Paper #1: Short Story Analysis B


To analyze and think critically about short stories that we’ve read as a class and to consider how specific elements of those short stores work in multiple stories.


Choose one of the following:

A.) All of the writers we’ve read so far are considered masters of their craft. But even great writers sometimes fail to engage or please their readers.

Choose an element* from one of the stories we’ve read so far—dialogue, characterization, setting, point of view, etc.—that didn’t work for you or left you feeling unsatisfied.

Consider why the author made the choices he/she did, then compare that to another story we’ve read that, in your opinion, treats that element more successfully.

B.) Choose an author that we’ve read and read one or two additional short stories by that author. Focusing on one or two specific elements* of fiction, compare how the author uses these elements.


· Identification and analysis of short story elements.

· Critical reading, analysis, and comparison of short stories.


Your paper should…

· Include a clear, well-articulated purpose (or thesis).

· be clearly organized.

· thoughtfully analyze the texts in question.

· provide specific examples from the texts.

· use appropriate, consistent, and correct citations in MLA format.

However, your paper should NOT…

· focus on summarizing the texts.

· be reductive or provide superficial analysis.

· provide unsupported claims.

· use unnecessarily long quotes.

* NOTE: Please choose an element, not a specific passage. You may use a specific passage to highlight or analyze this element, but you should be choosing a component of fiction to examine in relation to the story.


Due date: The first draft is due Monday, February 18.

The final draft is due Monday, March 18.

Length:      You should aim for around 1,200-1,500 words

(approximately 4.5-6 double-spaced pages).

Font:           Please use an easy to read, normal sized font.

Other:        I’m not really picky about formatting. Please just

don’t do anything silly

Citations: Please use correct, consistent MLA citations for

this paper (both in-text and works cited).


I may comment on patterns of grammar,punctuation, and syntax use, but I will not specifically grade you on these. However, you should aim to have you writing as clear,concise, and comprehensible as possible. If I can’t understand what you’re saying, that’s a problem.


For this assignment, you will be graded on two major areas:

1.   Analysis

Your analysis of the texts should:

· be thoughtful, critical and insightful.

· include comparisons that move beyond the superficial.

· Address specific elements of fiction and consider them in relation to specific texts.

2.  Organizational and Rhetorical Effectiveness

Your paper should:

· have a clear, well-articulated purpose (ie. thesis).

· be organized in a way that is coherent and easy to follow.

· show clear connections between ideas and between different sections of your paper.

· use substantive and relevant examples drawn from appropriate texts.

· acknowledge and respond to counterclaims or other perspectives, when appropriate.