Fiction Research Essay

Your assignment is to write an essay of at least 2000 words that discusses how two different stories from our anthology develop a common theme. In many ways, theme is the element of literature that is easiest to write about. The driving force of a story is the authors’ desire to convey something about a particular theme, to make readers think and feel a certain way. In short, you will analyze how each writer brings a particular theme to life using characters, events, setting, and symbols, and you will explain what each writer seems to be saying about this theme.

You will choose from among these stories in our text:  “Cathedral,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” “Sonny’s Blues,” “A Rose for Emily,” “A Pair of Tickets,” “Recitatif,” and “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The two stories you select will be the topic for your essay.  In research terms, these short stories are your primary sources. Remember, you will spend much time reading, analyzing, and researching these stories, so choose two that excite your imagination.

The critical analysis essay assignment requires you to research as well as provide your own analysis. This essay will be a research-based paper containing a clearly stated thesis.  Each body paragraph should directly support the thesis statement by employing support from both your primary sources and secondary sources.  These secondary sources will be articles or essays written about the short story you have chosen.  These sources will give you evidence, different perspectives, and additional insights to add to your own analysis. Because your credibility as a writer is only as good as the sources you choose, use only credible, scholarly materials such as literary criticisms and biographical information found in the library or databases like Academic Search Complete and Literary Reference Center Plus. Your paper must use a minimum of four scholarly secondary sources in addition to your primary source. Note: for all assignments in this course, you may not use .com sites, such as SparkNotes, eNotes, Shmoop, Novelguide, Studymode, Wikipedia, and others.  Proper MLA-style documentation of quotations and paraphrases is required throughout the essay, and you must also include a Works Cited page. Note: The 2000-word requirement does not include the Works Cited page or the annotated bibliography that MUST be included.

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