Sample Assignment: Paper #1—A Character Analysis in The Last of the Mohicans

For your first paper, you will write a character analysis based on any of the characters in The Last of the Mohicans (except Natty Bumpo, the major protagonist). Your task is to develop a thesis or argument that analyzes the function or purpose of your chosen character within the narrative. Questions to consider include: Why did Cooper develop and describe the character the way that he did? What would the novel be like without this character? What function does this character serve in terms of moving along the plot or in terms of his/her interaction with other characters, esp. the main character? What is significant/important about this character? 

Paper Requirement: 

3-7/8 pages to 4 pages long (if you go over 4 pages it’s OK) excluding coversheet and works cited page. Use 1 inch margins and 12 point font in either Times Roman or Arial. All pages must be numbered, and you must include the following student information either on a separate coversheet or in the top left hand corner of your paper:

            Student Name/EN 141/Instructor: Jennifer Ho/Date

Also, I recommend that you use MLA style in your papers—this means that when you use parenthetical notation that you enclose the name of the author and the page number in the parentheses. Example: (Conrad 95). NOTE: There is no comma or page reference within the parentheses. If you need more guidance on MLA style, please refer to the fourth edition of The MLA Handbook (available as a reference book in the library) or The Bedford Handbook for Writers (any edition), Ed. Diana Hacker (All EN 104 students are required to buy this grammar book).

Due Date: Monday, March 1, 1999 at 9:00 a.m.

– any papers handed in after this time (in my box or during office hours) will be marked late and graded down accordingly.

Even though you will only use one reference for your first paper, you should get in the habit of including a Works Cited page, which has the same margins as the rest of your paper and which should be double-spaced. Remember, titles of books are always underlined or italicized—short stories are in quotation marks.  Always alphabetize your references, and remember that punctuation, such as commas and periods, go INSIDE the quotation marks of your quoted passages.  See the format below—if you follow it, you won’t have any problems.

Works Cited

Achebe, Chinua.  Things Fall Apart.  Boston: Mc Dougal Littell, 1997.

Conrad, Joseph.  Heart of Darkness.  New York: Penguin, 1995.