Week 4 project

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Fiction Analysis – Rough Draft 

By the due date assigned, attach the rough draft of your essay as a Microsoft Word document to the Discussion Area. By the end of the week, comment on at least two of your classmates' submissions using the peer review questions provided below.

NOTE: This is a two-part assignment. The rough draft is worth up to 80 points of the grade, and the peer reviews are worth up to 20 points.

IMPORTANT: Your instructor will assign five short stories for the class to read and discuss this week. Check the Week 4 Announcement for a list of the assigned stories. You must choose one of these stories to earn credit on the assignment.

Compose an analytical essay of at least 1,200 words in which you offer an interpretation of a literary element in one of the assigned short stories. Write your analysis focusing on one of the following elements in one of the assigned stories:

  • Character
  • Theme
  • Symbolism
  • Imagery
  • Setting

Start by selecting one of the short stories assigned by your instructor. Brainstorm to identify the literary element that you would like to explore in the story. Choose from character, theme, symbolism, imagery, or setting. Then, develop a thesis that offers a specific interpretation of this element. If you have trouble coming up with a thesis, contact your instructor, who will help you. Do not do any outside research at this point. When finished, the draft should be at least 1,200 words (approximately four double-spaced pages). Use APA formatting and citations.

NOTE: Your instructor may allow you to combine two literary elements in your thesis statement if they work together to support your point. Also, your instructor may allow you to compare or contrast some element in two of the assigned stories (e.g., the grandmother characters in “A Worn Path” and “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”). Ask for approval before beginning one of these approaches.

Tips for the Essay

  1. Open your introduction with an engaging opener, such as a question, quote from the story, or interesting idea. Then, connect to the short story and mention the title and the author. End your introduction with a thesis statement that interprets a literary element of the story.
  2. The body paragraphs should support your thesis. Present specific aspects of the short story that help to illustrate your points. Make sure to quote from the story and analyze specific lines that support your argument. Body paragraphs typically have at least two short quotations each as supporting evidence.
  3. Include a strong concluding paragraph that summarizes your main points and explains the significance of the thesis. Finish this paragraph with a strong and satisfying ending.

APA Reminder

Use APA style for formatting the essay and for source citations. Begin with a title page and use proper font and spacing. End with a separate references page. Refer to the Week 1 lecture on avoiding plagiarism for an APA essay template and additional resources.

Peer Responses

By the end of the week, respond to two peers’ essays. 

For your project this week (starting Tuesday, November 11th), you will compose an analytical essay of at least 1,200 words in which you offer an interpretation of a literary element in one of the assigned short stories (see below). Please read the complete instructions before you begin the writing process.

Carver, "Cathedral" (p. 31)

Ellison, "Battle Royal" (p.155)

Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” (p. 224)

O'Brien, "The Things They Carried" (p. 184)

Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart” (p. 622)

Please let me know if you have any questions...

Ms. Volker


    • 11 days ago
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