This assignment will allow you to provide an in-depth analysis of a specific issue connected with a complex text and to synthesize this text with an appropriate article that comments on said issue.

Writing Project #3

150 points

Purpose: This assignment will allow you to provide an in-depth analysis of a specific issue connected with a complex text (the novel Fight Club) and to synthesize this text with an appropriate article that comments on said issue. Further, this assignment allows us to begin using outside research in support of our analysis.

Analyze one of the following options in a well-developed essay.  Make sure you have a strong introduction with a very clear thesis statement.  Provide strong points in the body of your essay and support them with details and examples.  And finally, make sure your conclusion is developed and reflective.  This essay must be at least 6 pages typed and double-spaced using 12pt. Times Roman Font. You must also use three outside sources in your paper. Please keep in mind that all of the questions in the prompt do not need to be answered. These are there to get you thinking.


Chuck Palahniuk—Fight Club

Aaron Devor—“ Gender Role Behavior and Attitudes”

Hannah Rosin—“The End of Men”

James Roberts—“The Treadmill of Consumption”

Steve McKevitt—“Everything Now”

Choose one option:

  1. In his piece “Gender Role Behavior and Attitudes,” Devor discusses how we often “perform” gender, establishes some characteristic of these performances, and possible ramifications when people stray from these norms. Similarly, Fight Club focuses a great deal on these gender behaviors and expectations, using this topic as a way to establish a key theme in the text, man’s struggle for masculinity and the part men and women play in this.
  • Take one or two characters from the text (Narrator, Tyler, Bob, or Marla) and comprehensively show how they either adhere to or stray from these accepted gender performances Devor outlines.
  • Analyze and show the significance of this to the film/novel’s theme of man’s struggle with masculinity.
  • In the essays “The Treadmill of Consumption” and “Everything Now,” James Roberts and Steve McKevitt, respectively, approach the concept of materialism and our need to consume. Touching upon branding, happiness, advertising, and our competitive nature, our authors paint a bleak picture of modern America. We are, in a sense, obsessed with consumerism and materialism, or luxury. Fight Club suggests that we strive toward filling our lives with the perfect possessions and then “The things you used to own, now they own you.” Do you agree or is Fight Club making too much of this? Could this consumerism be connected to a loss of spirituality?
  • Summarize the key elements in the arguments made by Roberts and McKevitt.
  • Show how Fight Club illustrates these elements and any number of examples and explanation.
  • Take a stand on this issue.  Do you agree with Roberts and McKevitt? If not, why. If so, what do you think the repercussions of this are or will be? And why is this significant?
  • In her essay, Rosin discusses the possible cultural changes connected to our sex-roles in society. Women have progressed to a point where they are dominant in many aspects of our society. Similarly, one of the key themes in Fight Club is that men have become emasculated and need to regain their masculinity. Palahniuk suggests, “What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women . . . and I’m wondering if another woman is really the answer I need.”
  • In several paragraphs, discuss how both Rosin and Palahniuk express these ideas.
  • Take a stand on this issue. Do you feel as if Rosin and Palahniuk are accurate in their assertions? Why or why not and why is this significant?

Begin your essay with background information pertaining to the topic you are choosing. This may contain some facets of the book, text, or outside components. Incorporate elements in your intro that captivate and draw in the reader and conclude with a thesis that clearly states your position on the topic.

Your body paragraphs should focus on ideas that support the claim you make in your thesis. You may utilize any details to support said ideas, especially quotes and material from your text, the novel, or outside sources.

Conclude your paper with a thoughtful conclusion that summarizes the main points, keeps the reader’s interest and leaves the reader with a sense of closure.



Invention Strategies for Writing Project #2

(Make sure to label each of the activities by number)

  1. Do some brainstorming and a cluster diagram on 2 different essay prompts
  • Write a paragraph (5-7 sentences) response to the two essay prompt options

Now choose one topic to continue with

  • Aristotle’s Topoi

     Aristotle developed topoi (“places”) for invention.  These topoi were ways of reasoning which could be applied to any subject to generate material about it.  Gregory and Elizabeth Cowan in their book, Writing, present a system of inquiry derived from some of Aristotle’s topoi.  To use the system, ask yourself questions about a subject you want to explore, making notes on ideas and points that occur to you.  If you get stuck on a question, move on.  The point is not merely to come up with an answer for each question, but to probe your subject in as many ways as are useful to you.


1. How does the dictionary define _________________?

2. What earlier words did _________________ come from?

3. What do I mean by _________________?

4. What group of things does _________________ seem to belong to?  How is

    _________________ different from other things in this group?

5. What parts can _________________ be divided into?

6. Does _________________ mean something now it didn’t years ago?

7. What other words mean approximately the same as _________________?

8. What are some concrete examples of _________________?

9. When is the meaning of _________________ misunderstood?


1. What is _________________ similar to?  How?

2. What is _________________ different from?  How?

3. _________________ is superior to what?  How?

4. _________________ is inferior to what?  How?

5. _________________ is most unlike what?  How?

6. _________________ is most like what?  How?


1. What causes _________________?

2. What are the effects of _________________?

3. What is the purpose of _________________?

4. Why does _________________ happen?

5. What is the consequence of _________________?

6. What comes after _________________?

7. What comes before _________________?


1. What have I heard people say about _________________?

2. Do I know any facts or statistics about _________________?  What?

3. Have I talked with anyone about _________________?

4. Do I know any well-known saying about _________________?

5. Can I quote proverbs or poems about _________________?

6. Are there any laws about _________________?

7. Do I know any songs about _________________?  Have I read anything

   about _________________ in books or magazines?

8. Do I want to do any research on _________________?


1. Is _________________ possible or impossible?

2. What qualities, conditions, or circumstances make _________________

   possible or impossible?

3. Suppose that _________________ is possible.  Is it feasible?  Why?

4. When did _________________ happen previously?

5. Who has done or experienced _________________?

6. Who can do _________________?

7. If _________________ starts what makes it end?

8. What would it take for _________________ to happen now?

9. What would prevent _________________ from happening now?

  • Write at least a two page freewrite on your topic.
  • Make a detailed outline of your essay including a working thesis statement.

After you have completed these five activities, you are ready to begin your rough draft.

Attach all of these activities to the final draft of your essay when you turn it in.

Essay Rubric

6The A paper presents a cogent analysis of or response to the text, elaborating that response with sufficient well-chosen examples and persuasive reasoning;conforms to an organizational pattern that facilitates reader understanding, using organizational patterns to demonstrate the relatedness of ideas and to enhance the power of the argument;displays a sophisticated style that reflects aptly chosen words and rhetorically effective sentence variety;exhibits mastery of the conventions of written English.
5The A-, B paper presents a thoughtful analysis of or response to the text, elaborating that response with sufficient appropriate  examples and logical reasoning;conforms to an organizational pattern that facilitates reader understanding, using organizational patterns to convey the argument;displays a readable style that reflects well-chosen words and effective sentences;demonstrates competence in the conventions of written English.
4The B-, C+ paper presents an appropriate analysis of or response to the text, elaborating that response with sufficient acceptable examples and sensible reasoning;conforms to an organizational pattern that facilitates reader understanding, using organizational patterns to illustrate the argument;displays a style that reflects appropriate words and sentence variety;observes the conventions of written English.
3The C, D+ paper presents an inconsistent or illogical response to the text that reflects an incomplete understanding of the text or topic, or that lacks elaboration with sufficient appropriate examples;deviates from an organizational pattern that facilitates reader understanding, so that organizational structures may detract from the argument;displays a style that reflects imprecise word choice and/or little sentence variety; may deviate from the conventions of written English, displaying occasional major            errors in grammar and usage or frequent minor errors.
2The D paper presents a simplistic, inappropriate, or incoherent analysis of or response to the text, one that lacks sufficient and relevant development or one that may suggest some significant misunderstanding of the text or the topic;lacks an organizational pattern that facilitates reader understanding; displays a style that reflects at least one of the following: simplistic or inaccurate word choice; monotonous or fragmented sentence structure;repeatedly deviates from the conventions of written English, displaying many repeated errors in grammar and usage.
1The F paper presents an inadequate response to the text, ignoring the topic’s demands; lacks any appropriate pattern of organizational structure or development with sufficient and relevant examples; may be inappropriately brief;displays a style that creates a disconnect between sound and sense, one in which language word choice and syntax obscure meaningconsistently deviates from the conventions of written English, displaying a pervasive pattern of errors in word choice, sentence structure, grammar, and usage.

Writing Project #3 Rubric

Analysis and development of essay, providing a well thought out and cogent response to prompt-appropriate synthesis of multiple textsEssay focus, with strong thesis that cements specific main point and paragraphs with concise topic sentences that clearly connect directly or indirectly to thesisOrganization which facilitates reader understanding and demonstrates the relatedness of ideasConventions of written EnglishAdherence to MLA format concerning font, margins, spacing, in-text citation and works cited page
60 points50 points25 points10 points5 points

Total Score________________

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