Format: double-spaced, indented paragraphs; standard margins (1’), font (Times New Roman), and print size (12); no cover pages; use MLA format for parenthetical in-text citations; give your essay an unique title; 600-1,000 words in length. You may go over the 1,000 maximum only if needed.
Avoid informal diction and the use of first person "I."
Short story titles are placed in quotation marks.
Proofread your final submission. Sentence errors will lower your assessment.
Correctly document any direct quotes or paraphrases from the text. Do not over quote or rely heavily on extended quotes. Your textual evidence should support and enrich your own analysis, rather than write the paper for you. See MLA examples after topic/thesis ideas.
Due: February 23. No late essays accepted. I have copied the instructions below on how to submit your essay through our course site.
How to Submit through Blackboard: Go to Essays and Midterm Submission in our menu. Click on the highlighted/colored title link for assignment, then follow the instructions to attach a file, using the “Attach File” function. Attach your file, type any comments for instructor (optional), and then click “submit.” You will see a Review Submission History screen that will show if your file was sent/published. Please do not send multiple files. It is the student’s responsibility to attach the correct file.
Objective: Students will choose one of the short stories (or two in the case of some options) discussed in class and develop a formal, analytical essay focusing on a specified thesis. Students will support thesis with direct textual evidence and will document in-text citations using MLA style. Here are some ideas for thesis statements that you may opt to select. However, I encourage you to develop your own thesis (but clear it with me first if you need guidance). You may alter/edit these ideas to suit your own approach.
"The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour": Kate Chopin's stories are often characterized by the heroine having an epiphany or an "awakening" of some sort. Her characters were often seen directly violating standards for women at the time and challenged societal norms. Analyze the two heroines of these stories as they experience their epiphanies and discuss how this behavior was in direct conflict with historical context. Note: You may opt to just discuss one of Chopin's stories.
"All About Suicide:" Create an analytical essay where you discuss at least three or more characteristics of experimental fiction that appear in this story. Consider the effect of these characteristics (on readers and the story) and discuss how the author uses these techniques to get a message across concerning the political corruption/tension occurring in Argentina during this time period (1967). NOTE: Since this "short short" story is only one page, (and was presented as a handout) please cite paragraph number—i.e. (par. 3) for any direct quotes or paraphrases from the story. If including any outside research on Argentina, please document sources using MLA for the Works Cited.
"Greasy Lake:" The narrator of this story undergoes a "character arc;" by the end of the story he has developed more as a character (i.e undergone changes), and is noticeably different than he was at the onset of the narrative. Analyze this character arc, discussing fully the events he experiences, their effect on his behavior/motivations, and the changes that they bring by the end of the story.
"Sonny's Blues:" You may explore the above option given for "Greasy Lake" and apply it to the narrator of the story. In other words, analyze his character arc--how he appears initially, the events that