Basic requirements: 500 words, approx.; MLA formatting Higher-level requirements: This short essay is a training exercise. You are preparing yourself to write critically on literary texts, which means interrogating texts and contexts with a sharp and flexible mind. To find creative ways of making meaning with literature and then to write insightfully on the texts under your consideration, you’ve got to ask good questions. So, this brief composition will require that you enumerate the kinds of questions you could ask of a literary text. What seems disquieting, curious, suggestive, problematic, paradoxical, etc. about the literary text you’re working with? Why? How are you able to articulate the questions you have? What do you know about the political, social, economic, religious, technological moment of the literary text? Where does that information take you in your consideration of the text? This essay does not offer a complete reading of the literary text in question. It simply serves as a space (for you alone) to begin to work out how to set yourself up to write about literature. Flesh out some questions and question-asking thoughts about that text. Pay attention to grammar, style, orthography (make sure you have subject/verb agreement, gender agreement, proper subordination); for thorough, varied, complex thinking on the text. Be creative, but keep close to the text. Let the various aspects of the text unfold into questions and avenues of inquiry. You won’t pursue them all, but let them unfurl into more questions and more hypotheses.
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