Short Story Literary Analysis
You will choose either the short story “Dog Heaven” or “The Swimmer” and write an analysis of the story. You must have a thesis statement in the form of an argument that represents your interpretation of the story and include textual evidence from the story to support your argument. When writing, focus on the TELL, SHOW, SHARE method. First, TELL the reader what your argument (claim) is, your thesis or topic sentences. Then, SHOW the reader your evidence. Evidence begins with text from the story. Finally, SHARE and explain what it means. Share something significant about your findings. Explain the “So what? Who cares? Why does it matter?” aspect of the section you are writing about. What does it mean? What is the point?
Be careful not to simply summarize the story. Your job is to interpret the story to find a deeper meaning, that is make the implicit explicit, within the text and illuminate it for the audience. You are looking for the gaps. What is left unstated in the story? What is missing? You have to look beyond the obvious and discover what the motivating reasons for actions or choices in the story are.
Questions for consideration when analyzing:
Length: 3-4 FULL pages, not including the Works Cited page. Style: Essay needs to conform to MLA standards, including double spacing in Times New Roman font, and must include a Works Cited page with correct in-text (parenthetical) citations for all quotes, paraphrases, and/or summaries. Sources: No outside source required, but you can use some. Even if you choose not to, you must cite the short story itself, as it is a text under discussion and you will be citing passages from it.
IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS, YOU CANNOT EARN HIGHER THAN A 60%
Worth: 100 points; 10% of your total grade
First Draft/Peer Review: see syllabus for date
Second Draft: Safe Assign on eCampus by 11:59 PM, see syllabus for date
Final Draft: Safe Assign on eCampus by 11:59 PM, see syllabus for date
The purpose of this assignment is to practice analysis and critical thinking skills in order to prepare your for the final argumentative research paper. You will look closely at your chosen work in order to pull discover the meaning under the surface. Your job is to look beyond the superficial meaning and understanding of the story in order to form an interpretation of the work. Writing, research, and eloquent written expression are vital for a successful future. You will express all of these in this assignment.
Your literary analysis should demonstrate the following learning objectives:
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Plagiarism includes failing to cite a direct quote with quotation marks and an in-text citation, borrowing someone else’s work without a correct citation, bad paraphrasing (Safe Assign will not identify a good or fair paraphrase), purchasing a paper, having someone else write your essay, or turning in the same paper to two different classes. Any paper with plagiarism, even accidental (I forgot to cite that!), will receive a zero as a final grade. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite correctly. See both MLA citation PPTs on eCampus or visit Purdue OWL for more help.
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