ISU process

ISU process


The next step is to narrow down your ISU essay topic. 


To help you to figure out what to write about, ask yourself:  what did the novel mean to me?  You will remember, no doubt, from the handout in the first week of class, that what we're trying to do when we analyse literature is to figure out how it affects us:  what it means to us, and how it achieves that meaning.  Take a look at the handout (called "the Meaning of Literature") just on the off chance that you don't remember it fully. 


What does your novel "mean" to you?  Remember the five questions on the handout that will help you to figure out what the novel means to you:




1.       1. What aspects of the story, the characters, the writing,  had the greatest impact on me?

2.       2. What did the author or a character seem to be saying?  How did they say it?  (or what did they make me think that seemed new to me?  How did they make me think it?)

3.       3. How did other aspects of the work support or contribute  to my response? (think devices here -- symbolism, imagery, metaphor, writing;  think also about things about the work that surprised, shocked, moved you -- love, violence, grief, fate...)

4.       4. How did these particular aspects help create the work's total effect?

5.       5. Did anything that I found out later about the work or its author change my feelings about it? 

(source:  adapted from Ray Saitz's website


Copy and paste these questions into a word document, and type your responses.  Putting time and effort into answering these questions will help you to develop a thesis (or a question, the answer to which will be your thesis) for your independent study essay.  Your responses will be read by me and discussed in an ISU conference.