Dr. Caroline Gebhard Fall 2018
Essay Assignment #1: Explication of A Single Passage
For your first paper, choose a single passage–no more than a paragraph in length–from Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” to explicate. Develop an essay of two typed pages that demonstrates how this passage is significant to the story.
Most likely, you will have several points to make about this passage: work on building a thesis that ties these points together in a coherent statement. Support your points with examples and quotations from the text. Although to prepare you should do a line by line explication, avoid structuring your essay this way: build your essay around the main idea(s) you wish to bring out about the passage.
Format: At the beginning of the essay, retype the paragraph as a single-spaced, indented quotation. A separate title page is not necessary, but a good title–one that indicates the main point of your essay–is. Include your name, my name, course number, and date. Include a “Works Cited Page” in MLA style for your source for the story, our textbook.
Kennedy, X. J. and Diana Gioia, Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2016.
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