Essay 1: The Literary Analysis Essay
Description: Explore one of the following topics. Write an 800-1200 word literary analysis
essay (3-4 pages).
Audience: A peer who has read the story, but who would like to understand more about its meaning and/or techniques. So no need to summarize the story. Only use brief summary to support your analysis.
Purpose: To critically analyze the literary elements, techniques and/or devices in a work of interpretive literature.
Topics: Analyze the theme(s) of a short story in relation to its literary elements, techniques and/or devices (setting, plot structure, conflict, characterization, point of view, symbolism, or irony)
1. Choose one story to analyze. Note: your choice must be different from a short story you have written a Literature response on.
“ A Cup of Tea” by Katherine Mansfield
“Loose Change” by Andrea Levy
“The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence
“A Red Girl’s Reasoning” by E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)
“Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin
“Haircut” by Ring Lardner
2. Choose at lease one literary element. You will analyze the element(s) you choose in relation to the story’s theme(s).
Point of View
Plot & Story Structure
Symbol and/or Allegory
Genre (Ex. Fantasy)
Humor and/or Irony
Other (make sure to run your choice by your teacher before proceeding)
3. Reading and Review: Review the stories using your notes from discussions and the short story chart to determine which literary elements might be suitable topics for each. Determine
which story will be the subject of your literary essay and choose one or more literary elements, techniques, or devices to examine in the context of the story.
Analyze how that element contributes to the story as a whole. Use your critical thinking skills to analyse the work and to formulate your thesis. The essay is to be based on your interpretation and analysis. Select textual evidence in the primary source (the story) to support your thesis. Be sure to review the “Using Quotations” handout.
4. Prewriting: Outlining & Thesis: Choose the best ideas and organize them into an outline for the body of your essay. Make sure to show your outline and working thesis to your teacher.
5. Writing – the 1st Draft: Then, write a first draft, using MLA formatting. Make sure to show a draft version to your teacher.
6. Prepare the final form. Be sure to proofread carefully and format correctly, using MLA guidelines for the citations and Works Cited. Do not include a title page, as per MLA style. Revise, edit, and proofread before uploading your final copy to Moodle.
The literary essay follows standard essay structure:
an introduction that mentions the title of the story and its author, includes relevant background about the author, states the story’s theme, and provides a smooth transition to your thesis. Remember the theme is the focus of the story and the thesis is the focus of your essay. You may wish also to provide a preview of the points you will present.
a body, where each point/argument supports your thesis. Keep your stated theme of the story in mind throughout the analysis. Use evidence from the text (quoted, paraphrased, and summarized) to support your analysis.
a conclusion that summarizes the main points, restates your thesis, and refers once again to your stated theme.
Review applicable readings from Fit to Print, Story and Structure, Power Points in Moodle
The Final Copy: Upload to Moodle after checking the rubric and reviewing the self editing checking.
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