Dr. Faustus

For this assignment, you should write an essay that engages at least one of the plays we have read so far this quarter. You may choose to focus on a single play, or to address this play in conversation with other plays – that’s up to you.

Beyond this stipulation (a play we have read in class this quarter), the topic of the play is up to you.  While research/analysis is an important part of asserting an idea or point of view, it is important that this essay reflect your own original thought. If you are having trouble thinking of a topic, see me! But I’d also encourage you to start with the things we’ve discussed that you are curious about. What has sparked your interest? What do YOU want to know about? What’s on your mind when you read Dr. Faustus, for example? 

Papers should be 2-3 pages long, double spaced, standard size font.

Here’s how to grade the paper:

Turned in a rough draft and met with a Writing Fellow: 10 points.

Paper is carefully edited. It contains minimal spelling or grammatical errors: 25 points.

Paper is well constructed. It has a compelling opening, a definite thesis, and a strong conclusion. It includes transitions from one idea to another: 30 points.

Paper demonstrates original thought. It poses a clear argument and/or wrestles with a particular question. It demonstrates attention to ideas, rather than just facts, and it offers a point of view that is uniquely your own: 35 points

So, for example, an “A” paper will:

-Have a strong opening paragraph. It grabs the reader’s attention from the beginning. Note: I strongly encourage you to avoid opening with dictionary definitions or with quotes that are not directly relevant to the thesis of your paper. What launches the reader directly into the heart of your interests?

-Have an identifiable thesis that poses an argument or a question. I’m not looking for papers that are informative. I’m looking for papers that use information (research, examples, textual evidence) to make a case for your own ideas or opinions.

-Have a clear conclusion that summarizes the main idea(s) of the paper but does not simply repeat them. Use the conclusion to make a case for why what you’ve written matters.

-Be carefully edited. Do not give me first drafts. Take the time to revise your paper. Look for typos and missing words. Check your sentences. Are they very very long? Are they actually fragments? The most effective way to check your writing is to read your papers out loud.


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