Figure 5: Essay Excerpt on Selden, The House of Mirth

Below is a sample excerpt from a student’s paper.

You can find the excerpt under the comment title “Awkward.”

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

You may print the sample for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

Selden symbolizes a thematic allusion according to Helen Killoran’s view on structural and thematic allusions in The House.  Killoran suggests that the “themes that emerge from the allusions sometimes agree with general critical perception, such as [. . .] the idea of Lawrence Selden as a well-meaning but ineffectual Prince Charming” (13).

Figure 5: Essay Excerpt on Selden, The House of Mirth


Student doesn’t define how Selden symbolizes a thematic allusion, nor does she define important literary terms.

Revision Consideration

If you receive this comment, review the paragraph where the professor places the comment. Study it in relationship to the other paragraphs. Ask yourself this question: Can my paper function fully without this sentence? If it can, then remove the sentence and/or paragraph.

However, if it can’t, then you have work to do. To analyze the sentence fully, start asking questions. One important question is this: What purpose does the sentence have in relation to the other sentences? Study the sentences. Is your sentence a “cause” or an “effect?” What is the context of your sentence? How does it fit within the context of your other sentences and supporting evidence (i.e., quotes)? Don’t make the sentence fit where it doesn’t fit, but do fully maximize its qualities.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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