By the due date assigned, attach the rough draft of your essay as a Microsoft Word document to the Discussion Area.
Compose an essay of 750 words in which you offer your interpretation of a literary element (such as character, theme, imagery, or symbolism) in one of the assigned short stories.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You must choose one of the stories below to work from for your Week 4 & Week 5 assignments in order to receive credit. Links to the stories can be found in my Week 4 Discussion pinned post or on the syllabus under Week 4.
Gaiman’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”
O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”
Walker’s “Everyday Use”
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. 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. Use APA formatting and citations.
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 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 Response Questions
By the end of the week, please respond to two classmates’ essays, using the following questions:
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?
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?
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?