." Of course, quotes from a novel or short story are followed by the page number in parentheses. If the quote itself is a question, the question mark remains inside the final quotation mark and a period is placed after the parentheses. Periods, however, do not appear before the quotation mark and are placed after the parentheses.

  • After presenting a quotation, be sure to discuss its significance or to explain how the quotation furthers your argument, unless the quote is simply illustrating a point made in the material immediately preceding the quote.
  • Indent and Block quotations that take up three or more lines of your text.  Never end a paragraph or an essay with a block quote, or any undiscussed quotation.  Blocked quotations do not use quotation marks unless the quotation marks appear in the original text. In block quotations, the period goes before the parenthetical presentation of page numbers.
  • Avoid the following wordy delay structures:  In my opinion, I think, I feel, I believe, There is, There was, There are....Do not open sentences with wordy phrasings like "Another way that..." or "One of the reasons that" or any similar structures.  Make subjects act through verbs in the beginning of your sentences.  Instead of "There are many ways that Gillis affects the colony's chances for survival," write, "Gillis affects the colony's chances for survival by consuming 20% of their stored food during his 32 years alone on the Alabama."  Note that the second version of the sentence includes specific details of Gillis's actions, while the "There are" opening tends to lead into vague references to his actions--"many ways."  List or name the ways instead of writing general references.

Paper Length: 3-4 typewritten pages [1,000-1,300 words]; when judging your paper’s length, use the word count function to determine whether you have written more than 1,000 words. 

Paper Due Date: Sunday, April 24, no later than 11:59 p.m. Contact me if you need a little more time.

Submit your paper as an e-mail attachment to my ISU e-mail address: jake.jakaitis@indstate.edu


Title your MS Word file with your last name followed by your topic designation. For example, if I were submitting a paper on Solaris, my Word file would be titled Jakaitis.Solaris Paper.docx.