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Writing a paper for the book “The Fortunate Pilgrim” by Mario Puzo, will include:
1. introduces the book, author, provides a short (one paragraph only) summary, and determines the value you would place upon the book within the first paragraph. Your thesis statement is on the value of the book and it’s importance as a piece of relevant literature.
Then, in the subsequent sections of the paper, please discuss the following but in any order you like.
2. What are the main themes or issues you find most relevant in this text? Write about how those are built and why they matter. What, in other words, are the main things the author is trying to communicate and how do you know? You should be using specific examples here.
3. How does the protagonist (and maybe other characters as well) navigate life and the world around them? How do they deal with things like racial injustice, intersectionality, day to day challenges, family issues. You might want to incorporate the critical lenses here if they help to organize what you are saying.
4. What do at least two professional critics have to say about the text? How do you feel about what they have to say? You can make a separate section for this or you can incorporate it into the section above. Make that decision by thinking about where it fits best.
5. Is there biographical information about the author that should be taken into account when reading this book? If so, what? How does the author’s own experience play out in the book or help us understand the import of the book.
6. Feel, Inform, Entertain. All good literature and film does three things: makes the reader/viewer feel emotion, learn new information, and be entertained. How does this book achieve that? Give specific examples
Your paper should be between 5-8 pages in length (Double Spaced, Times New Roman, MLA style).
It should have a unique, specific, and interesting title that you have created for it.
It should include a works cited page that lists both the book you are treating and the sources for your professional critics. If you need help arranging a works cited page, please seek help. A great source is the OWL at Purdue (free and online) which has samples and examples galore. Also, feel free to work with the librarian embedded in our class. She can answer your questions about citation both in text and on the works cited page.
It should include evidence of close reading of your text including paraphrase, direct quote, and summary. I do not give you specific numbers of quotes, etc. to use. They are there to support your own thoughts, so use what’s needed, but you will need some.
It should not be written in the first person. We want to take on a more academic stance for this one. So, if you would have said, “I think this book is a truly inspirational novel and should be read world-wide.” instead say “This book is a truly inspirational novel that should be read world-wide. This matters for many reasons, but here are two. 1. using the first person limits how readers of your writing can see the ideas you put forth reading the book you put forth. 2. Including the “I,” particularly “I think” and “I feel” actually waters down the oomph of the argument. You are now an expert on this text–as well as your nonfiction text. Be confident to cast away “I think it may be” for “It is.” 🙂

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