Appendix A3: Unit 3 Essay Topics Write a 1000-word Essay (plus or minus 100 word
Appendix A3: Unit 3 Essay Topics Write a 1000-word Essay (plus or minus 100 words) on 1 of the topics below. Choose 1 (and only 1) of the works of literary non-fiction in Box A and analyse it with respect to 1 (and only 1) of the issues arising from the Elements of Literary Non-Fiction in Box B to show how that issue creates meaning or reveals theme in the work of literary non-fiction. Box A: Works of Literary Non-Fiction Richard Wagamese, "Finding Father" (Preferred) Philip Gourevitch, from We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families Kamal Al-Solaylee, from Brown Box B: Issues Arising from the Elements of Literary Non-Fiction Truthfulness: Subjective vs objective truthfulness in the work Research and Immersion: The use of research and/or immersion in the work Scenes and Information: The balance of scenes and information in the work (Preferred) Please use the works of literary non-fiction "Finding Father" by Richard Wagamese and analyze it with respect to the elements of non-fiction: scenes and information. Essay must follow the Course Syllabus guidelines. All writing should be in Canadian English and in MLA style. ................................ Example of what "Scene" is defined as: Scenes can tell the reader something, or show the reader something, or both. In Scene 5 of “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell both tells the reader (in harrowing detail) what happens to the elephant when he shoots it, and he shows the reader (through striking, violent imagery) how shooting the elephant symbolizes the inherent violence of colonialism. Showing is usually considered preferable to telling, since showing results in a more writerly text (i.e., the reader must draw their own conclusions from what the author shows them rather than passively relying on the author to tell them this information). In You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Gutkind sees scenes as one of the “building blocks of creative non-fiction” (105). Scenes have numerous characteristics (see Slide 4): Action: “[S]omething always happens” in a scene (114). Preferably, the action should give rise to “suspense” (116) to impel the action forwards and to raise the emotional stakes of the work. Structure: A good story or narrative has a beginning, a middle, and an end (119). A scene, similarly, also contains its own “mini” beginning, middle, and end (122). Details: Scenes often contain “intimate details” about their subject matter, “ideas and images readers can’t easily visualize on their own.” These details often “symbolize” or “act as metaphors for” some larger theme the author is writing about (127). Dialogue: In some scenes, “people talk to one another” in a “realistic manner” (122-23). Well-written dialogue lends verisimilitude to the work, or “Likeness to the truth” (Cuddon 755). The characteristics of scenes enable literary non-fiction writers to integrate truthful information into their work in a creative way. Example of what "Information" is defined as: In addition to scenes, the other major building block of creative non-fiction is information. Information consists of any additional details, facts, figures, statistics, and other expository matter the reader needs to know to comprehend the larger themes and messages of the work. Information is not part of the narrative, or story, of the literary non-fiction work; the narrative resides exclusively in the scenes. Rather, information is purely expository, explanatory data that supplements or expands upon the narrative. Often, information helps to universalize the narrative, to provide the public element of the work to counterbalance the private element contained in the scenes. In You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Gutkind points out that there are many types of information, including but not limited to the following categories (see Slide 4): Scientific data: Scientific data can help readers perceive the underlying scientific or empirical reasons behind how something works or why something functions the ways it does. Definitions: Definitions of technical terms can help readers understand unfamiliar or specialized concepts, or concepts used in unusual ways. Historical context: Historical context can help readers situate themselves in a time or place that may be new or unfamiliar to them. Statistics: Statistics can help readers make sense of a large amount of numerical data by isolating trends, proportions, changes over time, and other calculations. Facts: Facts can help ground a literary non-fiction work in reality, emphasizing the essential truthfulness of the literary non-fiction work. Quotations from experts: Quotations from experts can help lend credibility and authority to a literary non-fiction work by drawing from other writers’ expertise in a given field. Many authors structure their literary non-fiction works to oscillate between one building block and the other, between scenes and information. For example, in “How It Feels to Be Coloured Me,” Hurston alternates between scenes consisting of personal anecdotes about her life experiences (e.g., the paragraphs beginning “I remember the very day I became coloured” (40) and “Sometimes it is the other way around” (42)) and informational paragraphs about her philosophies of being a Black woman in America (e.g., the paragraphs beginning “But I am not tragically coloured” (41) and “Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry” (43)). Authors make creative decisions about how to arrange their scenes and information to develop their themes and ideas most effectively. Many authors also integrate hybrid paragraphs into their literary non-fiction works, paragraphs containing both scenes and information. Often, these paragraphs take the main form of a scene, but interspersed with a few sentences of what Gutkind calls “embedded information” (138), in which the author steps briefly outside the scene to provide personal reflections for the reader on the scene’s larger significance or implications. For example, in “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell provides a lengthy scene recounting his stalking of the elephant (47-48), but he punctuates that scene with information, with personal reflections on the larger implications of his act (e.g., “it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man’s dominion in the East” (48)). Often, these sentences of embedded information are reminiscent of asides in drama, in which the character steps outside the scene for a moment to address the audience directly. ......................... Please use this information and keep it in mind to connect with during the essay. It is important that all body paragraphs have a specific topic sentence (claim that connects right to the thesis), evidence (Which will be a quotation used from Wagamese's essay), followed by an analysis of that evidence. The most important thing is that the thesis is arguable and specific. – must answer the questions “Why?” and/or “How?”, and not just “What?” All claims in the essay should relate back to the thesis statement and must be the first sentence of each body paragraph. Make sure the essay relates completely to the topic given for the essay and does not go very broad in the writing, make it specific. It is important to follow the worksheets provided about the essay structure because that is what my TA will be looking for. I have included my latest marked essay to show my writing style and the places this essay must be improved in. Thank you.

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