literary critical analysis essay Description A literary critical analysis essay is one in which you formally write out your critical analysis of a literary work. In this class, we are going to analyze short stories. For this paper, you must write on one of the following short stories included on your list of assigned readings: “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri, “A & P” by John Updike, “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates, “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie and “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid. We will read and discuss each of these in class. An analysis involves a close ‘reading’ and you must explain to the reader what you see in the story, the significance of it, what it is trying to relate, or how it tries to relate ideas. An analysis is not a summary. As you analyze the paper, you are pulling it apart to figure out what it means, what the author might be trying to demonstrate, or what the story itself is saying. You will first want to be able to articulate what it is that you wish to discuss in your paper, in other words, your thesis. Then, you will be expected to draw evidence and ideas from your selection, which means you will have to cite direct and indirect passages from your story. You want to choose the passages that support what you think the story is saying and then use those passages in your paper to back up your argument. You can only use the evidence that the story offers you. Use MLA format to cite your quotes from the story. You must use at least three direct quotes, but you can use more if you want to. You must include a work cited list. Remember, you are not offering your opinion; you are offering an argument. You are also not trying to convince me that the author is good or that the story is great. Remember also to separate the author from the story itself. Avoid reading anything on any website regarding the meaning of these stories. It will not help you, and it will make it difficult for you not to plagiarize someone else’s ideas.
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