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First read the paper or story in total. On your second reading, start analyzing the structure, using the following questions:
How is the piece of writing organized?
What does the writer assume the readers know and believe?
Where is the evidence? Does this evidence support the thesis and main claims? Can you think of contradictory evidence?
Does the writer refer to expert opinion or research about this subject? Do other experts see this issue differently?
Does the writer acknowledge opposing views? Does the writer deal fairly with opposing views?
What kinds of sources are cited? Are they from books, newspapers, periodicals, or the Web? Are they completely documented?
How would you characterize the style?
How does the writer represent herself or himself?
What points does the writer make to which you should respond?
What ideas do you find that you might develop or interpret differently?
What do you need to look up to help you understand the argument better?
What else should you read before writing your own analysis?
Write an essay interpreting one or more aspects of a literary work you select from the list in the reading assignments. If there is another you would like to use, you may do so, but you must get it approved by your instructor.
After careful analysis of the literary work, you will become the expert critic, explaining the meaning you discern, supporting your interpretation with evidence from the work, and evaluating the effectiveness of the literary elements used by the author and the significance of the theme. Your purpose is to deepen the understanding of the work for your classmates. Even if they, too, have studied the work carefully, you will try to convince them that your interpretation is valid.
This paper requires you to document the use of an outside source—the source of the literary work itself. You will use parenthetical references to identify the exact location of evidence in the literary work that supports your ideas. You will name the author and title of the literary work and the date of its publication in your opening paragraph. Any specific reference to the work itself in your paper will require a parenthetical reference with the page number and paragraph number. Look at the student essay included in Bedford. Notice that in his opening paragraph, he includes the name of the literary work and the name of the author, but he does not include a publication date. If he were writing his paper in APA style, he would put the story’s publication date in parentheses immediately after the title of the work. Length: 3-5 pages. Please be sure to use APA formatting.