Essay 2: Short Story Analysis w/ limited Sources

The Basics:

LENGTH: Approximately 3 1/2 to 4 pages–900-1000 words.

FORMAT: Use MLA format (see MLA information & samples in the Essay 1 Folder.

TITLE: Come up with an original, relevant, interesting title (not “Essay 2”).

PRIMARY SOURCE: You will be writing about your choice of one of the following short stories:

  • “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver
  • “A & P” by John Updike
  • “Recitatif” by Toni Morrison
  • “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien

TOPIC OPTIONS:

  • Select one of the module response prompts for the story you have selected.
  • You may NOT use the same prompt used for your module response. You have to select a different one. (You are not to “reuse” your work from the module response on the essay.)

REQUIRED SECONDARY SOURCES:

You must quote (not paraphrase) at least two significant times from the respective secondary sources provided with each story. Those are:

1. “Cathedral”: Two or more quotes from one of the articles posted in Module 4.

2. “A & P”: Two or more quotes (total) from either the Interview at the end of the “A & P” video (use the transcript for easier copying) or from “Initiation Stories” (p. 145). (Yes, you can use both, 1 and 1, or more.)

3. “Recitatif”: Two or more quotes from the articles posted in Module 6.

4. “The Things They Carried”: Two or more quotes from any of the three articles (Kaplan, Smith, Farrell) assigned in Module 8.

WORKS CITED: You need a complete Works Cited listing all secondary sources as well as the primary source (the story). See the Module Notes and the handouts and links in the Essay 2 Folder for Works Cited instructions and samples.

Other Requirements:

POINT OF VIEW: Avoid using first person “I”. And, eliminate any use of second person “you.” 

QUOTES FROM THE STORY: You DO need to use brief, relevant quotes from the story to help make your points clear. 

INTRODUCTION: Should include the authors and titles of the works being discussed.

THESIS: Should be the last sentence(s) of the introduction. This should be the point/argument you are going to prove in the essay. (Note: This is a “regular” essay, so do not put “Thesis: ” at the top like we do for Module Responses.)

TURNITIN.COM: The paper must be submitted directly to Turnitin. 

Grading Overview: 

When I grade this paper, I will look for:

  • An introduction that establishes the central issue(s) of the paper and that includes the authors and titles of the works being discussed (the story or stories).
  • A strong, clear thesis at the end of the introduction.
  • Interesting, original points made about the literature.
  • Logical paragraphing. Each paragraph should present a distinct point that helps prove the thesis.
  • Good use of relevant quotes from the story to help make the points.
  • Good selection and incorporation of the required secondary sources. 
  • A clean, error-free Works Cited. (The Works Cited is worth 10 points of the essay grade.)
  • Proper MLA format throughout.

 

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