Analyzing Some Literary Aspect of Assigned Short Stories

Essay 3

English 1302

Paper Due: Tuesday, November 6- Essay #3 must be emailed to me via the Blackboard Email System by 11:59 P.M. The essay should be submitted as a Word attachment. Late Essays will be penalized 10 points a day.

Write a 500–700-word essay analyzing some literary aspect of one of the assigned short stories. The essay must have a clear thesis. Remember, a good thesis is one with which someone could disagree. Avoid, at all costs, obvious arguments such as: “In ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find,’ the Misfit is a murderer.” This is not an argument; it is an obvious fact in the story.

Avoid grand, sweeping claims. For instance, “All mothers have unrealistic expectations of their children, just like the mother in “Two Kinds” Instead, find a specific aspect of the text that commands your attention.

Also avoid too much plot summary in your essay. Focus on the specific details or lines in the story that illustrate the focus or thesis of your paper. So, if you’re writing about verbal irony in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” focus on those parts of the story in which you clearly see the narrator using verbal irony. You don’t need to tell your reader everything that happens in the story because you and your reader have both read this story.

-Use 12 point font (Times New Roman)

-Double space your essay

-Give your essay a fitting title (not simply the title of the work you are analyzing)

-Use quotes from the text of the short story. Since these stories are found online, you don’t have to put a page number citation after you quote from the text. Be sure to use and explain the significance of quotes in your essay.

Here are some topic suggestions. Note, these are general topics, not complete thesis statements. You must develop a compelling argument yourself. You are not limited to these topics. They are simply suggestions.

-Foreshadowing in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” -The power of cultural perceptions of human value in “Two Kinds”

-Setting as an indicator of character in “The Yellow Wallpaper”

You must support your thesis with evidence from the text. You should not use any other sources. This is not a research paper. I strictly enforce the honor code. Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated and will result in a failing grade for the course.

Reading Schedule and Links to Online Texts

“Two Kinds” by Amy Tan (October 16)

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (October 23)

“A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor (October 30)