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Prozac Diary by Laura Slater

Narratives involve an inside perspective into what it was like to live in a particular time, or is like to live as the member of a particular group within a society. Narratives can create a picture of that experience, and can be a way of preserving a piece of history. With a narrative, we gain knowledge of an individual experience, which may or may not be typical of his or her time and culture. We can also learn more about the experiences of groups from all sections of society, including the ones whose experience is not always thoroughly known or well documented, such as that of the working class, ethnic or religious minorities, or women.

Length and format: 5-6 pages double spaced, 12 pt font, 1 inch margins

Prozac Diary by Laura Slater

Some Hints for Prozac Diary by Laura Slater Term Paper:

  1. Be creative in your thinking, but be sure to back up your thoughts and assertions with readings from class.
  2. Get started early and see one of the four instructors in office hours if you need help.

Turning the Narrative into an Essay on Prozac Diary by Laura Slater Term Paper:

  • This project consists of taking raw material from a narrative and shaping it into an essay. You will need to make some decisions about how you want to present the material, and analytical skill to help you interpret what you learn.
  • Write a review and critical analysis of a mental health memoir in which you consider the intersections of gender/race/class/ethnicity/sexual orientation with the experience of mental illness and the construction of that illness by the person, his/her significant relationships, and the professionals who intervened in the person’s illness.
  • You'll need an analytical thesis statement, a plan for how to organize the subtopics that demonstrate your thesis, analysis/interpretation of the narrative comments, and a conclusion that draws your analysis together.
  • To interpret the author’s comments, using them as evidence, you will need to make a strong analysis while still letting the author's experience and insights come through. Your essay might use the narrative comments to advance an alternate interpretation of a historical time or culture, confirm a commonly held characterization, or enrich an existing view.
  • Because narratives can vary a great deal according to their aims, make sure to develop a clear sense of your purpose within your paper.
  • Your introduction should contain and explain a thesis statement that makes a claim about the nature of the historical or social context. Organizing the body paragraphs by topic may be an effective way of explaining how the individual's experiences fit into the broader historical or social context.
  • If using quotes, you'll need to include your explanation of the significance of the quotes. A good rule of thumb is to include at least as much explanation of the quote as the quote is long. In terms of paraphrases, these are helpful when you just need the content of the comment to make your point, when the language the interviewee uses is not the primary issue. A mixture of paraphrases and quotes will probably serve your purpose best.
    You may need to read and perhaps refer explicitly to some secondary sources, so that you will have the necessary evidence to create a picture of the broader historical or social context.
  • In terms of what the essay will look like, you'll need a thesis that makes a claim, an organizational plan that reflects the main points you think will best support that thesis, lots of explanation of how the narrative comments illustrate the thesis, and a conclusion that draws your analysis together.

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