All the King's Men - Commentary Essay
All the King’s Men is a novel about personal character, choices, consequences, politics, love, and the conflict between personal beliefs and professional demands. Through the challenges his characters face, Robert Penn Warren raises questions about humans and their relationships with themselves, their loved ones, and their work. Though this novel is set in the 1920s South, many of its ideas are relevant to people today. In what ways do you see this novel still speaking to us today?
Your job is to:
Write a commentary analyzing a current or recent issue/event/trend that suggests a theme from what we have read thus far in the novel. Think of the novel as something that sheds light on an issue we are wrestling with, giving insight into a current, modern issue. Provide only the necessary background - assume your audience knows the plot of All the King’s Men.
To round out your understanding of the topic, find relevant magazine and newspaper articles relevant to our source -- have about 2 reputable sources. Please note, though you may look up opinion/editorial pieces about your subject, you may not parrot the ideas of another. You should have a firm opinion on your topic before you begin researching. The purpose of the research is to deepen your understanding of the topic. It is not to make up your mind for you.
Then what? Once you have your research and it’s in Noodle Tools, you’ll work an outline for your paper.
Your outline must include:
1. Your thesis. What are you trying to prove? Are you going to state it outright? Or let the writer come to an understanding of your thesis without staying it outright?
2. The focus of each paragraph, with corresponding topic sentences; you must include supporting details. Follow outline format. Indent supporting points.
Then what? Draft.
Then what? Read. Revise. Repeat. Read. Revise. Repeat. Read. Revise Repeat. Read. Revise. Repeat.
Use the New Trier Database page to help you find a newspaper or magazine article in a subscription database. Initially, focus your search on these databases:
Set Limits and Change them
- Time (last 3 years; last 12 months)
- Type of Document (feature, front page, etc.)
- Require search terms to appear in the Abstract-AB field
Use Advanced Search with MULTIPLE search terms
Experiment with different search terms
Other sources could be interviews in Lexis-Nexis (use Power Search to find transcripts) or resources from New York Times' Times Topic. More possibilities in other databases on Controversial Issues
Find and cite at least two articles relevant to your topic. See us with questions.
Created April 2012 by L.Straube with input from J. Lim