*The story or play you are analyzing is your primary source and cannot be considered a secondary source. Your secondary sources must be utilized (quoted, cited) in the essay.
Formatting Requirements: MLA format with header and page numbers, 12 – point Times New Roman font in black ink, double – spaced, 1” margins (and also make sure to include a specific but creative and interesting title)
This es say will be a literary analysis of one of the short stories or plays we have covered, and it should reflect a close reading and thoughtful analysis of your chosen text.
– A clear thesis that is both argumentative and analytical
– To rei terate: your literary argument should make an analytical claim regarding some aspect of your chosen work and use cited evidence from that work (as well as your research) to prove your claim as valid
o Example: “Young Goodman Brown” is a story of a man’s stru ggle with the evil that surrounds him. – This is NOT a good thesis. It’s merely a synopsis of the story. Keep in mind, your thesis is intended to set up the entirety of the paper. This thesis has no focus other than explaining what the story is about , so t hat guarantees that the paper as a whole will lack focus.
o Example: In “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne implements religious imagery to critique Puritan hypocrisy and highlight the titular character’s internal conflict. – This is a good thesis. It makes an analytical argument about the text, highlighting points that aren’t immediately obvious. It also sets up the entire paper which will focus on explaining the relationship between religious imagery, Puritan hypocrisy, and Brown’s internal struggle throughou t the narrative.
– The paper should clearly be divided into an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
– Avoid extensive plot summary. This isn’t a book report, and there is no need to provide lengthy recounts of the events presented in your chosen text.
Things to Remember:
– No use of 1 st person (I, me, my, we, us, our) or 2 nd person (you, your) voice in your paper.
– Quotes, citations, and the works cited page must be formatted according to MLA guidelines.
– If you merely write a summary of your chosen story/play, or a “book report” style essay where you explain your subjective evaluation of the story/play, you will receive an F.
– The introduction should provide the title of the work, the full name of the auth or, a brief summary of the work, and the thesis, which should be both argumentative and analytical.
– The body paragraphs should present your analysis of the work itself, and the conclusion should reiterate the analytical argument and signal an overall sign ificance of how your reading of the work contributes to its meaning.
– Literary analysis is always in present tense. If presenting actual historical details, you will use past tense, but otherwise, the paper should be in present tense.
– Titles of short stor ies are in quotes (“A Rose for Emily”) while titles of plays are italicized ( A Streetcar Named Desire ).
– As always, utilize correct grammar and punctuation.
NOTE: If you are unsure of how to approach this essay, or if you are unsure of how to perform res earch for an assignment like this one, please consult me IMMEDIATELY. I am here to help. Furthermore, do not put this assignment off until the last minute. Students who do so usually find themselves struggling with composing a strong essay in the midst of the end – of – semester crunch.
I encourage you to determine your own paper topic, but I would also like for you to discuss your ideas with me before you begin writing.
Here are a few paper topics that you may use for inspiration. However, pl ease remember that these are only topics and not thesis statements in and of themselves. You are expected to take your chosen topic and develop an analytical argument from it.
– Morality and Divine Grace in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
This is the title of my paper
*If you choose to write about “The Shabbat,” you may consider reading the entirety of Satrapi’s Persepolis . It is a graphic novel and therefore a very quick read. Also, when performing research, you may want to search for Persepolis . If you choose to write about “Jesus Shaves,” when researching literary criticism, you may want to search for Me Talk Pretty One Day , the title of the book from which th e story was taken. If you choose to write about “A Pair of Tickets,” when researching literary criticism, you may want to search for The Joy Luck Club , the title of the novel from which the story was taken.
**If you choose to write about Welcome to Night Vale , please see me before per forming research, as there are not many scholarly sources available on this podcast.
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