“Saboteur” by Ha Jin; do not use “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston; do not use “Drown” by Junot Diaz. Short Story Analysis Essay
Assignment: As stated in Allyn and Bacons Guide to Writing, your goal is to “(p)ose an interpretive question about a short story and respond to it analytically showing your readers where and how the text of the story supports your interpretation.” You may use any short we are not covering in class this term: in other words, do not use “Saboteur” by Ha Jin; do not use “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston; do not use “Drown” by Junot Diaz.
“In the introduction to your essay, pose an interesting, problematic, and significant question about the story, one that can be answered several different ways according to the evidence in the text. Look for a question that might lead to differences in opinion among your classmates and that offers readers new insights into the story. Your task in this assignment is not to discover the right way to interpret the text, but to explain your way of reading some aspect of it.
Before you give your thesis, make clear just what question you are putting to the text and why in your introduction. It is this question that engages your readers interest and makes them look forward to your analysis.” (In other words, no one should ask, “Who cares?” after reading your introductory paragraph). Then, in the body of your paper, explain your own responses to this question, contrasting your answer with other possible interpretations that (may) have been proposed by your classmates (or others) or that you yourself have considered. You need to provide the citation/integration of at least two secondary sources which provide a critique regarding the story. You should dispute “alternative interpretations” but “concentrate on showing your reader how you arrived at your interpretation and why you think that interpretation is valuable. Use details from the story (and appropriate secondary sources) for support.”
Good literary questions call attention to problematic details of the text, stimulate conversation, and provoke readers to return to the text to reread and rethink. You know you have a good question if (others) disagree about the answer and (can) contribute their own views to the conversation.” Some good questions can arise from the elements of fiction mentioned both in class and in Chapter 5 of the 3rd edition of the Gardner text as well as the questions about text, author, reader, and culture mentioned in Chapter 2 of the same text.
Evaluation Criteria: -Provision of a fairly original
interpretive question about a short story with an analytical
response to it showing readers where and how the text of the story
supports your interpretation through the use of both details from
the story itself and secondary sources.
Demonstration of the reading strategies of rhetorical readers when examining potential secondary sources.
-The consideration and integration in writing of the ideas of at least two outside/secondary sources, which provide a historical, cultural, and/or critical context, which provide support in formulating a debatable thesis/argument about a short story.
-Few grammatical errors; adherence to MLA style.
Participation in peer editing sessions