JK Rowling’s Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban

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BASICS INSTRUCTIONS JK Rowling’s Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban is considered by many to be the turning point in the fantasy series, and so it’s only appropriate that our papers will be a turning point for this class – one where we move from simple analysis to full-on research paper. Students must pick one of the story-specific prompts below to guide their papers, which must be formatted properly, contain proper citation in MLA Style (including a Works Cited Page & a title) AND must cite at least 1 scholarly secondary source. The body of the paper (everything from the first word of the first paragraph to the last period) must be at least 1,000 words in length and no longer than 1,300 words total. 35 points are possible, and the particulars of grading will be spelled out on a separate rubric but generally focus on strength and clarity of argument first and then concerns over style, grammar and formatting second. (Sound familiar?) PROMPTS (choose ONLY ONE prompt on EITHER novel, not both) 1 – Chose one chapter of Prisoner of Azkaban that you feel particularly reflects one of the novel’s core themes. Then explore both why that theme is a major part of the book and explain in detail how specific moments from that chapter best reflect the reader’s overall understanding of how that theme manifests itself in this world. (Note: don’t drop discussions of literary elements as you go!) 2 – Prisoner of Azkaban is the book where Rowling takes off as a writer. Select a literary element that you feel she particularly masters in this volume (symbolism, character depth, theme, parallel structure, etc.) and explore how she’s able to make it an effective part of the WHOLE novel to the benefit of her audience when compared with previous books. KEEP IN MIND BEFORE TURNING IN • Do you use your sources correctly? Do you cite them in order to build a more complex argument? Is your final analysis built on the shoulders of critics who have come before you in a specific way rather than just pasting a quote in there somewhere and hoping that you get the credit for it? • Do you offer a strong opening that leads to a specific and arguable Thesis Statement at the end of your first paragraph? Does that Thesis Statement really state a clear argument instead of teasing what an argument might feasibly be? • Do you focus in on a few specific details and give them a thorough analysis in order to understand one particular aspect of the book rather than trying to tackle all of the novel in three pages? • Does your essay engage with the TEXT first and foremost and how that work is functions in the hands of the AUTHOR rather than some outside personal or social concerns? • Are you formal both in your writing style (no personal opinions or statements of believe mixed in) and in your use of MLA (all outside facts and quotes properly sourced)? • Did you check your grammar, spelling and general usage beyond a simple run through spell check? (NOTE: The Writing Center is GREAT for this!) • Did you put a title on your paper that was more interesting than “An Analysis of This Novel”? (Please, God, say you did)

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