Ruby is in a problematic scenario dealing with composing a critical writing sample:
I've started an essay that is a close reading of a novel I really liked, but I'm concerned that I don't know the rules for a critical sample: should it have citations of other research? compare more than one work of literature in answering a question or problem? engage with literary theory (of which I know little)? what point of view should it be written in (eg, is first person prohibited)?
**don't shoot me if i'm off the mark on this one. it's been awhile since i've sat in an English lit course. i would advise against writing it in first person; although, i could be wrong.
**i think it all surrounds what you have to say in reaction to reading the novel. do you spot themes, patterns, literary archetypes, and techniques within the novel you're reading? you could always do a character analysis. these are just suggestions.
**perhaps, you could write a thesis statement and go from there with supporting arguments, discussions, and pull quotes from the novel as examples and support. you don't necessarily have to use secondary sources.