Your second major assignment is an essay responding to any one (or two) of the short stories we discussed in this Unit. You may also choose to compare/contrast two stories that have been paired together under the same sub-heading. The focus in either choice must be narrow and specific, which you slowly uncover in the body of your essay. (Choosing a wide or general theme is not a good idea, because it forces you to state the obvious.) Your paper must have a clear thesis stated early, evidence and reasoning to support it throughout the body of the essay, and an analysis of the significance of this reading to an understanding of the story. Evidence must include quotes and paraphrasing from the story with page numbers noted in MLA style. Include a Works Cited page, listing your secondary and primary source, the story, in MLA style. Method: Your essay is an analysis of the story that explores a unique point of view. You are arguing about a specific idea that the reader may not have thought of and urging the reader to understand and agree with you. This is why, focusing on a smaller topic will be helpful. For example, a poor thesis will state: “’The Story of an Hour’ is about a wife who rejoices her husband’s death.” As opposed to a good thesis that will state: “’The Story of an Hour’ is a psychological journey into the mind of a woman burdened by patriarchy and her ultimate and tragic demise with the realization that she will have to live within its traditions.” For more information, use the handout for “How to Write a Thesis.” A good analysis concentrates on details: you should quote portions of the story to show how the text supports your thesis. Then you should offer comments and analysis that show how the portion you’re interpreting contributes to the work as a whole. As a general rule, “say more about less”: limit your focus to a small enough topic so that you can cover it in detail in this brief paper. Follow this format for the forum on Peer Review: 1) Introduction/Thesis Statement 2) Bullet points of paragraphs that follow with at least one sample quote using MLA format. Your essays will be graded on the following factors: A strong thesis statement with an essay that explores the thesis in its entirety Grammar and MLA formatting Quotes from your primary text and your secondary scholarly sources Length (4-5 pages)
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