Critical Essay on a short story
The Critical Essay
The Critical Essay will be the culmination of all that you have learned this term. It will combine your knowledge of two forms of discourse: the exposition and the narrative. Your task is to choose a narrative work of fiction (novel or short story only) and to analyze it according to one of the narrative elements.
The hardest part of this assignment is often the choice of subject. The best advice is to choose a popular and well known author and to use his best known fictional short story (no plays or poems, no autobiography, no fables, children’s stories, nothing X-rated). This will simplify your research task.
For example, you could choose Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” as your subject work and do your exposition explaining what each ghost symbolizes.You will structure the essay in five paragraphs ONLY (in sandwich format) and the subject work (“Christmas Carol” in this instance) will be used for quotes that prove your point. You will also include quotes from the critics (at least four sources plus the subject work) that support your ideas. Be sure that your essay does not just tell the story line of your subject work. This assignment is NOT a book report; rather, it is an analysis of some aspect of the work. Doing a book report will give you less credit on this assignment.
Think of this paper as summarizing what critics have to say about your work. Make sure you put quotes around anything taken directly and that you source (endnote) even what you have paraphrased in your own words. The total of quoted material should not exceed 25% of your essay and you should be careful about this because turnitin.com will flag your essay if it has too much that is not YOUR ORIGINAL work.
Be sure to include all of the pages necessary to this formal, documented research report: title page, outline, essay of no more than 5 paragraphs with at least 5 quotes from the subject work and critics, and at least 5 bibliographical sources. Both endnotes and bibliography will include the work which is the subject of the paper. Also, make sure that you underline the thesis and the preview of the essay.
Your Critical Essay MUST be on the topic of a short story. It should include researched parts not to exceed 25% of the paper. Any part from a source must be quoted or cited if even if you have paraphrased in your own words. Make sure that you are using a full sentence outline, that you are using the proper style guide and that you have included the following parts:
Sentence Outline Page
Essay of Five Paragraphs (with several quotes from critics and the work itself)
End Note Page (in sequential order as you have cited material; include subject work)
Bibliography ( in alphabetical orderincluding your subject work)
Use 14 point text. Double space between paragraphs and single space the paragraphs themselves. Make sure that you include a title which has important words in capitals. No quotes are needed when the title is on the work. Quotes are only necessary when a work is referred to elsewhere.
Be sure to indent your paragraphs. We are NOT using block style. That’s for business letters. Make sure that you have (only) five paragraphs in all.