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Analytical essay | English homework help

ASSIGNMENT: Write a character analysis. A character’s development generally has an important impact on a story’s major themes. Choose a key character (the story’s protagonist) or characters (the story’s protagonist and antagonist, etc.) in one of the following stories and discuss how the character’s development contributes to a major theme in that story. Completing this task requires that you are able to state succinctly the theme of the short story.

Write a 500 to 700-word analytical essay about one or more characters from one of the short stories listed below. You must include at least three direct quotations from the short story itself. You are not permitted to use other sources of information (i.e. web sites, articles, books, etc. about the short story). Doing so will result in a Code of Conduction violation.

“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
“A&P” by John Updike
“A Pair of Tickets” by Amy Tan
“Why I Live at the P.O.” by Eudora Welty
“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

 

ORGANIZATION: The introduction should identify the story under consideration, its author, the major theme in the story, and state specifically how the key character’s development addresses that theme. Body paragraphs should support your argument with specific references to the story, bolstered by relevant textual evidence and analysis of that evidence (use direct quotations, paraphrases, and summaries). Your conclusion should place your argument within a larger, meaningful context for your reader.

TIPS:

Do re-read the short story closely and take notes as you read.
Do not read about your selected story online. Don’t pollute your brain with other people’s thoughts about and interpretations of the story.
Do not write about yourself or people in general; do write about theme.
Do select one main point that your essay will make (your thesis).
Do begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence and include adequate supporting details.
Do discuss the classification of your selected character (flat, round, stock).
Do discuss the characterization of your selected character (dynamic, static).
Do discuss epiphany (use “epiphanic moment” to refer to the moment of change).
Do discuss if direct or indirect presentation is used.

 

Do discuss the following 3 principles of characterization:
Characters are consistent in their behavior (in what way(s) is your character consistent?)
Characters are motivated (what motivates your selected character?)
Characters are plausible or lifelike (in what way(s) is your character lifelike?)
Do not write in first person; instead, use the third person.
Do write about literature using the present tense.
Do not make a point without supporting it from the text.
Do quote text and do comment on the quotes and integrate them into your writing (don’t strand your quotes).
Do proofread your essay both from top down and from bottom up.
Do interpret the literature however you like, but, remember that you must support your thoughts with evidence from the story.
Do support your interpretations with specific examples from the text.
Do not summarize the plot. Do analyze the text.
Do provide a title that conveys the point of your argument.
Do not plagiarize your work. The College considers any amount of plagiarism as a Code of Conduct violation.

 

SOURCE MATERIAL: Your essay must properly cite the short story under consideration. Each body paragraph should contain at least one reference to the short story (paraphrase, summary, or quotation). You only need to use the primary source (the story); do not use outside sources. Correct source usage consists of two elements: (1) brief in-text citations for any idea or passage that is not your original idea; and (2) a properly formatted list of all Work(s) Cited at the end of the essay.

MLA HELP: Refer to Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) for instruction on creating in-text citations and a works cited page or use the presentations in Blackboard. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html

FORMAT: The essay must conform to MLA standards: double-spaced, twelve-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins on all pages. Include a Works Cited page. Use in-text citations. Give your essay a title. The title of your essay must not be the title of the short story you analyzed.
Example Work Cited Entry:

Tan, Amy. “A Pair of Tickets.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Portable 13th ed., edited by Kelly J. Mays, W. W. Norton, 2017, pp. 130 – 144.

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