School of Arts and Letters
Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies
AK/HUMA 1780 6.0A SU Stories in Diverse Media
Due date: August 10, 2009
Write a comparison essay of approximately 2000‐2500 words (7‐9 double‐spaced pages, 12‐
point font) worth 25% of your grade on one of the following topics. The essay must follow
point‐by‐point format (see final page of these instructions) and demonstrate the completion of
a research component worth 10% of the final grade for the paper. Please write your paper in
third‐person and number your pages in the top right‐hand corner.
1. Eudora Welty argues that “place has the most delicate control over character … by confining
character it defines it.” Discuss the function of physical setting in Henry James’s the Turn of
the Screw by comparing it to Alejandro Amenabar’s The Others, or Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein to Kenneth Branagh’s movie adapted from her novel. How does the change in
medium affect your experience of the gothic aspects of these stories?
2. What happens when a film adapts its source text from a graphic novel? How does a
filmmaker transform the visual nature of the source text? Discuss Frank Miller’s Batman:
The Dark Knight Returns by comparing it to Chris Nolan’s adaptation of it.
3. Compare Alice Walker's novel, The Color Purple, to Steven Spielberg's movie version, by
discussing changes in character that are affected by the new medium. How does language
(the tool of the novelist) influence your understanding of a character? How is the filmic
apparatus different? What does the medium of film do to the representation of Celie,
Sophia, Shug, Albert, and/or Harpo? Do changes in character alter the plot in any direct
4. When novels such as L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are adapted into musicals
like Victor Fleming's The Wizard of Oz, many plot components are affected. Some events in
the narrative are expanded with song and dance, some are completely omitted, still others
are transformed into something new. What is the effect of such additions, omissions, or
expansions on the narrative sequence of events? What happens to the beginning of the
story? What happens to the ending? How do changes in the plot modify the depictions of
The Research Component for a Critical/Analytical Essay
You are required to consult at least THREE critical OR historical sources (EXCEPTION: DO NOT
USE WEBSITES FROM THE INTERNET or BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR).
Integrate at least one or more comments from ONE article into your paper. This is worth 10% of
the grade for this assignment. Your sources must be articles in scholarly journals or
essays/chapters in books—in other words, reputable sources that have been vetted by
scholars in the field. You can find these articles through York's electronic journals database, or
by making a trip to a library. I recommend that you use the MLA Database or the Project Muse
Database (both available through Yorkline) to access reputable journals online. All three of your
sources must be referenced on your Works Cited page. Consult the Thomson Nelson Guide to
Essay Writing for help with writing a research paper (especially chapter 1 pages 5, 10‐11, and
13‐20). The Essay Writing guide is also helpful for paragraph form (chapter 5), conventions of
essay writing (chapter 6), and common errors in grammar, punctuation, and usage (chapter 7).
Be sure to review these chapters before writing your paper, if you have not done so already.
Consulting secondary sources consists of 4 things:
1) Reading the texts.
2) Assessing their merits—how do they help you to understand the course material or the
topic better? Do you agree with the arguments presented? How is your thinking different
from the critics'?
3) Commenting on at least one source in the body of your essay. THIS IS YOUR PROOF THAT
YOU HAVE DONE THE WORK ABOVE. WITHOUT IT YOU WILL LOSE 10%. At a relevant
point in your discussion, summarize the critic's argument in two or three sentences, and
comment on the merits of that argument in relationship to the works you are discussing.
4) All secondary and primary sources must be cited using MLA format on both the Works
Cited page and throughout the essay using parenthetical documentation. Please do not
use footnotes or endnotes. Make sure you consult pages 79 to 97 in the Essay Writing
guide for specific guidance on MLA parenthetical documentation and format for essays.
Be sure to include the following elements in your essay:
1) Create a succinct and persuasive thesis. Please refrain fr