Write a 4-6 page thematic essay on Margaret Edson’s play Wit. You must determine a specific focus and develop an appropriate theme. You MUST understand the basics of thematic and argumentative expository writing.
1. Communication, caring and the lessons of Wit
Our medical humanities readings discussed the importance of interpersonal communication, empathy, and attending to the individual patient. Some authors argued that the affective domain was just as important as the cognitive domain in the development of clinical skills. The Wit Educational Initiative explicitly identified the emotional and cathartic features of theatre as educational tools. Write an essay on the usefulness of Margaret Edson’s play for health care education, clinical practice, and/or patient welfare.
1) Thesis development: clear, focused and well-developed thematic argument;
2) Textual analysis and synthesis in support of the thesis: use of sufficient, appropriate and persuasive evidence; evidence of strong reading comprehension and insightful reasoning;
3) Composition and prose: effective organization (this includes the title, introduction, thesis statement, paragraph transitions, line of argument, and conclusion); correct syntax, clear phrasing, and appropriate diction;
Full citations are not necessary when quoting or referring to principal class texts (e.g., Wit). In these instances, use parentheses to identify page numbers for quotations or important paraphrasing. Parenthetical references and a full citation in a Works Cited list are necessary when quoting, paraphrasing, or borrowing ideas from secondary sources or any non-class material (e.g., the Academic Medicine articles or a journal article on Wit). Follow the MLA citation format to be found in any current English Handbook. Be familiar with the definition of plagiarism.
Provide a title page (a variation from MLA format) and an essay title. Leave 1 inch margins and indicate page numbers beginning with page 2. Use Times New Roman 12 point font.
1) A focused, defensible, well-reasoned thesis is essential. This includes an essay title that identifies the essay subject and initiates the thesis. The thesis should be sufficiently focused to enable in-depth analysis and some originality. At the same time the thesis should be connected to broad contexts that reveal the significance of your subject and argument. The thesis should be clearly articulated in the introduction, fully developed in the body of the paper, and effectively summarized in the conclusion. Everything in the essay should contribute to the development of the central argument. This can include discussion of opposing arguments: if you can give a fair hearing to your “opposition,” but still demonstrate the superiority of your argument, you have strengthened (not weakened) your position.
2) Evidence and supporting materials. Where does evidence come from? Mostly from your primary text, in this case Wit. Paraphrase and quotation should be used to support arguments and should be the basis for reasoned, textual interpretation. Quotation can be whole sentences or passages but it can also be short phrasing or even single words. When quotation is used (whether from primary or secondary sources) it must be verbatim (exact); paraphrase by contrast should be entirely (or almost entirely) in your own words. Quotations can be modified through the use of brackets [ ] or ellipses … to improve your narrative flow or maintain correct syntax. If you are unfamiliar with these techniques, consult an English handbook. When citing Wit in your narrative, you need only include a parenthetical page reference.
3) Clear, correct and effective writing, including correct syntax, appropriate diction, effective use of topic and transition sentences, logical organization, and overall coherence. Active voice is always preferable to passive voice in a literature essay.
Presentation also counts insofar as it shows attention to detail or inattention. The title is the first thing the reader encounters. It should make a good impression. If the title is “First Essay” or “Wit paper,” you have made a very weak first impression. As this is an academic essay, it should generally follow the conventions of academic writing which tend to favor two-part titles: one part is descriptive and the second part is creative, and the two are separated by a colon. Although MLA style does not have a title page, I prefer title pages where all that appears is the essay title, course name, date, and author’s name. Failure to proofread with resulting typographical errors also makes a very poor impression. Do not forget to paginate. MLA style has the author’s last name and the page number in the upper right corner.