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Literary Analysis Instructions & Rubric 2012

Literary Analysis Instructions & Rubric 2012

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 Readapted from Matos 2011
Instructions for Literary Analysis
Instructor: Elizabeth Lenherr 
Due Date: Feb 29 2012
During the course of the semester so far we have been learning various ways to read and interpret or analyze literarytexts. Something we have discussed is that all literary texts are open to different interpretations, and it is possible for one literary text to have more than one meaning, purpose, or interpretation. However, we have also discussed thefact that some interpretations are more effective than others. The difficult question is: is there an interpretation or  point of view that is more logical and complete than another?With this question in mind, you are to produce an essay which includes logic, analysis, critical thinking, and textualevidence as a way convincing your reader of adopting a position or point of view on a particular literary elementwithin a text. How do
 y
ou
view this literary element? Why do
 y
ou
view it that way? Why is
 y
our 
view superior? Thegreatest challenge of this paper comes in the incorporation of textual evidence. Any claim made in the paper 
m
ustbe accurately supported
by evidence found within the short story of your choice. Your analysis must be basedsolely on the literary text of your liking. You may incorporate an idea you have already started to analyze on your  blog. However, other forms of ³evidence´ such as personal opinions, personal experiences, information from other sources such as websites, journals, or databases, must not be incorporated into this paper. HOWEVER, if youresearch a website to help support your analysis YOU MUST PROPERLY CITE AND REFERENCE THE SITEOR YOU WILL RECEIVE A ZERO (0) FOR PLAGIARISM!!!
What are the steps for writing a literary analysis paper?
1.
 
Define your audience:
Who is/are the reader(s) of your paper? Who are you trying to convince?2.
 
C
hoose your literary text & focus:
Choose the text of your liking and decide which literary elements youfind interesting to explore. (ex: character(s), plot, symbols, irony, setting, etc)3.
 
Develop a theory or interpretation:
Devise a specific and original theory or interpretation using the textand focus you have selected.4.
 
Actively read your text:
Read your selected text multiple times. Look for specific evidence that supportsyour interpretation & analysis. Carefully consider whether you can find enough evidence to support your claims and whether you will be capable of convincing your reader that your interpretation is superior.5.
 
C
apture your audience¶s attention:
Make sure the title of your paper grabs your reader¶s attention. Youmight also want to consider opening your introduction with an effective hook (an opening sentence thatinvokes interest, speculation, or a struggle of opinions within the reader).6.
 
Disprove the opposing argu
m
ent:
Consider the possibility of discussing why your position/stance is better than other stances and present evidence for why you believe so. For example, if you want to arguethat the protagonist from Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a necrophiliac, how would you counter-argueagainst those who believe that she didn't sleep with the dead body of Homer Baron?
7.
 
einforce your interpretation:
Remind the reader about your main idea, theory, or focus; explain whyyour point of view is logical and/or valid.
 
8.
 
ewrite and revise:
Read and rewrite your paper many times. Be sure that the main idea is conveyed anddefended consistently throughout the paper. Be sure to be extra careful with grammar, language use, andthe organization of your ideas, and be sure to focus solely on the topic you devise.
 
 
 Readapted from Matos 2011
Further InstructionsAfter developing your original topic, you will write a literary analysis paper consisting of 
5
00-700 words
(ideally 2-3 pages in MLA format plus a ³Works Cited´ page). It is required that you use at least two (2) sources for this paper,which should be the short story that is discussed in your topic and one academic article found within the JSTOR database. You may also include evidence from a website as long as it is a valid source and as long as you documentthe source correctly. The paper 
m
ust
incorporate at least two quotes or paraphrases from the text discussed in thetopic as evidence to the claims made in the literary analysis paper, and at least one quote or paraphrase from the journal article of your choice. The final draft of the paper will be evaluated according to the rubric that is attached tothis document. All papers must be printed out, stapled, and turned in before the established due date. Electronicversions of the paper sent through email, as well as papers with cover sheets, colored paper, or stickers, will not beaccepted.Important Details to Keep in Mind
 
The paper must be objective and it must also make use of true and logical evidence.
 
The paper must have a clear thesis/interpretation that should be supported by the arguments presented inthe body of the paper. Be creative when it comes to selecting an approach. An unoriginal approach to atopic is perhaps the easiest way to obtain a poor grade for this paper (obviously, besides plagiarism).
 
Make sure that your thesis statement is in the introduction, and please underline it.
 
The paper should include a creative title and opening sentence that captures the reader¶s attention.
 
The paper must be formatted according to MLA guidelines. Font should be Times New Roman size 12.
 
The paper must consist of 500-700 words, and should have of a
minimum
of four (4) paragraphs.
 
The paper must include a ³Works Cited´ page with all the sources used in your essay. Do not put a sourcein your ³Works Cited´ page if you did not cite or paraphrase it in your essay.
 
Ideas must be presented in a clear and organized fashion, and must contain few grammatical errors.
 
Avoid the use of long quotations, and avoid summarizing the text that you chose. You goal is to analyzeand critically approach the text; assume that your reader is an expert on the short story you are discussing.
 
P
lease be sure to
m
ention the author and the title of the short story you chose in the introduction.
 
 No new ideas should be discussed in the conclusion; no evidence should be incorporated in theintroduction.
 
Students are encouraged to use dictionaries to look up certain words. However, the use of online or computer translators (such as
 B
abelfish
and
Google Translate
) is strictly forbidden.
 
Students having difficulties with the paper are encouraged to visit the English Writing Center for individualized assistance that is free of cost. Keep in mind that the writing center tutors (and the instructor)are not editors, and they will not write your paper for you nor correct every single mistake your paper has.On the contrary, they will evaluate your paper as a whole and give you guidance/help in terms of the flaws,disruptions, or discrepancies that they may find in your essay.Late papers will be accepted, but keep in mind that
ten
(10) points will be deducted for each day it is late, includingweekends. Remember that this paper will not only measure how much you understood a particular text, but it willalso measure your ability to make generalizations and interpretations of a specific literary element within a particular short story.
 
Literary texts which may be used for this paper 1)
 
Shirley Jackson¶s ³The Lottery´
 
2)
 
William Faulkner¶s ³A Rose for Emily´
 
3)
 
Kate Chopin¶s ³The Storm´
 
4)
 
Edgar Allan Poe¶s ³Tell-Tale Heart´
 
 
 
 Readapted from Matos 2011
PromptsHere is a list of prompts and questions that you can explore in the literary analysis essays. Feel free to choose the prompt thatyou most feel comfortable addressing, and make sure that you will be able to find the textual evidence necessary to discussthe topic chosen. In addition, remember that not all issues are ³black and white.´ Feel free to explore any grey areas that youmight encounter when answering these questions.1.
 
What ideologies are present within the literary text? How do these ideologies harmonize or conflict with theideologies of your society? Do you agree with the ideology portrayed in the text? Discuss.2.
 
What is the importance of the setting of the story? How does the setting influence the overall tone, mood, or message of the story? Remember that setting includes details such as time, place, and atmosphere.3.
 
What is the significance of a story's title? How does the title relate to the story, and how does it influence your interpretation? Do you think the title is an effective one? Discuss.4.
 
Carefully considering all of the factors and outcomes of the text that you chose, do you consider it to be optimisticor pessimistic short story? Why so? Discuss.5.
 
Does the story present any foreshadowing? Can we predict something before it is mentioned?6.
 
Is there a particular pattern or symbol that is constantly used? What is the purpose of that symbol?7.
 
How does the language of a story affect its interpretation? What is the purpose of the language?8.
 
What are the motives of the story¶s protagonist? How does the character¶s behavior influence the actions (s)hecommits in the story?9.
 
Is the protagonist of the story round (dynamic, goes through a change during the story) or flat (remains unchanged)?10.
 
Free topic: You are free to choose any other topic that you are interested in exploring as long as you discuss your idea with me beforehand, and as long as I deem that the topic is worth exploring.

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