English 3200
First Analytical Essay assignment:
Due September 24

Directions:   Select a short story from Madden's  A Pocketful of Prose:  Vintage Short Fiction that is not on our reading list and write a brief (4-5 page) analytical paper interpreting the story.  Linda Wagner-Martin's essay on "The Yellow Wallpaper" (104) will serve as a good model for you.  While you may include biographcial and/or historical information that seems appropriate, your primary objective is to demonstrate how an element in the story (point of view, setting, tone, etc.) or a set of closely related elements involves a careful reader in the process of revealing the story's meaning, or, to put it another way, what the experience of reading the story reveals to an engaged reader.

If you prefer, you may write about a story publshed in a source other than the Madden text, but you must get the instructor's permission in advance.

You paper must be typed, double-spaced, with one inch margins, in MLA format.

The following criteria apply to all English courses:


Note: A passing grade on any assignment first assumes competence in the mechanics of standard written English. 

C         To earn a “C,” a student must


B         To earn a “B,” a student must meet the minimum requirements for a “C” essay plus


A         To earn an “A,” a student must meet the minimum requirements for a “B” essay plus:

·        Provide a sophisticated thesis that demonstrates independent thinking.

·        Support all claims/ideas with appropriate, fully analyzed examples and compelling, insightful arguments.

·        Show persuasive logical development and organization throughout.

·        Maintain a distinctive voice and consistent viewpoint that incorporates interesting and varied style.

·        Provide secondary sources, where applicable, that demonstrate independent research in the field.

·        Enter into meaningful dialogue with secondary sources, such that the student is not just proving someone else’s point but developing original ideas in relation to research material.  


D         A “D” grade results from

·        Failing to respond clearly to the assignment, or

·        A lack of qualities listed under the minimum requirements for a “C,” or

·        Insufficient control of standard written English, resulting in substantial errors that cause confusion or incoherence.


F          An “F” grade results from

·        Two or more of the faults listed in “D” above.