Unit 6 Project Assignment

This short project returns to the they say/I say skills we initiated in unit 5, this time with a literary text, rather than a painting.

  • Draft due Sunday 2/24 at 5:00 p.m.
  • One-on-one writing tutorial meetings with fellows only this time. (Not with faculty, unless during office hours drop-ins.) These required meetings must happen Mon, Tue, Wed Feb 25-26-27 scheduled with our fabulous fellows via the writing center.
  • Final version due Thursday 2/28 at 5:00 p.m.


  1. Read the two essays posted to Dropbox under Dr. Ewington’s unit under Readings:
    • Craig Cravens, ” The Strange Relationship of Stavrogin and Stepan Trofimovich as Told by Anton Lavrent’evich G-v.”
    • David Stromberg, “The Enigmatic G—v: A Defense of the Narrator-Chronicler in Dostoevsky’s Demons.
  2. List the two essays, as well as our translation of Demons, in Chicago style (bibliography) and indicate under each entry what kind of text it is (primary, secondary, tertiary) and whether the text is literary, historical, etc.
  3. Cite the best example you can find of a sentence that reveals the “they say” within each article. In other words, just as you will use these texts as  “they say” for your claims, so too you should start reading with an eye to noticing the “they say” within each article. You are reading for a passage that gives the “state of the field” around the question at hand.
  4. Develop a one paragraph “they say” that explains the state of the conversation around the narrator, based on the two essays. Remember that a good “they say” does not merely state what the scholars are “writing about” but reflects an understanding of what they are arguing or “claiming.” Do the two essays share any common ground? Do they ask similar questions?
  5. Your second paragraph, the “I say” will offer a claim that responds to the “they say.” Imagine that you are sitting around a table in conversation with those scholars. Do you think they ask the right questions, but you have a different response? Or perhaps you think that, as interesting (or not?) as their concerns might be, you’d like to shift the conversation to a different question? You will develop this claim by analyzing closely a brief passage (1 sentence to 1 paragraph) that reveals something about the narrator that is interesting, not obvious, and worth knowing.

It will be helpful to review chapters 3 and 4 in Booth et al.’s Craft of Research (here).

In sum:

  • Read the two essays;
  • Bibliography with types of sources listed;
  • List the “they say” from each essay;
  • 2 paragraphs of your own: (1) they say, (2) I say.