Annie Proulx’s short story entitled “Brokeback Mountain” has a third-person-limited point of
view. The main character, Ennis is somewhat secretive–guarded in his behavior and reserved
in his expression of emotion.
Explain the connections you see among the following: the main character’s secretiveness, the
author’s use of point of view, and the story’s theme. You might also consider the few times in
the story where the author shifts the point of view.
Use direct quotations from the story for your evidence, and then explain how the quotations
support your claims. Avoid plot summary/narration. Avoid author biography. Avoid
evaluating the story’s quality. Avoid commenting on whether you liked or disliked the text.
Paper Preparation: Before you write this paper, explore your ideas by considering some of the
following questions as you reread the story.
–How does the story suggest or convey secretiveness?
–What seems to motivate the main character’s actions?
–What do you think is the story’s theme?
–What role do you see the point of view playing in your understanding of the main character and
other characters? (Also, you might consider the few instances where the point of view shifts.)
Paper Structure: Your paper should have an introductory paragraph that mentions the story’s
full title, the author, and your paper’s thesis (underlined). Remember first-year composition!
Your paper’s body paragraphs should follow the 3-part structure I ask for in the daily writing
paragraphs—claim, evidence, explanation; each body paragraph should also have a topic
sentence that makes a claim and stems from the paper’s thesis. (first-year composition!)
In papers this short, you need not have a concluding paragraph—better to use the space for a
body paragraph that develops your paper further and examines more material from the text.
Paper Audience: Imagine your peers as your readers, people who have read the story more than
once but have not necessarily understood it the same way you do. They have not memorized
the text, nor do they have copies of the story in front of them as they read your paper.
Paper Format: Follow the instructions given in “Manuscript Specifications” (link below) for
the correct paper format—failure to do so can cost you up to 20 points on the paper grade.
Also, before you finish your paper, consider the Writing Guidelines (link below)..
Paper Length: Your paper should be 3-5 pages long (900-1500 words).
Before you upload the paper in Blackboard in Worddocx format, read through your paper aloud,
slowly and carefully, to catch and fix needless mechanical errors. USE DEPT. BLUEBOOK!
GUIDELINES FOR WRITING
Thesis is original.
Thesis is significant.
Thesis makes an arguable claim.
Thesis is not too broad for paper length.
Evidence supporting all claims is cited.
Paper addresses interesting and complex issues.
Supporting detail is clearly and thoroughly explained.
The argument has more analytical than descriptive material.
Paper sticks to thesis and develops it.
Paragraphs develop topic sentences fully.
Topic sentences in paragraphs make claims.
Topic sentences relate back to paper’s thesis.
Paragraphs explain their claims clearly.
Transitions between paragraphs are clear.
Transitions between sentences are clear.
Paper’s argument is logical and clear.
Paper’s structure is sound: words, sentences, ideas, paragraphs are presented
in the most effective order.
Sentences are clear.
Word choice is accurate.
Diction is appropriate for purpose and audience.
Sentences are not choppy.
Sentence structure is varied.
Sentence structure is effective.
Sentences are free of awkwardness.
Unnecessary words have been eliminated.
Paper reads easily out loud.
Paper does not use repetition except for clarity or effect.
Paper employs parallelism well at all levels (words, sentences, paragraphs).
Paper follows directions of assignment.
Paper adheres to basic conventions of format (as stipulated).
Grammar is correct.
Punctuation is clear.
Spelling is accurate.
Paper has been thoroughly proofread.
Manuscript Specifications: Changes from The MLA Handbook
Please carefully read through and follow these instructions on how to format all of your work for
this course. You may note that I ask you to format your manuscripts differently from the way you have in other courses. If so, please do as I specify, not as you’ve done in the past. Papers that do not follow these specifications will lose up to twenty points (out of 100) and may be returned either ungraded or with a grade but no comments.
First, you should choose a font that resembles a typewritten print—it’s best to use Times New
Roman; depending upon the font, use either a 10- or 12-point size. (This handout is in 11-point Times
New Roman font.) No italics (except for foreign words, titles, and the like); no bold print or special
effects. Make the manuscript a neutral conveyor of your ideas.
Next, start with typing your paper’s title at the top of the first page. (Do not use either a heading
or a cover sheet, and do not put your name or other class information—or a page number—on the first
page.) The title should be centered and appropriately capitalized; otherwise, it should maintain the same print and format specifications as the rest of the document. Remember that your title should be original and should be an early clue to your topic and thesis.
From the title to the body of the text and within the body of the text, all lines should be doublespaced–except longer quotations (which should be single-spaced). Do not insert extra lines between
paragraphs. Set margins on all sides of the document at 1 inch; become familiar enough with your word processor to set margins correctly. Indent the first line of each paragraph 1/2 inch. Left justify the body of your text; do not full justify.
If your document should extend to more than one page, you will need to add a header to the
second and subsequent pages. The header should include only the page number; justify it to the right side
of the page. Do not include a “p” or your name before the number. Do not number the first page. Do not
print page numbers by hand. At the end of your essay, include a word count. Use the “Word Count”
function to get this number, then type the information.
Refer to The MLA Handbook for guidelines to citing sources. If you draw on or refer to sources,
make sure you cite them properly. Unless I direct you otherwise, use the MLA style for citation: in-text
(parenthetical citation) and end-of-text (Works Cited entry). Whether accidental or deliberate, the failure
to cite sources for either quotations or paraphrases constitutes plagiarism, a serious academic offense that can result in expulsion
Your name should appear nowhere in your paper to ensure your anonymity during my grading.
Remember: Papers that do not follow all these specifications will lose up to twenty points (out of
100) and may be returned either ungraded or with a grade but no comments. Following directions exactly
is the easiest part of this course; don’t lower your grade for failing to pay attention to them.
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