Analyzing Academic Prose Assignment

Purpose and Goals:

To help you practice identifying the conventions of academic prose, you will analyze Marilyn R. Farwell’s article “Virginia Woolf and Androgyny.” You will locate specific examples of the conventions of academic prose and explain their importance within the article. How does following these conventions enable Farwell to convey her argument? This is not a summary assignment; you do not have to write a synopsis of the entire article. For each example of an academic convention, provide a specific quotation along with the page number on which it is found.

Conventions of Academic Prose:

  • Originality
    • Identify what is original, according to Farwell, about her argument (10 points)
  • Argument-based
    • Identify Farwell’s main claim or thesis statement (10 points)
    • Identify two pieces of evidence which Farwell uses to support her thesis (10 points)
    • Identify a place where Farwell anticipates a possible counter-argument and refutes it (10 points)
  • Written for a narrow audience, mainly other scholars
    • Identify a place where Farwell incorporates a quotation from another scholar to bolster her argument (10 points)
    • Identify a place where Farwell incorporates a quotation from another scholar to oppose that scholar’s argument (10 points)
    • Identify two places where Farwell uses technical, academic jargon (10 points)
  • Structure
    • Identify one particularly strong topic sentence and one particularly good transition (10 points)
  • Tone
    • Identify one example of authoritative tone (10 points)
    • Identify two places where Farwell uses qualified language to soften or nuance a claim (10 points)

Grading:

This assignment will comprise 5% of your total grade for the course. You will be graded on how well you

  • Locate conventions of academic prose in the assigned article
  • Explain the significance of those conventions

Partial credit will be given if you locate conventions of academic prose without explaining their significance.

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