Select one of the essays you’ve written for this course. Review it carefully, and consider how to build upon its existing strengths in order to address any weaknesses and thereby refine your thesis and your analytical approach to your topic. Review the original prompt as well. Now conduct scholarly research relevant to that topic, research that could concern any number of areas, such as the history of the time and place in which the author under consideration wrote his or her story, the history of the time and place in which the story is set, the politics of race, class, gender of that time, etc. Your research might also examine these author’s concerns as writers.
Having conducted this research, return to your essay. You might find that the findings from your research affirm your original analysis—or challenge it (or both). Regardless, now armed with your findings, tackle your topic anew, using your findings to either expand and enhance your original argument or use them in the service of a new argument that those findings support. This new essay should be five-to-seven pages long (again, the minimum of five pages means five full pages, exclusive of Works Cited page).