January 31, 2005

Essay #3 (Assignment)

Posted in writing at 3:12 pm by Marise Phillips

To: MLA Applicants

From: Dr. Linda Paulson
Associate Dean and Director

As you know, an important part of your application is a written analytical response to a piece of writing that we send you. This year, we are putting the essay on the MLA website. Go to the last link towards the bottom of the MLA Login page at http://mla.stanford.edu/login.htm and find George Orwell�s essay �Politics and the English Language,� one of the great essays of the 20th century by one of the time�s preeminent thinkers and writers. Written in 1946, �Politics and the English Language� continues to speak to those who would think and write with clarity, individuality, and honesty.

Read �Politics and the English Language� carefully. Take this opportunity to enter into the conversation that Orwell initiates, and use the author�s thoughts to reflect upon your own. In your own essay, both analyze the ideas that Orwell brings up, and investigate your own response to his argument. You may wish to cite passages from �Politics and the English Language� as you present your case, but be sure that your essay analyzes Orwell�s work and presents your opinion about it. Do not simply restate Orwell�s argument.

This is not a research paper; do not rely on the opinions of other critics in formulating your argument. In accordance with Stanford�s Honor Code, we trust that the essays you submit will be entirely your own work.

Be assured that we are not in any way judging the political, social, or literary opinions that your essay presents; we anticipate receiving a wide array of positions on this piece. The committee will be looking for your ability to engage clearly, analytically, and logically in the discussion that Orwell initiates. Your essay should be typed, and no longer than 1500 words; please doublespace, use no smaller than a 12-point font, and choose a conventional typeface.

I�m pleased by your interest in the Master of Liberal Arts program, and I look forward to reviewing your application. Please remember that your file, including this analytical essay, must be completed by January 31, 2005.


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