For our short story writing assignment you need to choose one of the elements of craft we have studied so far and compare its use in two of our stories. Remember, when you do a comparison there must be a reason that you are making the comparison; for example, the two items must have something similar about them even though you may be doing the comparison in order to show their differences.
For example you may choose to compare the character of the Misfit in A Good Man is Hard to Find with the narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper in order to describe the differences or similarities between these two characters, but the only reason you can successfully compare these two is because they do have like qualities. You should not compare the setting of Yellow Wallpaper and the setting of A Good Man is Hard to Find because those two stories have very little in common and certainly nothing about the setting is really similar.
Less is more: Give specific details and clear, concise analysis of one or two specific and documented details do NOT give a vague generalization of each story as a whole. Write a lot about a little, not a little about a lot. I would like you to discuss specific aspects of the text and show, dont tell me, how you see each author manipulating the text and even the reader. Give me specific quotations from the text along with close readings of that text. Use outside sources to support your interpretation of the tools the author uses, or to help clarify your important points in the paper.
Elements of Craft We Have Studied (see AL p. 155-164):
Plot Point of View
Tone and Style Theme
A Visit of Charity by Eudora Welty
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery OConnor
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte P. Gilman
1. You must have a working thesis that clearly makes an assertion and in some way presents the comparison of 1-2 SPECIFIC elements of craft that are the same
2. You must use textual citations properly quoted MLA 8 style.
i. ***If direct quotes make up more than 20% of your paper there will be a significant grade deduction and probability of receiving a zero for the essay. I need to hear your words, not the words of other authors strung together. If your essay is 800 words, that means that no more than 160 words can come from a source. Use quote snippets and try to limit the use of whole sentences.
3. You must use 12 point font, double-space throughout, and 700-800 words not including the MLA headers and/or Works Cited page (no more- not less).
4. Only use third person POV for writing
5. You must post your rough draft and do two responses to other students through the discussion board or your essay will be marked down one full grade.
6. The Final Draft must include an outline, internal citations, and a works cited page
7. Please Title Your Essay (using capitals for every major word) in a way that cleverly reflects the ideas in your paper.
8. Read through the ENG 102 Rubric before starting
9. Review How to Write About Literature module
Example ideas for brainstorming:
What are similarities in the setting of both stories?
How does the setting function as a character in each story?
What are specific scenes in each story that you find compelling or significant?
Does the setting change within each story? Where do you see this happening, and why do you think the author made the choice to do so?
Point of view:
Why did the author choose the point of view he or she did?
How and where do you see point of view working specifically in the text?
How does the point of view help to create a specific tone or voice in each story?
Does the point of view change within the story? Where do you see this happening, and why do you think the author made the choice to do so?
Heads Up Warning: This paper is not asking you to talk about the characters themselves, or the events; the directions ask you to evaluate the AUTHORS and how they use specific writing tool(s) (setting, imagery etc.) to create a specific (theme, tone, effect) for the reader.
For instance, do not talk about how the female characters were both driven to insanity because of the patriarchal culture around them – because this is focusing on the characters. Instead- discuss how Gilman and O’Connor both use imagery (for example) to create clear feelings of imprisonment that help the reader understand the characters struggle….
Above all else, be sure to narrow your thesis to something that is DEBATABLE, INTERESTING and SUPPORTABLE from the text and do NOT give a book report about the events in the story. Everything and every time you discuss events/give examples from the story I should be able to see a CLEAR relation to both the topic sentence of the paragraph and the thesis of your paper.
As a reminder for the Works Cited page, in order to cite a short story from the textbook use “selection from an anthology” citation guide because you are required to use our class textbooks for this assignment. In The Bedford Handbook it is #35 on page 638. The author of the short story and page number goes in the in-text citation and is the name listed first for the WC page- editors will also included in the citation- the guide will indicate where.
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