An analysis of “Professions for Women” by Virginia Woolf
This writing assignment should include a general thesis sentence, not a three-point thesis sentence. The text should support the thesis and include specific examples and details. Remember to avoid generalities such as “thing,” “stuff,” “society,” “as a whole,” and “people.”
This essay must be written in third person objective point of view (which means none of the follow pronouns may be used: you, us, our, me, my, I, or one). See the sample essay provided in the corresponding module for an annotated essay example.
Develop and write a 300 – 400 word analysis of “Professions for Women” by Virginia Woolf following the criteria:
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1. Read The Little Seagull Handbook section W-8 “Rhetorical Analyses.”
2. Read “Professions for Women” by Virginia Woolf (located in the corresponding module per the syllabus schedule). The Woolf essay is the primary source, and you will refer to it using MLA in-text citations (per the MLA section of The Little Seagull Handbook) throughout your essay to help support your ideas.
3. Select one of the topics below for your essay. Do not simply give your opinion or provide a summary. Though it is not required, you may find it helpful to sketch out a brief outline that includes a thesis, topic sentences, and a few details from the Woolf piece before you start writing a draft. This way, you can organize your thoughts before you get too far into the writing process.
a) How is Woolf’s speech a feminist argument?
b) How does Woolf’s murder of the angel represent the push against domestic restrictions placed on women?
4. Finally, write a 300 – 400 word analytical essay following the format/submission requirements provided on the syllabus. Remember you must prove your thesis using examples from the primary source. The final essay should include in-text citations as well as a Work Cited page. It should be double spaced using size 12 point font. (Papers using font smaller than 12 point will not be accepted.) Again, refer to the sample essay for formatting help. See the syllabus for the final due date. Only a final submission is required, but the instructor will briefly review one draft version if it is sent in at least 3 weekdays (not including Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays) and by 8am (eastern standard time) before the final version is due. Drafts should be formatted per syllabus instructions and sent as Blackboard email attachments. Do not use any additional sources other than the Woolf article. Note: Follow the general writing guidelines below as you create your final essay for this assignment.
1. Never use the word “thing” in any form (something, nothing, anything).
2. Avoid vague references to “people.” Who are these people? Say who they actually are instead of referring to them generally.
3. Never use second person: we, our, your. You should not “talk” to the reader or refer to him or her in any way. Be careful not to use commands as the “you” is understood. Also, do not simply substitute “one” for “you.” This is still using a word as a pronoun, and a pronoun must reference someone or something before can use it.
4. Unless specifically required, never use first person (I). You are not to give your opinion. You are to state facts and back them up with evidence from the text.
5. Unless otherwise instructed, assume that your reader has read the story, poem, or play you are discussing. Do not retell the work because simple retelling is not analysis.
6. Do not use clichés, trite expressions, or overly used phrases. Be original. Use your own words instead.
7. Avoid unnecessary or inappropriate use of the passive voice. Make the subjects of the sentences do the action of the verbs.
8. Use appropriate diction. You are not writing a letter to a friend.
9. Generalizations need to be backed up with evidence from the text either through direct quotations, paraphrasing, or summarizing. For example, if you write that a character was well-liked, you must then give specific details from the text that show why he was well-liked.
10. Make sure your piece has a unique title that relates to your topic. It should be centered above the body of the paper. Do not put essay titles in quotes or underline. Use initial capitalization. See The Little Seagull Handbook for assistance with capitalization rules.
11. Titles of short stories or essays referenced in the paper are put in quotation marks while titles of books or plays are underlined or italicized.
12. Use present tense throughout: “Martin Luther King Jr. uses numerous references to historical American documents in his speech.”
13. When quoting directly from the text, do not use a drop quote. Short, direct quotes should be incorporated into the text using a signal phrase. Assuming you are quoting from the class text, a page number in parenthesis should be included at the end of the sentence that includes the quote. See the MLA information in The Little Seagull Handbook.
14. Be careful of giving opinions in your writing by using words and phrases such as “obviously” or “it seems” or “it’s easily understood that.”
15. Do not refer to the reader: “The reader understands the tension building in the story.” It is impossible to know what every reader is thinking, and guessing at what readers think is not analysis.
16. Have a strong thesis sentence. This is the focus of your paper, and the body of your paper should support this thesis. A thesis should be a complete sentence.
17. Make sure you introduce the author and title of the work you will be writing about in the introductory paragraph.
18. Do not tell the reader what you are going to do. Instead, just do it. For example, don’t do the following: “I’m going to tell you how to write an essay.” Or “In conclusion…”