Title: writer’s choice
you can read it online THE BOOK IS
The lens essay uses one text to shed light on another in order to show readers something they would not have been able to see if they had examined the texts in isolation.
For this assignment, you will use one of the following academic sources as a lens for shedding light on Dregerâ€™s One of Us in 3-5 pages:
– Leslie Fielder, Freaks: Myths and Images of the Secret Selfâ€
– Robert Bogdan, â€œThe Social Construction of Freaksâ€
– Allison Pingree, â€œThe Exceptions that Prove the Rule: Daisy and Violet Hilton, the New Woman, and the Bonds of Marriageâ€
Your aim is to synthesize your understanding of the argument in your chosen academic source with your interpretation of a specific passage, case study, or idea in Dregerâ€™s book to create an argument you could not have made through close reading of Dreger alone. You seek to inform your readers, to open up Dreger’s stories about abnormal bodies in new ways â€” and, in doing so, to help your readers see the potential for producing critical readings of texts like Dregerâ€™s.
In order to be successful at this assignment, you will have to narrow down and select threads in both your lens essay and in Dregerâ€™s book. From your lens source, you want to select an idea, a term, a concept, or a piece of the argument that you can apply to a thread in Dreger. Additionally, you wonâ€™t have the space to write about all of Dregerâ€™s argument. Instead, you need to focus on a particular case she considers or a passage from her bookâ€”most likely, you will be concentrating on less than a single chapter of the Dreger book for the bulk of your analysis. While it will be necessary to quote from both sources in your paper, you will be quoting more from the Dreger than your chosen lens source [you may only quote and analyze material from the lens source in one paragraph early on], and the analysis you produce of Dreger (the sentences you write about a quote or example on the right hand side of the citation before moving on) should always involve the idea youâ€™ve extracted from the lens source rather than just your analysis of the Dreger alone.
Lastly, let me remind you that your paper should be thesis-driven. That is to say, it should search for links between materials for the purpose of constructing a thesis or theory about their relationship to each other. Your thesis should be a disputable claim that is proven through your use of specific evidence in the form of MLA-style in-text citations, around which you incorporate the characteristics of PIE structure (point/purpose; integrate; examine/evaluate/explore/explain). Furthermore, your thesis should feature prominently in the introduction of your essay and organize the development of your body paragraphs.
As a part of making your paper conform to MLA style, you are required to have a Works Cited page at the end of your final draft that includes works cited entries for both One of Us and your lens text, formatted according to MLA style. We have learned how to construct Works Cited Pages on the MLA Olympics handout, so go back to that assignment if you need help with works cited pages.
First drafts are due for peer review Wednesday, November 2.
Final drafts are due in the appropriate dropbox Friday, November 4.
Pattern for Your Lens Essay
This assignment is like doing textual analysis with a magnifying glass, or doing surgery with tweezers– you have to focus on the smallest details here! You are literally focused only on two very small pieces of informationâ€”an idea/concept/term from your academic source (literally, just a couple of words!) and just a small piece (less than a chapter!!!) of Dreger. Ideally, you could/should use one of Dreger’s examples, stories, or cases of abnormal embodiment like the Hiltons or the Bunkers, and that is all.
– Starts with the big idea youâ€™re considering and narrows down from thereâ†’ gender roles and the body? How we judge those who are different from us? The experiences of the abnormally bodied themselves? It’s all about the ideas, though, and you start general and then narrow down into the specific parts of the two texts you’re going to use.
– Includes a quick one or two sentence summary of each source– but no more.
– Begins to set up the lens youâ€™re using with this pattern for your thesis: By using Fielderâ€™s/Pingreeâ€™s/Bogdanâ€™s idea of â€œ____________â€ to analyze Dregerâ€™s presentation of the lives of ________________, it becomes apparent that ________________________.
Organizing the bodyâ€”
It makes the most sense to organize the body in a way like this:
– 1 paragraph where you quote, paraphrase, and summarize the idea or concept youâ€™re taking from the lens source.
– 1 paragraph where you quote, paraphrase, and summarize the case study, story, or example from Dreger (at most, youâ€™re working with a couple of pages in One of Us here!)
[You can choose to present these first two paragraphs above in either order- pick the one that makes the best sense for your argument]
– THEN: 1-2 paragraphs where you bring it togetherâ€”what does the lens idea illuminate about the Dreger case study? What comes up in your analysis in light of the concept, idea, or term from the lens source youâ€™re using? When you quote from Dreger in these paragraphs, the analysis your produce (the â€˜interpretâ€™ from report + interpret or the â€˜Eâ€™ from PIE structure) â€”everything to the right of the quote before you move on from itâ€”should be focused on bringing the lens idea to bear on the Dreger quote. You literally couldnâ€™t produce the analysis you were making about the Dreger quote without the lens idea.
– FINALLY: Optional 1-2 follow-up paragraphs that explore the insights youâ€™ve gained from the lens analysis in other parts of Dregerâ€™s book in a more general way, or explore or explain the big similarities or differences between Dregerâ€™s ideas and your lens sources ideas. [These paragraphs are fine to include after you do your lens analysis, but they canâ€™t replace themâ€”they are not the same thing as doing a lens analysis. It could make sense, for the purpose of your argument, thesis, or topic, to get broader and think about the sources in relation to one another based on what you find. Not required though.]
– Repeats the important ideas that have come for your analysis. Summarizes what you found using the academic source as a lens to analyze the Dreger source. Thinks about the sources in relation to each other in a broader way if you havenâ€™t included the optional paragraphs above.
Example Thesis: – &quot;By using Fielder’s conception of the ‘freak’ to analyze the case of Chang and Eng Bunker in Dreger’s One of Us, it becomes apparent that the Bunkers may been ‘freaks’ in the way Fielder describes. As I will show in the analysis to follow, though, to be a ‘freak’ in the way Fielder describes is not opposed to Dreger’s pleas for greater social acceptance for the abnormally bodied in One of Us. Both texts rely on the first-hand experiences of the abnormally bodied to advocate on their behalfs.&quot;
Sample outline for paper:
Paragraph 1– explaining Fielder’s idea of the freak
Paragraph 2- explaining Dreger’s presentation of Chang and Eng Bunker. What’s she trying to show about their case?
Paragraph 3– putting it together: analyzing Chang and Eng Bunker according to the lens– how they might be ‘freaks’
Paragraph 4– putting it together: how being a freak is not opposed to Dreger’s purpose in One of Us
Paragraph 5– how both texts advocate on behalf of abnormally bodied people