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

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 classmate’s submissions using the peer review questions provided below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your instructor will assign 3-5 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).

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 one literary element of the story (such as theme, symbolism, or characterization).
  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.
  3. Include a strong concluding paragraph that summarizes your main points and explains the significance of the thesis.

APA Reminder

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.

Peer Responses

By the end of the week, respond to two peers’ essays, using the following questions:

  1. Does the introduction have an attention-getting opener? Does the introduction give the author and title of the story? Does the introduction have a thesis statement as its final sentence? Does the thesis offer an interpretation that is clear and specific? What are your suggestions for the introduction and thesis?
  2. Is each body paragraph organized around a key point? Do the paragraphs offer support with direct quotations from the story? Are the quotes and examples analyzed and explained? Do you disagree with any parts of the analysis? What aspects of the story are left unexplained?  Do you have any suggestions for improving the body paragraphs?
  3. Does the conclusion summarize the main points? Does it have a strong ending that leaves the reader satisfied? Do you have suggestions for improving the conclusion?
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