During the third quarter you must turn in the following writing assignment, meeting with Mr. Sheehy along the way before or on the assigned days. This departs from our usual writing workshop format so as to give you the time you need to complete the project well.

Due Dates
Proposal due:
R: 2/20; W: 2/21
Research check up:
R: 2/28; W: 3/1

Draft review:
R: 3/12; W: 3/13
Paper due:
R: 3/20; W: 3/21

Other details to note
  • Type assignments in MLA format. Improperly formatted papers will be handed back to you.
  • Please utilize your writing handbook, which shows you the proper way to document your sources.
  • Proof-read your work. Excessive grammar mistakes will cause you to lose points.
  • I will still use our general writing rubric to assign grades.

Twain and Huck Finn *


Mark Twain is remembered particularly for two things: his humor (he's often labeled a "humorist") and his scathing criticism (when he didn't like something, he leveled sharp attacks and ridicule upon it--see, for example, his article "Fennimore Cooper's Literary Offenses)." Please choose one or both of these characteristics and apply them to an analysis of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. From an angle of your choosing, explore how Twain's humor or criticism (or both) was present and what effect it had on the book. You may use outside sources to help you understand this (ProQuest is generally useful, for example), but you must cite your sources wherever you use them. You should quote the novel at least three times and your paper should be at least 1000 words long.


Role of Humor


In his 2004 book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton argues that the chief aim of humorists is not merely to entertain but “to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly.” Because society allows humorists to say things that other people cannot or will not say, de Botton sees humorists as serving a vital function in society. Think about the implications of de Botton’s view of the role of humorists (cartoonists, stand-up comics, satirical writers, hosts of television programs, etc.). Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies de Botton’s claim about the vital role of humorists. Use specific, appropriate evidence to develop your position.