1.) Write about one or two poems. If you choose to write about two poems, make sure that there is a strong connection between them, e.g. a similar subject or theme; otherwise, your essay will lack a unified focus. Note: Your poem(s) must be drawn from the Poetry Anthology2.) Write about an aspect of a short story. Note: Your story must be drawn from the Fiction Resources module3.) Write about similarities and differences in the print and film versions of a specific story. This applies to William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” Ernest Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well Lighted Place,” and Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (see the Fiction Resources module). Some possible questions to consider: What choices and changes did the filmmakers make in presenting the story? Which of the two, the print version or film version, is more effective, or are they both effective in different ways? What did the film version add to your understanding and appreciation of the story? A strong essay on this topic will reflect strong attention to both the print and film versions.
TopicsDevelop a topic that truly interests you, some aspect of your chosen text(s) that you can fully address in a brief essay.
ResourcesNote that I’ve posted a number of useful resources to help you through each stage of the writing process: The Language of Poetry, Writing about Poems (Nuts and Bolts), The Elements of Fiction, How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay, Literary Analysis: Step-by-Step, and How to Integrate Quotes, as well as examples of excellent student papers.AudienceThink of your audience as your classmates and me. Assume that we have access to your chosen text and can view it as you refer to different sections. If you’re writing about a story, assume that we have read it. Your job is not to tell us what happens (plot summary); your job is to discuss the significance of what happens (analysis).CitationsWhen you quote the text of a story, be sure to use standard MLA format, including a page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence in which the quote appears.
Evaluative CriteriaThese are the main criteria I’ll use to evaluate your essay.–The essay includes a clear, interesting thesis and supports its thesis with relevant specifics (quotes, details, and examples).–The essay smoothly integrates quoted material, using standard MLA format.–The essay is well organized, with effective paragraphing and transitions.–The essay displays strong attention to grammar, spelling, mechanics, and style.–The essay includes an interesting, appropriate title (“Essay 1” and “Literary Analysis” do not meet this criteria).
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