When assigned a “Difficulty Paper” to write for the homework, please do the following:
Instructions: Write at least a page and a half, double-spaced (MLA format) paper which you describe the difficulties you have encountered with the homework reading.
Expectations: I expect this assignment to reflect thoughtful and sustained engagement with the text, especially with those moments in the text that, for one reason or another, puzzle and confuse you, leave you with questions, or otherwise frustrate, undermine, or complicate your process of interpretation. If the difficulties you encounter are numerous, rather than listing all of them, narrow your focus by isolating and discussing specifically one or two examples from the text you take to be the major interpretative problems with which you are confronted. Don’t summarize the material; this is more about your experience reading and how you understand the rhetorical strategies used in the piece. You should also discuss how you were able to overcome any difficulties. Avoid criticizing the piece. Think more about how you read it—discuss strategies you used in order to get through the piece. Discuss the writing style of the author and the patterns or stylistic choices you noticed about his/her rhetoric. You may discuss challenges you faced with the actual subject matter but try not to focus too much time on subject matter or go off topic—stick to the actual experience of reading the text. You may also discuss things that were not challenging and why. You must use quotes or paraphrase certain passages for concrete examples and cite accordingly in MLA. This is also where your annotations come into use! Of course, you should write in complete sentences, using strong proofreading skills as normal.
Attached here is the PDF of instructions as a back up if you want to print them out.