University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

English 733
Studies in World Literature

Duyfhuizen, Summer 2002

Keystone Paragraph/Scene Papers

Select from a text assigned during the thrid week a "keystone paragraph" (more than 100 words) or a "keystone scene" (not more than 2 pages typically). Your main goal is to select and analyze either a keystone paragraph or keystone scene as a means of interpreting the text's theme. Your task, then, is to provide a focused "close reading" of your selected part of the narrative and to draw inferences related to your overall reading of the text.


In preparing the paper:

  1. Reproduce the keystone paragraph or scene (you may photocopy if it is a scene) on a separate page as an appendix to your paper. Your introduction should direct the reader's attention to the appendix, and your thesis should be targeting the significance of the paragraph or scene for revealing the meaning of the text.
  2. Since you may be using a different edition of the text than the one I'm using, you need to provide accurate page citations in the your paper whenever you are quoting from the narrative, and to provide a separate Work(s) Cited page at the end. Also, make sure you transcribe all quotations accurately-I often find in my own writing that I begin with one point when I quote a passage but discover two or three more during the process of transcription; don't underestimate this "clerical" task as part of your close reading strategy.
  3. Lastly, you need to have a title that will be indicative of the paper's thesis.

See the Sample Paper handout for specific conventions in preparing these papers; I do evaluate the total paper when I grade.

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Bernard Duyfhuizen
Associate Dean
College of Arts and Sciences
Updated: 10 July 2002