“Recap and Preparation: Multimodal Literary Analysis” “Revising Your Thesis: Crafting Effective Topic Sentences and Outlining Your Argument” “Crafting a Coherent Argument: Organizing, Integrating, and Documenting Sources in a Literary Analysis Essay” “Unveiling the Impact: Exploring the Significance of Corruption and Blind Authority in Moffat’s “The Beast Below”” Incorporating Visuals and Refining Writing Strategies in a Multimodal Literary Analysis “Uncovering the Carnival: A Multimodal Analysis of Mind Control and Authority in ‘The Smilers’ Episode of Doctor Who”


Recap from Annotated Bib: Initial Research
The Topic and Previous Work Completed
The Multimodal Literary Analysis is the final major writing assignment of the course, and it picks up where you left off in the second major writing assignment (the Annotated Bibliography).
This paper is similar to the first essay in that it’s a literary analysis of a primary source read for class to this point, using a lens to help support your analysis. However, there are two small changes for this essay: first, students are instructed to integrate and document material additionally from three scholarly peer reviewed journal articles from academic research to support one’s analysis, and secondly, students must implement a multimodal element to enhance the design of their writing.
Before drafting your essay, please be sure to confirm that your work in composing the Annotated Bibliography has…
Selected a primary source to analyze (one of the Unit 2 poems)
Selected a critical lens to help shape your framework (one of the Unit 1 narratives)
Narrowed your topic by selecting…
a specific theme explored in the primary source
and how that theme relates to a connecting idea of interest between your primary source and lens
Developed an overall research question to provide focus for your eventual essay.
Engaged in research to select 3 scholarly peer reviewed journal articles to serve as additional support.
Considered how literary devices and/or elements of plot in the primary source will help answer your research question.
Composed a Works Cited page that lists MLA adhering full citations for all 5 of your chosen sources.
The Drafting Process
The Genre
For this essay, we are writing a literary analysis supported with extensive research. Please consider reviewing the assigned textbook chapter “Literary Analysis” in The Little Seagull Handbook, which will provide a strong explanation of the genre and could provide us a framework for developing this essay. 
Review (and potentially Revise) your Thesis Statement
Remember: your thesis will need to answer your narrowed research question, which you have at this point settled on now that you’ve concluded your research process. So, take a moment and review your research question to be sure that the tentative thesis statement you provided in the Annotated Bibliography adequately answers it. Revise where necessary.
After, spend some time reviewing your reflection annotations in your Annotated Bibliography to start envisioning your analytic argument. Consider if your current thesis statement best articulates an overall claim that will be supported by the ideas you’ve synthesized in your annotations. Revise where necessary.
Sample Approach:
Last year, ENG 102 students were assigned to watch an episode of Doctor Who entitled “The Beast Below.” So, a previous student could have selected that as their primary source, and then they might have selected Coates’s essay as their theoretical text. A sample thesis for this sample essay may be:
Using Coates’ definition of fear as a lens, Moffat’s “The Beast Below” employs several literary and plot devices to explore the central theme that corrupt democratic governments engage in willfully blind authoritative corruption to exploit the most vulnerable and marginalized.
Based on this thesis, my audience knows that I would be primarily analyzing Moffat’s episode to discuss a theme in his work as it relates to a topic of interest inspired from my theoretical text (Coates) regarding fear. 
Please note: this is a tentative thesis statement to be articulated at the start of your drafting process, and it’s not set in stone. Having a thesis before writing your topic sentences and your body section is helpful in figuring out what to include and what to discuss in those paragraphs. However, it’s possible you’ll need to revise your thesis statement after drafting the body section, as writing those smaller arguments may help you determine a stronger claim. So, please don’t worry if you decide midway through your drafting process that you’ll need to revise your thesis! It’s definitely a part of the process: make changes when you think you need to, and then continue drafting.
Review your annotations and thesis statement, and list topic sentences
After revising our thesis statement, we should begin writing topic sentences, which should reflect the boundaries we set up for ourselves in the thesis statement, as well as expanding on the basic thoughts represented there.
To get started, I highly recommend that you review your Annotated Bibliography’s reflection annotations to mine supporting claims. If you spent time synthesizing ideas amongst 2 or more of your sources in each these annotations, you’ve done most of the work already and can gain inspiration from there.
After reviewing your annotations, start composing formal topic sentences to start each of your body paragraphs. I recommend that you keep your tentative thesis statement nearby so that you can reference it to discern which ideas need to shared to provide context; which ideas need to be argued to support your central claim; and which ideas need to be addressed to develop potential counterarguments. As this is a much longer essay that relies on a lot of sources, try to aim for 8-10 topic sentences; you can always delete or combine ideas later.
I also recommend that you focus most if not all of your topic sentences on how the author’s use of literary or poetic devices in your selected primary source helps support your claim. This is oftentimes an easier way to engage in analysis: use the tools we’ve learned in class to help gain new perspectives on your text.
If you need more help and tips in forming topic sentences, feel free to reference UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center’s guide on paragraphing.
Sample approach:
Continuing with the sample thesis statement provided earlier, I might start a body paragraph with this topic sentence:
Carnival imagery in the set design is frequently used to hide the lies told by the Starship UK’s government, revealing a sinister superficiality.
This topic sentence ties back to my thesis by referencing the important ideas articulated (government corruption), but it’s also more specific: I explicitly discuss a literary device (imagery) that I’m using to break down a part of the episode, which will help me connect with Moffat’s related theme. 
Here are some additional topic sentences I composed that would support my thesis:
The Starship UK’s mind wiping technology keeps the populace in line, and as a plot device it demonstrates the power of remaining ignorant to the plights of others, which is similar to Coates’s assessment of “the Dream.”
On a similar note, the mind wiping technology relies heavily on its citizens’ self-serving fear, which is particularly noteworthy in consideration of Coates’ definition.
This plot device is special in that it also showcases a corrupted government’s desire for control over care for its citizens.
The marginal conflict between Amy and the Doctor regarding her choice to forget spurs Amy’s character development towards unmasking the ultimate antagonist, and in doing so Moffat emphasizes the need to protest.
When we do see adult intervention in the climax, the revealing inner conflict with the titular character underscores just how necessary it is for leadership to be primarily concerned with the experiences of all to ensure a healthy society, seen first in academic spaces.
Surveillance and secrets in every facet of the society with no true transparency comments on the government’s reckless incompetence, which the audience never sees fully resolved.
The change in status quo for the Starship UK ultimately leaves a bitter taste, as there is no true resolution for the citizens – only promises, which research shows rarely manifests into change.
Outline & Work with your Sources
Once you’ve listed topic sentences, you can put together a working outline of your argument, which would help you visualize exactly where topic sentences should be ordered logically in your argument. An outline is also useful in helping you discern where to integrate certain sources to support each of your supporting claims. If you feel you need more help and advice with organization, please refer to The University of Lynchburg’s “Organizing Your Paper”. 
After you’ve created your outline, then go back through and add more bullet points under each topic sentence, using the SWAGG method to integrate and document material from appropriate sources as support. More explicitly, here are the strategies I’m looking to see that you can demonstrate in your essay:
Paraphrasing ideas
Directly quoting sources
Using the “SWAGG” method to introduce source material via signal phrases
Using the “SWAGG” method to explain and discuss source material
Documenting all of the above in adherence to MLA standards via in-text citations
As a side note, since this is a literary analysis, I would expect to see analysis of material (paraphrases and quotations) from your selected primary source in most if not all of your body paragraphs. Sometimes, students will use the first body paragraph to provide context on a certain terminology or concept central to their argument, so we may not see material from the primary source in that paragraph. However, the remainder of the body section should be devoted towards analyzing the primary source in each body paragraph.
Add Transitions
Be sure to add transitions throughout your outline: you’ll need to transition between ideas posed in your body paragraph, but you’ll also need to create a satisfying flow between body paragraphs — so, don’t forget to add a transitional sentence at the end or beginning of a body paragraph.
This step requires patience and playfulness in crafting sentences that explain the similarities and connections amongst your ideas. Don’t forget to rely on the actual transition words in your arsenal. Basic transitions usually signal procedure and sequence: first, second, then, next, finally. More advance transitions signal movement from one idea to the next: however, therefore, in addition to, complicating that, extending this.
Effective transitions show movement and connection: we are moving from idea to idea, but we are going to do so while still sticking to the thesis and topic sentences crafted. If you find it extra difficult to state a connection between one idea and the next, then that could be a sign that you need to reconsider the organization of your essay!
For folks who need more help with transitions, check out the UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center’s resource, “Transitions.”
Compose an introduction and conclusion
After composing your draft, you’ll now want to compose an introduction and a conclusion, which are paragraphs that properly open and close your essay. As a general rule, it’s more efficient to wait until you actually know what you’ll be arguing in your paper before you try to introduce your topic and provide closure for your reader, which is why you should always focus on the body paragraphs first.
Starting with the introduction, feel free to revisit the introduction you used in the annotated bibliography, as you will likely be able to use parts of it. After, you’ll want to try to connect emotionally with your audience in the first 2-3 sentences, which is called the “hook.” Some strategies for writing the hook are telling a personal anecdote, posing a hypothetical situation, asking questions, etc. After the hook, you’ll need to transition into your brief explanation of your topic, which should introduce your audience to the title and author of your primary source (your selected poem). After, you’ll then need to transition into your thesis statement.
After writing your introduction, I recommend that you read your whole draft — including the intro — before composing your conclusion so that you can get a sense of how best to provide closure for your audience. Remember that the conclusion is the last time you’ll be able to connect emotionally with your audience, so be sure to quickly (in one sentence, two maximum) reword your thesis statement, and then spend the remainder of your conclusion answering the “So, what?” question for your audience (or, in other words, tell your reader why they should care and what your argument means for them in terms of its larger significance on our lives). Doing so will help communicate how your topic may affect and impact your reader, which will help provide a lasting impression. One way to answer the “so what?” is to first consider your introduction strategy and to circle back to it. For example, if you started your intro with a story, then try to finish the story in your conclusion as you try to explain the topic’s larger significance to your audience. Or, as another example, if you started your essay with questions, then aim to answer those questions in your conclusion by additionally answering the “so what?” question. 
For folks who feel like they’d like to know more about opening and closing your essay, check out the UNC-Chapel Hill Writing’s center’s resources on introductions and conclusions.
Compose a title
I would highly recommend that you wait until after you’ve written a first full draft of your essay (including the introduction and conclusion) to write your title, which is a short phrase or sentence that informs the reader of the topic and pulls them in, as it’s the first part of the essay your audience will see near the top of the first page.
You’ll want to freewrite a few ideas before settling on a solid title, so please be aware that writing a title will take a little time and thought. Keep in mind that the most effective titles are interesting and eye-catching, informative of the topic (and, optionally, the genre of writing), and indicative of your position on the topic. An example might be:
Surveillance, Mind Wipes, and Lies, Oh My!: Corruption and Willfully Blind Authority in Moffat’s “The Beast Below”
For more helpful advice and tips, check out the University of Michigan Writing Center’s guide for writing great titles.
Find, Integrate, and Caption/Cite Visuals into Draft
One additional element to writing academic writing is the consideration of one’s design. In Humanities classes, most of the design choices are made by following MLA formatting guidelines, which specifies the visual presentation of a formal writing in terms of font, spacing, margins, etc.
There are other design choices, however, that are left up to the writer. For example, a writer might choose to add headings and subheadings, which provides visual cues to alert the reader to sections of smaller arguments within the larger essay.
Another design choice we can make is adding in visuals — through charts, graphs, and other images — to further support claims made in our topic sentences. For this final essay, you are required to make such a design choice, that will require you to create and/or locate appropriate visuals to be used at appropriate points in your draft so as to enrich your discussion.
One way can find relevant and appropriate visuals is by integrating charts and graphs to represent relevant statistical data. If you have prior experience in creating charts and graphs, and if your draft would benefit from providing these visual cues, then feel free to take information you’ve collected through your research to create charts and/or graphs. Alternately, you’re welcome to screenshot and crop relevant charts and graphs published in your scholarly journal articles — but be sure to provide attribution via an in-text citation in the image’s caption.
Another way you can reconsider the design of your essay is to integrate visuals that are related to your primary source, including screencaps of the source itself. For example, if I’m writing on Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who episode, “The Beast Below,” I might rewatch the episode on my computer, and occasionally pause the episode to take a screenshot of the most important moments I refer to in my draft. Since I’m referring to carnival imagery in my draft, I would take pictures of the “Smilers” and the tents to include in my draft, where appropriate. I also refer to the mind wiping technology, so I would also screenshot the “protest” and “forget” buttons in the episode. In the caption for each screengrab from my source, I would include an explanation of the scene and an in-text citation so as to provide attribution.
You might also research to find images related to theme(s) that you examine in your selected primary source. For example, in my hypothetical draft, I’m most concerned with the concept of blind authority within democracy. So, for the conclusion when I answer the “so, what?” question for my audience and explain the larger implications of these themes, I might include an image or two of well known instances in which our country’s leadership has enacted policies that harmed vulnerable people by way of turning a blind eye to their plights. Again, in the caption for each screengrab from my source, I would include an explanation of the scene and an in-text citation so as to provide attribution.
Before Submitting
Review your use of expected Writing Strategies
The following writing strategies reviewed and practiced this unit should be important features of your essay, so check to make sure you’ve got evidence of these strategies in your writing:
Integrate quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from sources.
Document source material, adhering to MLA citation standards.
Synthesize own ideas with material from multiple sources.
Identify and analyze elements of plot and or literary devices in your selected primary source.
Apply rhetorical & genre awareness to analyze and interpret literary texts, and to compose a multimodal literary analysis.
Locate, integrate, and caption relevant visuals, where appropriate in draft.
Enhance and refine writing with implementation of common formatting styles and design elements.
Additionally, students are expected to draw on previous learning experiences in ENG 101 to engage the following writing strategies to compose this essay, so do a quick check to ensure these strategies are present:
Write a thesis statement that answers the central research question.
Write topic sentences, which will each support the thesis and provide focus to body paragraphs.
Develop an appropriate organizational strategy for this genre (organized by your ideas supported by 2 or more texts in each body paragraph, as opposed to summarizing and/or responding to one source in each body paragraph).
Connects emotionally with the audience in the title, introduction, and conclusion.
Provides full attribution to cited sources with the provision of a Works Cited page added to the end of the essay.
Adheres to MLA basic formatting standards.
The MLA Format Check
In fact, go back and double check everything is in MLA format. You have access to a sample essay here. Be sure that:
You have the correct header
You have your last name and page number in the top-right corner. Need help getting it up there? Try this.
Your in-text citations are in MLA format (last name page #); (Herring 137)
You have a Works Cited Page that:
Is double spaced
Is in alphabetical order
Has a hanging indent (tutorial here)
The Review
Submit your essay to a tutoring service if you need additional feedback. Please remember that:
You have access to the Titan Tutoring Center
You have access to the online tutoring service Brainfuse
Reflect in ePortfolio
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