Readers will feel lost in this way when the writer seems merely to be analyzing various elements of fiction in the stories without indicating some cohesive purpose.

Posted: March 17th, 2022

In preparation for this assignment, you have read the following short stories: Bambara, Toni Cade. “The Lesson.” Download Bambara, Toni Cade. “The Lesson.” Ellison, Ralph. “Battle Royal.” Download Ellison, Ralph. “Battle Royal.” Faulkner, William. “Barn Burning.” Download Faulkner, William. “Barn Burning.” Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Download Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Olsen, Tillie. “I Stand Here Ironing.” Download Olsen, Tillie. “I Stand Here Ironing.” Updike, John. “A&P.” Download Updike, John. “A&P.” Here is the prompt for Essay 2 – Integrity and Ambiguity Choose TWO of the stories we have read; then, assert and support a claim about how these stories treat ONE THEME of your own choosing. (You may certainly choose the one around which discussions were created for the particular stories as you have already put some thought into it.) For example, you may choose to make a claim about how the stories by Bambara and Updike treat the theme of coming of age, or encounters with the demands of adult life, or facing the truth of unfairness or inequality in the world. This paper is a compare/contrast essay and must be 5-6 pages, not including the Works Cited, to be in the passing range. You may choose to write about other elements of fiction as you support your thesis, but center one THEME in your thesis to organize the paper. Be sure to convey a sense of why your claim is significant. In other words, answer the readers’ “So what?” questions about your thesis and supporting claims, mentally, before you begin drafting. Don’t leave them asking, “Why I am being told this?” Readers will feel lost in this way when the writer seems merely to be analyzing various elements of fiction in the stories without indicating some cohesive purpose. Draw upon textual evidence in the form of specific passages, language, events, dialogue, etc to make your points, but avoid over-quoting by using no more than 3-4 short quotes (never block quotes in short essays) and by paraphrasing more often than you quote. This paper requires 3-4 library database sources. I find that Gale Literature, in our left sidebar, is the best and easiest database to use for literary sources. You may use your sources in a number of ways: to provide relevant historical context to provide relevant biographical information about the writers to provide a critical perspective that helps you *support* a point to provide a critical perspective with which you disagree and against which you counter-argue NOTE: The research part of a research paper is NOT optional! Papers that fail to integrate sources are not in the passing range. If you’re having difficulty finding sources, librarians are eagerly awaiting requests for help. Peer research assistants are also available as am I. Just email. Here are some other databases to use in our LIBRARY (Links to an external site.): ACADEMIC SEARCH ULTIMATE (a multi-disciplinary database) EBSCO (a multi-disciplinary database) JSTOR (a specifically literary database) AND AGAIN…: The pitfall of writing literary analyses is ending up summarizing the plot. To avoid this, see these links from the library’s Writer’s Reference Center about… Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.) Writing an Outline (Links to an external site.) Writing a Body Paragraph (Links to an external site.) Writing an Introduction (Links to an external site.) Writing a Conclusion (Links to an external site.) Explore this database! It’s got lots of useful information about how to write your papers. Checklist for Essay: In grading your essay, I’ll look for the following elements. Use this checklist to review whether or not your essay includes all the aspects of a sound, logical, well-argued interpretation: 1. Creative Title: The title of your essay should be one of your own making, not “Essay 2” or “Integrity and Ambiguity,” my title for the unit. 2. Thesis: Does your essay include a clear, debatable, well-placed thesis (an interpretation) at the end of its introduction? The thesis should answer the prompt question in a single sentence, and it should link the prompt’s main topic with your opinion about or interpretation of that topic. Classically, the thesis is placed at the end of the introduction. For a compare/contrast essay, two useful templates are the following: While Author A in “Story A” depicts __________________________, Author B in “Story B” shows that ____________________________. (foreground an interpretation of a theme) The idea that _______________________ is highlighted in both stories, but Author A represents _________ as ___________________________, while Author B shows ______________ as ______________________. (again, foreground a theme as appearing in two different ways, ways you find significant) 3. Body Paragraphs: Your body paragraphs should support your thesis/interpretation. They will each provide a close reading or analysis of specific passages. Find at least three or four separate passages that allow you to support your thesis over several body paragraphs and account for the sweep of the stories (e.g. their beginnings, middles, and ends). Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence that asserts its main idea, one that interprets, not just summarizes. This topic sentence makes an interpretation, and it does so such that it supports the thesis (or overall interpretation) you are asserting. Avoid structuring your paragraphs such that your topic sentence (or interpretation) comes at the end of the paragraph rather than at the beginning. If you haven’t brainstormed and you just draft right away, then you often *discover* what you really want to say in a paragraph only by the end. However, revise this. Move your main ideas to the tops of the body paragraphs and only then show readers why your supporting point is valid by presenting textual evidence to “prove” or justify your point. In presenting your textual evidence, avoid over-quoting. A paper of this length should have no more than about 4-5 direct quotations. Paraphrase, instead. Remember to cite whenever you quote or paraphrase by placing the page number only in parentheses. (You will have mentioned the author’s name in your sentence or paragraph.) Also, avoid talking about one story in the first half of the paper and the other story in the second half of the paper. For example, AVOID the following structure; it will sound like two separate essays rather than an integral argument: A. Story #1 point 1 point 2 point 3 point 4 B. Story #2 point 1 point 2 point 3 point 4 Instead, USE the following structure. Here you may examine the treatment of your chosen theme in both stories simultaneously and body paragraphs may be organized around single analytical points about, for example, the historical contexts, or the antagonists, or the climaxes of the stories, or other kinds of conflicts in the stories, etc. A. Stories 1 and 2 point 1 (Story 1 analyzed first in the paragraph; Story 2 analyzed second in the paragraph and so on) B. Stories 1 and 2 point 2 C. Stories 1 and 2 point 3 D. Stories 1 and 2 point 4 4. MLA Format: Use MLA format throughout the paper, including when you integrate quotations and paraphrases. You should have a separate Works Cited page as well, one that lists the story as your source. For this essay, you are not required to include outside sources. Please see the example below of exactly how one of the selections should be formatted. These stories come to you in the form of electronic documents, so the format below is required. The Works Cited is not part of the 5-6 pages of text. Example of an entry in the Works Cited: Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” PDF.

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