Project 2: The Good House

Tananarive Due’s The Good House reimagines the Gothic haunted house story from a new perspective. Key elements of Gothic horror remain, such as an ancestral home that is the site of some family secret. But Due infuses the genre with new elements, including characters and issues that reflect the contemporary American experience. Your goal for this project is to take The Good House as Due’s “They say,” to which you’ll respond with your own analytical “I say.”

For this project, you’ll offer an analysis of The Good House in which you take a stance that illuminates, advances, or challenges the themes of The Good House. The general structure of such an analysis might take this form:

  1. First establish that what you’re talking about is indeed a theme of The Good House. It may be an explicit theme, or perhaps its an implicit theme, operating on the evocative plane of meaning. You’ll establish that this is a theme using evidence from the novel. Evidence should include words, phrases, lines, patterns, and outliers (i.e. meaningful exceptions to patterns).
  2. Next use specific evidence—dialogue, passages, and structural features—from The Good House to argue for own take on that theme. You can push the theme further, consider the implications, show another side of it, or even challenge the premise of the theme.
  3. Finally you need to convince your reader that your own stance matters. Why does it matter?

I will evaluate the writing project using this rubric.

Key Dates
  • Wednesday, September 19: Bring two paragraphs to class in which you examine some evidence from The Good House and explain its significance. Print out two copies of these paragraphs.
  • Friday, September 21: 1,250 word draft due by class time, shared with me via Google Docs.
  • Saturday, September 29: Final 1,500 word version due by 5pm, shared with me as a *separate* document on Google Docs.
Project Checklist

Before you submit your writing project, there are a number of editing and formatting details to consider. Failure to pay attention to these details or handing in sloppy work can affect a reader’s response to your overall argument. Students who are not meticulous about the presentation of their ideas are often not meticulous about the intellectual rigor of those ideas. So, slow down on both accounts and carefully consider what you write and how you write it, using this checklist as a guide.

  1. Name. Even on a Google Doc, your name and the date should all appear in the top right or left corner of your first page.
  2. Title. Every paper should be titled. The title should be relatively short, but not too short. A two word titles reveals nothing about the contents of your paper. The title should be descriptive and compelling.
  3. Font. Use a common 11- or 12-point serif font.
  4. Indentation and Spacing. Use indentation or spacing to signal that start of new paragraphs.
  5. Spelling. Spellcheck your document. Be careful about easily confused words like its and it’s, their and there, and too and to.
  6. Punctuation. Watch out for inappropriate commas or incorrect usage of semicolons, commas, and so on.
  7. Citations. When using sources beyond your own experience or common knowledge, use an accepted citation format (APA, Chicago, or MLA) to cite these sources. Include a Works Cited page when citing sources.
  8. Titles. Journal names, book, and film titles should be italicized, while article, essay, poem, and song titles should be enclosed in quotation marks.
  9. Read Aloud. Reading your essay aloud is the best way to catch awkward sentence construction, missing words, or even holes in your logic.
  10. Document Name. Give your Google Doc a name that includes your last name and project name. Specify whether this is the draft of final version. For example, Sample – Draft – Project 2 or Sample – Final – Project 2.
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