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Analysis Essay

This essay continues the work we’ve been doing on critical thinking and composition by asking you to analyze a novel using the facts and ideas you find in your secondary research. Imagine you are writing to an audience similar to Brittany Cooper’s – educated and probably familiar with the novel. You can summarize the theory and/or novel, but only briefly: focus quickly on the analysis.
Choose ONE of the following prompts. Write a 1500-word essay in MLA format that uses examples and support from the primary text (Jitterbug Perfume) and secondary research (critical texts and theories) to defend a thesis. Use at least two (2) scholarly secondary sources to frame and support your argument.

  1. Research Tom Robbins’ life and identity. Present and defend an argument that answers the following question: To what extent do Robbins’ experiences, values, and beliefs influence the plot, characters, setting, and style of Jitterbug Perfume? Use evidence about Robbins’ identity as a lens through which you analyze the novel. OR
  2. Research the values and literary aesthetic of the Beat Generation. Present and defend an argument that answers the following question: how does Jitterbug Perfume exhibit aspects of the Beat values and aesthetic? Use the principles of the Beat Generation as a lens through which you analyze the novel.

Note: Your secondary sources will not necessarily be about Jitterbug Perfume. You have to do the critical thinking to figure out how the facts and ideas you find in your research relate to the novel.
Writing Instructions

  • Use specific pages references, passages, and quotations from the novel to defend your thesis.
  • Refer to at least 2 scholarly secondary sources to defend your thesis (the novel is a primary source)
  • Use what we have learned in English 1C about argumentation and college-level writing to persuade your audience to agree with you (e.g. refutation, ethos/pathos/logos).
  • Review and meet the expectations of college-level writing set out at the start of this class.
  • Review and use the feedback I have given you and the whole class about how to improve your essays.

Submission Instructions

  • Include a title that indicates what the essay is actually about (e.g. not Analysis Essay).
  • Underline your thesis statement.
  • Format your document according to MLA standards: headers, spacing, titles, etc. Use section 34 of A Pocket Style Manual if you need help.
  • Use MLA format for in-text citations. Use sections 31, 33, and 34 of A Pocket Style Manual if you need help.
  • Include a Works Cited page in MLA format with at least 3 entries, including the novel.
  • Use a font like Helvetica, Calibri, or Arial in 12pt.
  • Save your file in a format accepted by Canvas (e.g. doc, docx, or, preferably, pdf). Saving your work in .pdf format preserves your formatting.


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