The purpose of this assignment is to gain a broader understanding of Dennis Lehane’s novel Mystic River using outside sources. Your assignment for this paper is to write a 6-8 page argument essay analyzing the novel’s characters, themes, or commentary on underlying social issues. You may, but are not required to, write about one of the topics below. – Gender: masculine men, masculine women, feminine men, feminine women, multiple masculinities, male violence – Religion: confessions, guilt, Catholicism – Wolves: obvious wolves, wolves disguised as sheep, sheep disguised as wolves – Grief: the grieving process for men – Setting as Character: The Flats as a character, the impact of Katie’s death on the neighborhood You may write about any topic of your choosing as it relates to the novel, but keep in mind that whatever topic you write about must present an original argument and conduct analysis. Caution: Do not write an essay that states the obvious or that relies too heavily on the plot of the novel. Do not use research to simply state that the plot of the novel is realistic. This assignment will work best if you find tension/conflict within novel or between the novel and your research. Keep in mind that assignment requires that you analyze the novel Mystic River, not the film version. Any paper that includes an aspect of the film that does not appear in the novel will receive a failing grade. Other requirements: Your essay must include a clear thesis statement, an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. You must use 3-4 scholarly sources to support your arguments. Restrictions: You may not use more than two block quotes in this essay. Due Dates: Rough draft: An optional rough draft of your paper is due on Sunday, December 1, at noon. Make sure your rough draft is saved as a Word PDF file. The rough draft you send should be no more than 2 pages long. Send rough drafts to [email protected] Do not send more than 2 pages. Peer review: Bring a PRINTED copy of your rough draft to class on Monday, December 2. The rough draft you bring to class for peer review may be 6-8 pages long. The final draft is due on Thursday, December 5, at 11:59 p.m. The final draft must be submitted via Turnitin as a PDF file. There will be no extensions of this deadline. Formatting Instructions: Papers that do not follow these formatting instructions will be penalized one grade step for each instruction not followed (i.e., if your final grade is A, it will be lowered to A- and so on). Paper length: 6-8 pages, typed, double-spaced with no extra space between paragraphs, 12-point Times New Roman or Cambria font. A 6-page minimum means 6 FULL pages. Pages less than 6 pages long will receive a failing grade. Papers longer than 8 pages long will be penalized one grade step. Margins: 1-inch on each side Format: Follow MLA format for all in-text citations and format your paper according to the MLA guidelines on Purdue OWL or the guidelines in your style manual. Include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper. The Works Cited page will not be included in the page limits. Cover page: Include your name, the title of the course, my name, the date, the title of your paper, and assignment number. Your cover page must also include the Academic Integrity Honor Pledge, which states, “On my honor, I have neither received nor given any unauthorized assistance on this assignment.” The cover page is not included in the page limits. A sample cover page is posted in Course Documents on Blackboard. 

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