Figure 16: Essay Excerpt on The Ideas of William Blake

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Explain/Explain This.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “E” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

Blake criticizes the weak in “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.”  He claims that the weak restrain their desire because their aspiration is weak or without defense; it’s also implied that the restrainer governs the unaccommodating (56).

Figure 16: Essay Excerpt on The Ideas of William Blake


1) Why does Blake choose to criticize the weak over anyone else?

2) How do the weak restrain their desire?

3) What is their desire?

Revision Considerations

Research “explain” in a dictionary and a thesaurus. You will see a number of definitions and methods for the word. One definition of the word includes “to account for.”  You have undoubtedly heard the statements “Take responsibility” and “Be accountable.” When you assume the task of writing about a certain author’s work, it is important that you represent that author’s work as appropriately and accurately as humanly possible.

To misquote is to misrepresent the author’s viewpoints and belief systems. This is why it is important to focus on key issues because your papers can easily take a wrong turn with added explanations that may not be accurate, but instead represent belief systems projected onto an author’s work.

In other words, an author doesn’t set out to write about a “theme.” When you read an author’s work, you notice a recurring idea, and you call it a theme. It is your job to note this difference within your papers. “Explain/Explain This” means be accountable for every comment you make, for anything you label as an implication, and for incorporating appropriate context.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.


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