Part 1 :Select one of the stories assigned by your instructor, and develop a one- or two-paragraph response to the following:
Identify one of the main themes used in the story. Explain the message the author is conveying by telling the story in this way.
Provide at least one specific example and at least one quotation from the story to illustrate your point.
Discuss how this message affects your reading and interpretation of the story. Is the story more effective or powerful because this theme is included?
Theme refers to the underlying messages or major ideas presented in the story. The author presents some belief about life by telling the story in a certain way. You, as the reader, can interpret what message you received from reading the story, but you must be able to offer evidence to support your viewpoint by sharing examples and quotations from the story.
Tips: Remember to provide evidence for your claims in the form of quoted passages from the story. Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries should be cited according to APA rules of style, including in-text and reference citations. Quoted material should not exceed 25% of the document.
Example APA Reference from the eBookWelty, E. (2016). A worn path. In L.G. Kirszner & S.R. Mandell (Eds.), Compact Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing [VitalSource digital version] (pp. 464-469). Boston: Cengage.
Part 2: 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:
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 â€œA Worn Pathâ€ and â€œA Good Man Is Hard to Findâ€). Ask for approval before beginning one of these approaches.
Tips for the Essay
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.
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.
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.
Use APA style for formatting the essay and for source citations. Begin with a title page. Include a running header, 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.
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