Essay 2

Access the Essay 2 Mapping House of Leavesfile here.


Essay 2 focuses on House of Leaves and requires that you compose an essay of 5-7 pages (or equivalent). You may choose an option below, or suggest your own paper topic for my approval:

  1. Select one passage, motif, image, phrase, or device that reveals an important aspect of House of Leaves. Analyze an aspect of the novel through this chosen lens. Be sure to contextualize heavily and meet all steps along the line of inquiry.
  2. In House of Leaves the Minotaur is central. This mythology is made apparent in the text, as it appears in red and is crossed out. But which other mythological lenses may readers apply to the text to make meaning?  Select a mythological context through which to analyze the novel.
  3. Create an abstract, visual map of the novel. This could be driven by actual places, feelings, characters, questions, anything at all. Houser of Leaves is a visual text.  Make a visual “space” based on your analysis of some aspect of the text. This visual artifact should be accompanied by a written explanation of what your map reveals (2 pages).
  4. Develop one of the blogs and/or forums from Sequence 2, adding steps along the inquiry to create an academic essay.
  5. Create a narrative that includes 5 images (or other media, such as song, video, etc.) that signify major points/aspects of the novel. Explain the importance of each image with 1+ pages of text.


No matter which option you choose, you have creative license to take the assignment where you want it to go.  You can engage any multimedia that is relevant and functional. However, please do the following:

  • Format with MLA when appropriate; but be sure to include a Works Cited entry
  • Engage multimedia when appropriate (you can even integrate multimedia into traditional essays or reports)
  • Integrate at least 2 of the articles/resources that we have covered in Sequence 2
  • You may integrate additional research, but be sure that your work is focused on YOUR ethos
  • Submit in Moodle under “Essay 2”
  • Go to my Writing Overview Series and make sure that you understand my expectations for college writing.
Elements Distinguished Proficient Emerging Not Evident Value
Comprehension Meets all criteria of the prompt, exceeding expectations (5) Meets all criteria of the prompt (4) Meets most criteria of the prompt (3) Does not meet most criteria of the prompt (0-2) 5
Timeliness & Executive Function Blog is submitted on time and displays that student has met self-identified goals (5) Blog is submitted on time and displays that student has met some self-identified goals (4) Blog is not submitted on time but student made arrangements to submit late; may display some self-identified goals (3) Blog is late and student did not make adequate arrangements; does not display satisfactory movement toward self-identified goals (0-2) 5
Genre & Discourse Community Expresses the unique attributes of blog-writing well; but it also asks us to reconsider the genre and push the boundaries of how we define it (18-20) Expresses many attributes of the blog genre, such as language and style, but may miss some elements (16-17) Expresses a few attributes of the blog genre, but misses most elements (13-15) Does not express enough attributes of the blog genre (0-12) 20
Rhetorical Strategies Displays exceptional awareness of rhetorical strategies; these inform every move to display advanced critical thinking (18-20) Displays some awareness of rhetorical strategies; these play a role at some key moments, showing some critical thinking (16-17) Sometimes rhetorical moves are made but more attention needs to be paid to displaying rhetorical awareness (13-15) Few or no rhetorical strategies are apparent, suggesting that not enough critical thinking drives the line of inquiry (0-12) 20
Source Work: Close-Reading, Summary, Quoting, Multimedia, Synthesis Texts, links, images, and multimedia are integrated smoothly and accurately with attention to countering, forwarding, and sandwiching; usage enhances line of inquiry clearly (18-20) Most source work is integrated smoothly and/or accurately with some attention to countering, forwarding, and/or sandwiching (16-17) Some source work is integrated smoothly and/or accurately; however, sources could often be countered, forwarded, and/or sandwiched more clearly (13-15) Few or no texts are integrated well enough to provide a sense of usage to the line of inquiry (0-12) 20
Argumentation A series of arguments build upon each other to drive inquiry; includes judgment, counter-argument, and  a number of stakes (18-20) At least one clear argument is made that includes judgment, counterargument, and stakes (16-17) An argument could emerge but not enough judgment is apparent; the “thesis” is a smart observation with potential to grow (13-15) Observations are mostly without ethical value; no argument is clearly expressed (0-12) 20
Mechanics Uses appropriate and correct language, organization, clarity, grammar, punctuation, MLA formatting, etc. to express ideas creatively in the blog genre (10) Often uses appropriate and/or correct language, organization, clarity, grammar, punctuation, spacing, MLA formatting, etc. to express ideas in the blog genre (8-9) Mostly uses appropriate and/or correct mechanics (7) Does not use appropriate and/or correct mechanics and this affects the readability of the work (0-6) 10