Essay #2 (Literary Analysis)
Length: 2–4 pages, MLA format (including citations), plus a works cited page
Rough Draft: 2/27, post to corresponding Moodle forum (for credit and peer review)
Revised Rough: 3/03 post to corresponding Moodle forum (for credit and peer review)
Final Draft: 3/06, upload to corresponding Moodle dropbox (with reflection)
For this essay, you will analyze one of the short stories or poems we have studied in order to show how
a specific theme is developed in that story or poem. If you choose to compare two stories or poems (or
story/poem and film), that is just fine, though be sure your analysis of each is thorough. No outside
sources are required for this assignment, as the text itself tells you what you need to know.
You will discover your interpretation of your chosen story/poem’s theme by analyzing the story/poem’s
dominant literary elements. In presenting evidence for your interpretation, you will focus on two or
three literary elements (tone, descriptive language, symbolism, etc.) you think are most relevant and
evaluate those elements for their effectiveness in conveying the story/poem’s theme. You will incorpo-
rate quotations from and paraphrases of the short story or poem to support your thesis and ideas.
The purpose of this assignment is to help you develop as a critical reader, thinker, and writer of and
about college-level texts. Your audience for this essay is anyone who has read the story or poem and
has a basic knowledge of it. There is no need for more than several sentences of summary since your
audience already knows what happens in the text. Think of yourself as writing to a reading group
that has chosen this story (or poem) for its latest “story (or poem) of the week.” Such a group is likely
to generate different interpretations of the story. How would your interpretation fit into an ongoing
discussion of it?
Because this essay is a scholarly analysis of a text, a relatively formal, objective third-person tone is
appropriate. (Remember, this is not a book report, and not a biography of the author, but an analysis
of the text itself). The final draft must be clearly organized and carefully edited, demonstrating skills
you will learn in this class. Again, you will workshop this analysis with your peers.
Follow the workshop guidelines in the Peer Review Workshop forums (in Weeks 8 & 9). To receive
credit, each peer review must be thorough and complete (1–2 pages) when addressing said guidelines.
Be sure to post placeholders in each workshop forum ASAP for the peers whom you plan to review.Instructor Feedback:
You will receive feedback from me or the peer mentor during our Week 8 online conference. Please
bring at least two (2) questions about work you have done and/or still need to do on your draft. You will also
visit the online Writing Center. Once you have received feedback during Week 8, you will revise the
rough draft for a second Peer Review Workshop during Week 9 before the Final Draft is due.
Once you have reviewed feedback from your peers and me/peer mentor to revise your final draft, com-
pose a brief reflection on how you used these comments to make your final draft stronger. There is no
word count for this, but do take time to consider how you are using feedback to make revisions
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