English 4106
Studies in Genre: Fiction

Short Essay Assignment

For the first two of these assignments you will write a brief (3-4 pages, typed, double-spaced, MLA manuscript format) analytical essay interpreting one of the stories we have studied in class.  The chief expectation is that you demonstrate the logic by which you arrive at your interpretation of the story through close examination of the text.  To make sure your focus is sufficiently narrow, select a single element or comination of elements--character, language, imagery, tone, atmosphere, etc.) and demonstate the role the element(s) play(s) in developing the story's theme.  Use your responses for the Reading Rubric to help determine your interests and make your selections.

While close reading is a requirement, you may well combine that with any number of theoretical approaches (historical, psychological, mythic, feminist, Marxist/social) if you wish.  No secondary sources are required but may be used if properly documented.  For more information see the grading criteria on your syllabus.

For the first essay, due September 7, you may select from the stories studied from August 26-September 2.

For the second, due September 28, select from stories studied from September 9-23..