Assignment

Literary Analysis Draft

For your Week Three assignment, you will write a two and a half page draft (excluding the title and references page) of your Week Five Literary Analysis. The draft should contain a working thesis (which you wrote in the Week One assignment), an introduction, at least three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Be sure to include some paraphrases and quotations of the reference material in your Week Two Annotated Bibliography. You should use your research to help you develop and support the thesis. 

  • Develop the thesis from Week      One based on the feedback you have received. Again, the thesis should      offer a debatable claim in response to one of the prompts on the list.
  • Analyze the work(s) from the      approved List of Literary      Works      chosen in Week One using the Eight Steps to      Writing a Literary Analysis resource and include the three key ideas developed in      the Week One Proposal.
  • Use one of the approved Writing Prompts to write your analysis.
  • Focus on one or two      primary text(s).
  • Include references from at      least two secondary sources identified on your Week Two Annotated      Bibliography. More sources are not necessarily better.
  • Apply your knowledge of      literary elements and other concepts in your response to the prompt.      Reference the List of Literary      Techniques.
  • Avoid any use of the first      person.
  • Do not summarize the plot.

 Requirements

The Literary Analysis Draft

  • Must be two and a half      double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages)      and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing      Center.
  • Must include a separate title      page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must document all sources in      APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate      references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in      the Ashford Writing Center.

List of Writing Prompts

Click each prompt below to expand and click twice to collapse.

View in PDF 

Writing Prompt #1 

Characters do what they do because of their various motivations and desires.Often, their desires conflict with their ethical or moral responsibilities. For example, a personal belief, a love, a thirst for vengeance, a resolve to rectify a wrong, or some other ambition may cause a character to conflict with a moral obligation. Write about a literary work in which a character’s motivations/desire conflict with his/her ethical responsibilities. Remember that you are analyzing the literary text--not commenting on whether or not the behaviors are ethical or "right" in your opinion. Instead, you should focus on the moral dilemma the character experiences and analyze how he/she wrestles with this dilemma beyond what is obvious in the plot. What literary elements draw out this conflict?

  

Suggested texts:
 

Stories (choose one)

· "A Good Man is Hard to Find," Flannery O'Connor

· "The Blue Hotel," Stephen Crane

· "The Things They Carried" Tim O'Brien

· "Greasy Lake" T.C. Boyle

Drama

· Macbeth

Writing Prompt #2 

Write an analysis of a key character in a literary work. Describe two to three key actions of the character, or how the character responds to events. What do the actions reveal about the character? Do the character's actions fit together, or do they contradict each other? If they contradict, what does that contradiction say about the character's emotional and mental capacity? Analyze the character's psychological background. Why does the character act in the way he/she does? How does the author's characterization in the text reflect this psychological background?

  

Suggested texts:
 

Stories (choose one)

· "Where Are you Going, Where Have You Been," Joyce Carol Oates

· "Interpreter of Maladies," Jhumpa Lahiri

· "Sonny's Blues" James Baldwin

· "Sweat" Zora Neale Hurston

Drama

· Macbeth

· Mistaken Identity

Writing Prompt #3 

Most often, literary works have both internal conflict (individual v. self) and external conflict (individual v. individual, society, nature, or technology). Additionally, one can often find that a character's internal conflict is linked to an external one. Choose a text in which both an internal and external conflict are evident to you. How does the external conflict illuminate the internal one? What meaningful parallels or incongruencies do you observe when comparing the two, and what is the significance within the context of the story?

  

Suggested texts:
 

Stories (choose one)

· "No Name Woman," Maxine Hong Kingston

· "Sonny's Blues," James Baldwin

· "The Things They Carried," Tim O'Brien

· "The Cheater's Guide to Love," Junot Diaz 

Drama (choose one)

· Macbeth

· Mistaken Identity

Writing Prompt #4 

In some stories, characters come into conflict with the culture in which they live. Often, a character feels alienated in his/her community or society due to race, gender, class or ethnic background. Choose a text that shows this kind of conflict. How is the character alienated from community and how does she/he respond to it? What does that character's alienation say about the surrounding society’s assumptions, morality and values? In what way(s) do literary elements reflect how that society defines race, gender, class and/or ethnicity? How does this create conflict for the character?

  

Suggested texts:
 

Stories (choose one)

· "Sonny's Blues," James Baldwin 

· "What You Pawn, I Will Redeem," Sherman Alexie

· "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" Gabriel Garcia Marquez

· "A Hunger Artist" Franz Kafka

Poems (choose one or two)

· "Theme for English B," Langston Hughes

· "What it's Like to be a Black Girl" Patricia Smith

· "Immigrants in Our Own Land," Jimmy Santiago Baca

· "To live in the Borderlands means you" Gloria Anzaldúa

· "Child of the Americas" Aurora Levins Morales

Drama

· Mistaken Identity

· Macbeth

Writing Prompt #5 

Setting is an important component of any story. Consider the role that setting has in one of the works. How is this particular setting integral to the story? Does the protagonist conflict with the setting or have particular interactions with it? How does the protagonist's relationship with the setting connect with his/her development as a character?

  

Suggested texts:
 

Stories (choose one)

· "Greasy Lake," T.C. Boyle

· "The Blue Hotel," Stephen Crane

· "The Things They Carried" Tim O'Brien

· "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" Ursula LeGuin

Poems (choose one or two)

· "The Raven," Edgar Allen Poe

· "A Point West of Mount San Bernadino" Juan Delgado

· "To Live in the Borderlands" Gloria Anzaldua

· "Smokey the Bear Sutra" Gary Snyder

Drama

· A Midsummer Night's Dream

Writing Prompt #6 

Tone is a literary element that poets and authors use to effect a certain mood, emotion, setting, and/or message. Choose a story, drama, or poem in which you observe a unique tone. Analyze the tone in detail, illustrating specific qualities of it by offering several textual examples of each quality. Why is this tone important in understanding the conflict and theme of the text? How does it contribute to both?

  

Suggested texts:
 

Stories (choose one)

· "Good Country People;" Flannery O’Connor

· "Guests of the Nation," Frank O’Connor

· "A Rock Trying to Be a Stone" Sergio Troncoso

· "Sweat" Zora Neale Hurston

Poems (choose one of the following pairs)

· "Do Not Go Gentle into the Good Night," Dylan Thomas

· "Grief Calls us to the Things of This World," Sherman Alexie

· "Bright Copper Kettles" Vijay Seshadri

· "Theme for English B" Langston Hughes

· "Ways of Talking" Ha Jin

· "What it's Like to be a Black Girl" Patricia Smith

· "Burial" Cathy Linh Che

· "Blood" Naomi Shihab Nye

Drama

· The Importance of Being Earnest

                  

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    Literary Analysis Draft

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