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Paper 3
Overview: This paper will explore a literary text on Covid-19 through the lenses we have discussed in class

Four full pages (1200 words)

Research: You must use at least four external sources for this paper, not including the literary text you choose. Consider using sources that not only comment more generally on literature, as it pertains to illness, but also facts, statistics, and expert opinion on Covid-19 that strengthen your thesis within the paper. Cite all sources according to MLA format.


Content: For this paper, you will find and choose a compelling literary work about Covid-19. This work may be in the form of a poem, a memoir, an article (literary journalism), a blog post, a podcast, or another medium, but must be text-based. I encourage you to search major US newspapers, such as the Washington Post and New York Times, along with literary magazines (e.g., The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harpers) and publications that focus on Black and Latino voices (e.g., Ebony, The Grio, Latina).

The purpose of this paper is to argue how the piece, as a literary work, can help us to better understand Covid-19 in a way that standard facts and reports cannot. I encourage you to read the piece you choose multiple times and consider the following questions as you prepare to write your essay:

What is the theme of the piece? What is the key meaning the writer has woven into the words?
What devices and techniques has the writer used to make this text more literary and not just journalistic? What effect does a literary work have on its reader? How does this differ from a work of standard journalism?
What perspective(s) does this text highlight? The patients? The healthcare workers? The loved ones? Another?
How is the writer using facts about Covid-19? How does the writer translate the facts to avoid a more technical feel to the piece?
This paper should move past the obviousthat the piece helps us understand what its like to deal with the novel coronavirusand into the more complex considerations of illness. You might focus on the depersonalization of Covid-19 treatment, for example, or the way the virus has brought us face-to-face with death on a daily basis. Look back over the texts we have studied this semester. Reflect on the themes, perspectives, and questions we have covered, as well as the way the writers handled themand to what effect. 

Your paper should be thesis-driven and have focused paragraphs (one topic per paragraph) that flow and support the thesis. Create an intriguing introduction and a conclusion that leaves the reader thinking.

This assignment satisfies the following course objectives:

Analyze, in writing assignments, illness-related themes within assigned texts
Explain, in writing assignments, the implications of illness-related topics and texts for concerned partiesnamely, the patient, the healthcare provider, loved ones, and society
Write effectively about illness-related themes in a variety of discursive modes, such as explication/close reading, comparison/contrast, analysis, and argument
Write thesis-driven essays on illness-related themes using textual evidence
Demonstrate effective paragraph writing skills, employing topic sentences, transitions, and signal phrases to produce develop unified and coherent paragraphs in short assignments and on formal papers
Integrate primary and secondary sources within formal writing assignments according to MLA guidelines

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