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The Paper is written about the book WIT (the play) by Margaret Edson.

Quotes need to be added as well.


The paper should be a minimum of three to four typed pages, double-spaced. Every paper should contain some careful, detailed analysis of particular passages of the play. No library or Internet research is necessary to complete this assignment. If you do use another person’s critical ideas or language–including the Internet–the source or sources must be identified using MLA citation. This paper counts 15% of your final grade.


Introduction and Thesis Statement: In order to complete this paper successfully, you will have to come up with your own argument, your own interpretation: this is called the thesis. Your thesis must have some context, however. Please be sure that in your introduction you provide a general overview of your topic. This overview will lead you to your main point (once again, your thesis). Bear in mind the difference between a topic (or subject) and a thesis. “Used cars” is a topic. “Used cars are often a far better bargain over the long term than new cars” is a thesis. “Margaret Edson Alexie is interested in the relationships between doctors and patients” is a topic. You come up with the thesis. Remember, a thesis is a claim that you make about the play; it must be something about which reasonable people can disagree. The lack of a thesis statement has been a problem for many of you in your first two papers. I strongly recommend you speak with me about your thesis before turning in your final draft.


Body of Paper: The body of your paper must support your thesis. Each paragraph should have one main idea, supported with ample references to the text as well as with your discussion of those references. You should use quotations, but don’t rely on quotations alone. Most importantly, I am interested in what you have to say about your topic. If you use quotations without commenting on those quotations (discussing their relevance in terms of your thesis), you will not write a strong paper. You will be primarily graded on your ideas.


Conclusion: Do not neglect the conclusion. This is your opportunity to leave your reader with something to think about. You may summarize your main points, of course, but do not stop there. Perhaps make a bold assertion or finish with some rhetorical questions. Perhaps suggest further ways to think about your analysis. In any case, the concluding paragraph is as important as the rest of the paper.


Each paragraph should have at least five sentences. This is not a journalism class. You are writing a literary interpretation/argument, so I expect that you will become an expert on the topic that you have chosen. Also, make sure you consult the material on Blackboard about how to quote dramas.


Choose one question to answer. Your answer must include an analysis of two stories.


  1. Discuss the power and influence of words in this play. Who wields power through words? How is language deployed in the interest of power? Do the characters communicate—or fail to communicate—with each other? In what way is a particular vocabulary empowering or limiting?


  1. How are the medical professionals portrayed in the play? Why do you think Edson portrays them the way she does? What point is she making? Is the portrayal fair and accurate?


  1. Examine the tensions between the mind and body/head and heart in this play. Where do you see the two coming in conflict? What does this conflict reveal about the main characters, especially Vivian?