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Students are asked to write literary analysis essays because this type of assignment encourages you to think about how and whya poem, short story, novel, or play was written. To successfully analyze literature, you’ll need to remember that authors make specific choices for particular reasons. A literary analysis is not merely a summary of a literary work. Instead, it is an argument about the work that expresses a writer’s personal perspective, interpretation, judgment, or critical evaluation of the work. This is accomplished by examining the devices, word choices, or writing structures the author uses within the work. The purpose of a literary analysis is to demonstrate why the author used specific ideas, word choices, or writing structures to convey his or her message.

Your essay should point out the author’s choices and attempt to explain their significance. When writing a literary analysis, you will focus on a specific attribute(s) of the text(s). When discussing these attributes, you will want to make sure that you are making a specific, arguable point (thesis) about these attributes. You will defend this point with reasons and evidence drawn from the text. 

Topics for “The Lottery”:

  1. ConsiderShirley Jackson’s comment on her purpose in writing the short story: “I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village, to shock the story’s readers with a graphic demonstration of the pointless violence and general in humanity in their own lives.” Identify key elements in the story that contribute to the final effect of shock and horror. Consider the importance of point of view, setting, and symbols.
  2. Inthe short story, Jackson uses disturbing images to aid the reader in understanding the pointlessness and foolishness of blind obedience. The story stresses the importance of questioning what is put in front of you as opposed to conforming mindlessly. Identify key elements in the story that prove Jackson’s point.
  3. Throughout the short story, contrast is everywhere, even from the names of Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves. Choose instances that provide an ironic contrast of reader expectations versus the grim reality.

second paper 5 paragraphs

Rough Draft Families Essay

Homework Content

  1. Rough Draft is due in class! You must be present for grade!

    Paper Requirements

    1. Your paper must be a well-developed essay of at least five paragraphs.
    2. Your paper should, of course, contain an effective thesis statement located in your introductory paragraph.
    3. Follow MLA formatting guidelines. (See this link for specifics: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/1/
    4. Cite them using MLA style. Again, refer to the above link for assistance with citations.
    5. Youare writing a literary paper, therefore, keep the following points in mind:
    6. Youare writing an analysis of the literature, not a summary. Don’t rehash what happens; explain why whathappens is significant.
    7. Usepresent tense when writing about literature.
    8. Includethe work(s) and the author(s) being discussed in your introductoryparagraph.
    9. Usespecific quotes and examples from the literary work to help prove your point. Cite these quotes using MLAstyle.
    10. Works Cited page is needed! Here is a file for how to do the citation with YOUR book.
    11. MLA Book citation chart 8th ed NWFSC ENC1102.docx

Paper 1- Select 1 topic to write:

  1. Select two stories, poems, or a combination from the readings and show how, although their plots differ, they explore a similar theme. Throughout, back up your claims with specific lines or passages from the work.
  2. Compare and contrast the theme of familial relationships in “A Pair of Tickets” with another work. What do these works say about loyalty and the strength of a familial bond? What difficulties do you see in the relationships? Is what is said about the importance, or lack of importance, in the family bond significant thematically? What is the importance of family in each story?
  3. In literary works, objects can function as symbols. For example, the quilts in “Everyday Use” take on symbolic significance.Write an essay in which you analyze objects that have symbolic significance in two works and discuss how these objects help to convey the main themes of the stories.
  4. Choose three poems that have a common subject or theme and write an essay in which you draw some general conclusions about ----. What applications do the lessons have for life today?
  5. Writean essay in which you analyze Mama’s plant symbol in Raisin in the Sun. How does her care for the plant help to developthe play’s themes?
  6. Oneof the themes of Raisin in the Sun isthe dream a family has for its children.Compare the developments of this theme in Raisin in the Sun and in another work we have read.

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