Literature Question

When the Emperor was Devine

Your assignment is to write a Close Reading/Response paper to one text that we have read. This means you will take the above texts and look back at your reading and discussion notes and find an aspect of the text you are interested in and discuss it in the paper. What I am most interested in is having you communicate with me clearly about the work that you read.The paper should be well-organized: have a thesis-statement or central idea that the rest of the paper backs up,

but otherwise I am not concerned with formality. If it feels right to write this paper in the first-person, do it. Tell
me why the Angel Island poems reminded you of the Migrant Detention Centers of today and why that matters
to you, but show me why it matters through the text of the poems, along with information about the Detention
Centers. Or focus your close reading paper on the character of the mother in No-No Boy and how she is viewed
by the male members of her family. Or focus it on the idea of David Tung as a character who exemplifies the
stereotype of the Chinese American high-achieving Model Minority, but that he also reminded you of yourself.
• The paper can be anywhere from 2 – 4 pages, double-spaced, with 12 point font and regular margins.
• Please use MLA style for citations, and since you are focused on one text, you won’t need footnotes. If you are
citing The Woman Warrior, the citation can just read: (Kingston, 22). When you talk about a text: use present
• Since it is a short paper, I suggest you keep your text support short, or if you want to discuss a scene, please
summarize in your own words. If you are quoting from the television episode, you would give the name and the
approximate time code.

I will be looking for a compelling or well-presented thesis or central question that the paper is arguing
or investigating. How do you write a thesis?
• Skillful observation, analysis, and specific textual details — examples from the text — that support the
• Clear and expressive prose.
• No errors in grammar or spelling or punctuation or details: What genre is the book you are discussing?
• TIPS: 1. skim through the texts to think of which one stood out in your mind;

2. Once you choose the
text, do a timed free-write (set your phone timer for 5 minutes) and write about what interested you
about the book;

3. From this free-write, try and isolate a sentence or idea that you could develop into a

4. Go through the text and pull the sections that you want to focus on that will support your

5. Write a draft of the paper.

6. Go back to the thesis you were thinking about and fix it to
match the rest of your paper.

7. Revise and edit.


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