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You will develop your own argument that answers an interpretive question about Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. You will support your argument with close reading, using secondary texts to define, defend and support your terms precisely. You might begin with the historical and theoretical texts that we read in class with the novel. You are required to do research of a critical nature and to engage those sources in your paper. You should assume that your reader has read the primary work about which you are writing, and it is therefore unnecessary to provide plot summary, except where it is absolutely necessary to make a point. I expect analysis and interpretation. In other words, focus not on what happens but rather on the thematic significance of plot points, characterization, description, motifs and tropes. That is, focus on the ideas and issues of the novel.
Your essay should be between FIVE and EIGHT (5-8) pages, or 1,250 to 2,000 words. All papers must be typed, double spaced, with standard margins and in Times New Roman 12pt. type and formatted according to MLA style. Your last name and the page number should appear in the top right-hand corner of every page. You are required to do research of a critical nature and to engage those sources – at least two (in addition to the optional Leiber article) – in your paper. The J-STOR, Project Muse, and MLA Bibliography databases are the best sources for journal articles. This includes analytic and/or interpretive essays written by reputable scholars in the field, published in literary journals, by university presses, or online journals that are peer reviewed and sponsored by universities, institutes, or professional organizations.