Sanity, madness and melancholy: how has Shakespeare fused the three elements in Hamlet?

Thesis-driven, research-based persuasive essay: The paper must be a persuasive thesis-driven essay focused on a narrow topic. Your conclusions must be supported by research in addition to any course materials. Make sure to read the attached article “The Persuasive Essay”,[1] , attached below, if this kind of academic writing is unfamiliar to you.

In your paper you will take an obvious position which is:

Articulated clearly in your thesis paragraph(s) at the beginning of the paper
Supported by your cited research and close reading of one or more of the texts covered this semester
Summarized/re-stated persuasively, along with your supporting evidence, in your concluding paragraph(s) at the end of your paper.

Your thesis should be strong enough that it demands to be supported with argumentation, textual analysis based on close reading, and research. It should also be narrow enough in focus that you can fully support it within the span of an essay as short as this. If you choose to write a 5-page essay, it would be a costly blunder to choose a thesis that needs a lot more (or a lot fewer) than 5 pages to support persuasively. Outlines, where you plan-out your argument step-by-step, paragraph by paragraph, reference by reference, are extremely useful in making sure youre neither over- nor under-shooting your intended mark.

Supporting your argument: You will support your argument in two primary ways: (1) a close reading of your chosen play(s) or theory text, and (2) research:

Close reading of your chosen play/theory text: The first way you will offer evidence in support of your thesis is to undertake a close reading of your chosen play or theory text (s). For basic guidance on close reading, look at the attached “Drama Close Reading”. You wont be analyzing the entire text, of course, but rather the specific passages that speak directly to the point youre making. An explanation of how close reading works is attached below .[3] You can do a sustained analysis of a particularly rich passage, or you can make a dozen references to instances of a particular image or theme. One way or the other, you need to analyze and interpret the passages you use, and you should be direct in explaining how they support the point youre trying to make in the paper.
Research: You paper needs to show the results of real, substantive, outside research. There is a wealth of articles available online when you access them through the Rutgers Libraries, but depending on your chosen topic, articles may or may not be the most appropriate resource. Between downloading useful journal articles and an afternoon at the library standing at the copy machine with a stack of books, you should have more than enough material. If you have less than 5 sources listed in your Works Cited, you have not done enough research.