How To Be Original Michael Barsanti The best papers you can write for this class are ones that bring something new to our understanding of the works we are reading and watching. The best papers will try to teach us something we didn't already know, or will try to point out something we might have missed after only one or two readings. You may protest: "But smart critics have been writing about [ insert text here ] since long before I was born, and besides, we've been beating [ insert text here ] to death in class discussion for a week. There's no way I can say anything new or interesting about [ insert text here ]." These statements are wrong and unacceptably lame for at least the following two reasons. First, you're writing for a community that is, for the most part, new to these texts. There are lots of things your classmates do not know about them. Second, you come at these works with a unique set of experiences and interests--those interests will lead you to notice things in the texts that no one else will. The trick is to identify those things and to develop them into an essay.
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