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ENG 102
Research Essay: Art Spiegelman’s Maus


Task: prepare a 6-7 page (double spaced) argument-based, thesis-driven research essay created in response to one of the below prompts on Art Spiegelman’s Maus. Your essay should also contain 3-4 secondary sources suitable for a scholarly essay. 2 of these must be peer reviewed academic journal article (the type of material found on JSTOR).

Option 1: 

Analyze the extent to which the past influences and impacts the present in Maus. 

(In your answer you may wish to consider some of the following: How are the past and present blurred graphically in the story?; Which of Vladek’s personality traits can be linked to his experiences in the Holocaust, and which cannot? ; How does the past reverberate through future generations?; How do Vladek’s experiences effect his parenting style and his relationship with his son?; “Prisoner on the Hell Planet” and the ways in which the past is referred to in the present; How does Art – both as a child and an adult – interact with his parents’ war experiences? If the past impacts the present so much in the Spiegelman family, why did Artie have to learn about his father’s story? Vladek’s memories of Anja; Vladek’s current marriage; Art’s memories of his mother; Art’s place and role in the Spiegelman family; Anja’s death) 

Option 2: 

To what extent does guilt shape the relationship between Vladek and Art? 

(In your answer you may wish to consider some of the following: Art’s feelings of guilt over not being a “good” son (father and son do not get along; Art does not want to help with chores); Art’s feelings of guilt regarding the death of his mother; Art’s feelings of guilt regarding the publication of Maus; the issue of survivor’s guilt and how this may affect both Vladek and Art; the way in which other characters deal with and discuss guilt; Art’s conversation with his therapist; “Prisoner on the Hell Planet”) 

Length: 
• 6-7 pages (not including Works Cited page). This means that the essay should be 6 pages, minimum. Therefore, the Works Cited would be page 7, for a 6 page essay, and page 8, if you write a 7 page essay. The Works Cited cannot be page 6 of the essay. 



Research Reminder: 
• You are required to interact with at least 3 secondary sources suitable for a scholarly essay. 
• 2 of these must be peer reviewed academic journal articles. These should be obtained via the college library’s databases (JSTOR) 
• Do not cite Wikipedia (and comparable online sources) or Sparknotes/Cliffnotes (or comparable guides). 

Writing Reminder: 
• This is a formal college-level essay, and the standard of writing should reflect that. Do not write in second person (you; your). Stick to third person as much as possible. Draft and re-draft your work. Make sure that all your sentences make sense! You progressed successfully through English 101, and that is why you are here in English 102. Please do not forget your entire portfolio of English 101 essay writing/research skills. 

Make sure the final version of your essay has: 
• Strong introduction and conclusion. 
• Thesis statement 
• A considerable amount of in depth analysis of your primary sources suitable for a transfer-level college blended literature/composition class (this analysis should fit logically into your wider argument. Another way to look at this is as follows: your overall thesis should grow from your in depth analysis) 
• Adequate number of body paragraphs developing and supporting your position 
• The required amount and type of secondary materials. 
• Properly integrated source materials (quotations from primary sources; quotations, summaries, and/or paraphrases from secondary materials) 
• MLA in-text references for all quotations, summaries and paraphrases. 
• A Works Cited page (MLA format) listing each individual source in correct MLA format. 

Guidelines: 
• Papers should be typed in a clear 12-point font such as Times New Roman.
• Double space the document and include 1 inch margins.
• Include your name, the date, the course and the assignment title on the first page.
• Include your name on every page thereafter.
• Number all pages consecutively and staple them together. 

Hand In: 
The final version of the essay

Grading: This essay is worth 30% of the overall course grade.

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