pick one or more elements of the story
(symbolism, irony, setting, etc.) and examine their effects in the work.

Paper details:Your first literary analysis essay for the course will be a three (3) page essay examining
one or more element of a work of fiction. You may choose any of the short stories from
your textbook(s) for consideration, including the stories we have read and discussed in
the class discussions. You can work with short stories or any longer work of fiction
assigned for the class. You may work with one work, or you may compare two works.
There are several types of papers you could write: You can compare two works or
elements in two works (like theme, characters, symbolism). You can apply a critical
approach (such as feminist, Marxist, or psychological) to the work(s) in question. You
can analyze the theme of a work. You can pick one or more elements of the story
(symbolism, irony, setting, etc.) and examine their effects in the work. As long as your
paper is not a summary of the plot or a biography of the author, the topic is yours to
choose.
Think carefully about your essay’s structure. Make sure you have a clear introduction
and thesis statement. I am looking for a thoughtful and focused thesis statement that is
in the introductory paragraph and that fits smoothly with the other ideas in the
paragraph. Think about the structure of the body paragraphs. You should not necessarily
be writing a five-paragraph essay—don’t get hung up on the number of paragraphs. Be
sure you also write an adequate conclusion that summarizes the main ideas of the
paper.
Your thesis will need to make a clear argument or assertion about the work. In other
words, what are you trying to prove? You will need to include quotes from the story
(followed by author and page numbers in parentheses) as your evidence. You
should not be making assertions that you cannot find evidence for within the text. You
will need to include a works cited page with your paper that properly cites the story in the
text along with any other research sources you have used in proper MLA style
documentation. No outside research is necessary for this essay; however, if you choose
to use any outside sources for your essay, make sure you document them properly with
author and page number in parentheses as well as on the Works Cited page.

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