date due ): thomas vasquez professor kevin millerhum3310eol81 H u m a n i t i e s

date due ): thomas vasquez professor kevin millerhum3310eol81 H u m a n i t i e s

  • John Cheever’s “The Country Husband” (479-496)
  • Flannery O’Conner’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (299-310)
  • James Joyce’s “Araby” (503-507)
  • William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” (391-39

Contrast Essay: Write a paper in which you compare or contrast two (not all four) of the short stories assigned for this week. The comparison must be over these exact narrative devices found in each short story: the plot, the characters, the setting, and the symbols in each short story. See above the link for a student’s paper written in this course for this assignment and which I have graded. Read it!

  • Top matter: Begin your paper (after the running head and page number) this way (adopt it for the particulars of each course and assignment and date due):Thomas Vasquez Professor Kevin MillerHUM3310EOL81: Interpretation of Fiction Module 1: Contrast Essay Indiana Tech10 May 2014
  • Essay title: It should be a two-part title divided by a colon. On one side of the colon include the name of the author(s) and the name of the short story(ies). Place the name of the short story in quote marks; do not italicize it. On the other side of the colon use words that draw from or allude to your thesis statement. Be sure to capitalize the main words here too (but not prepositions or articles).
  • Thesis statement: It should
  • be the third sentence or step in your introduction paragraph (not the first sentence)
  • italicized
  • take a form similar to this: While in short story x ….., in short story Y ….. It should have that comparison FORM but must also say something of substance, which means it must assert something about the meaning of the short story you are analyzing in the paper.
  • This would be a poor thesis (on cows, to use a trivial example): Holstein cows are different than Guernsey cows. It follows the correct form for this paper, but it lacks any assertion of meaning about the two categories.
  • This would be substantive: While Holstein cows produce greater volumes of milk than Guernsey cows, they produce less fat content in their lactations.
  • Another example: If the thesis were on two paintings by two artists, I might have a thesis like this: While in Rembrandt’s “The Virgin and Child” shadows affect a solemn atmosphere, in Kincaid’s portrait of Mary and Jesus the use of light trivializes the holy birth
  • Analyze–don’t retell–the story: In your essay, do not simply retell the story–I know it very well! You do want to give a bit of description of key parts of the story, but make most of your paper analysis (taking apart the story like a scientist dissecting frogs) and interpretation (synthesizing, that is, putting back together to make sense of the meaning of the parts you have analyzed).
  • Structure of essay: Have exactly six paragraphs in your essay:
  • Introduction paragraph. It must have four sentences or steps in it. See the lecture and the Formatting Checklist in the syllabus to see what they are. This first paragraph is very important and can be as short as four sentences, but what those sentences are and what each of them does must be correct. When done, ask about this paragraph: Did I italicize my thesis statement? Did I make it the THIRD sentence or step of my introduction paragraph and not the first sentence?
  • Paragraph two should compare the plots in each short story. Use the word “plots” somewhere in your topic sentence. So your topic sentence–the first sentence of this second paragraph–should be a summary statement asserting something about the two plots and that develops or supports your thesis statement. That means it should literally contain at least one key word or phrase from your thesis statement. Here is a hypothetical example of a topic sentence: The plot in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” differs from the plot in “Araby” in several ways that show that [something from your thesis statement here that uses at least one keyword from your thesis statement]. Note that each topic sentence in the body of this essay should be what is called an “umbrella” topic sentence since it needs to assert something about both authors/short stories before moving into an analysis of the one story and then the other story. Don’t have a topic sentence about just one of the two stories. Be sure that the topic sentences for this paragraph and each paragraph in the body of your paper not only contain the word “plots” (or “characters” or “symbolism,’ etc.) in them but also at least one keyword from your thesis statement. If there is one difference between the papers that receive high grades and the ones that don’t, it is found in the consistency of the topic sentences directly relating back to the thesis step or not.
  • Paragraph three must compare the main characters in each short story. Use the term “main characters” in your topic sentence Make your topic sentence assert something about the main characters in both short stories that develop your thesis claim and uses at least one keyword from your thesis statement. It must use the words “main characters” in it.
  • Paragraph four must compare the settings in each short story. Use the word “settings” in your topic sentence. Make your topic sentence assert something about the settings in both short stories that develop your thesis claim and uses at least one keyword from your thesis statement. It must use the words “settings” in it.
  • Paragraph five should compare the symbolism in each short story. Use the word “symbolism” in your topic sentence. Make your topic sentence assert something about the symbols in both short stories that develop your thesis claim and uses at least one keyword from your thesis statement. It must contain the word “symbolism” in it. (Be careful: the student paper lacks this paragraph but you need to have it.)
  • Paragraph six should be a summary paragraph that revisits your thesis and reviews each of your topic sentences to summarize how they support your thesis.
  • Double-check your topic sentences: When you are done writing, look at each of your topic sentences and ask yourself if there is a word or phrase from your thesis statement in it or not–that is the question I’ll be asking as I grade your paper.
  • Quote, four times: Quote from each of the two short stories you are analyzing at least twice each (this equals at least four quotes in your essay). But quote more often if it helps you illustrate your point. Remember that for MLA style every quote needs a page number in parentheses at the end of the quote. I give examples of how to quote properly in the Formatting Checklist (find a link to it in the syllabus). If you are quoting what a character says in the story, use this approach: O’Connor has the grandmother say, “Jesus will help you” (308).
  • Minimum length of paragraphs: Each paragraph after the introduction should run at least five or six sentences in length, not shorter.
  • Transition phrase: In the flow of writing in the middle of your paragraphs–and especially when you transition from the one author or story to the other–use transition phrases like these as you compare or contrast the two stories: by contrast, in comparison, on the other hand, similarly, but, however, likewise, etc.
  • MLA style: The paper should be formatted in perfect MLA format, including 12- point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins. The Formatting Checklist I’ve posted for you in the Syllabus also describes the main MLA areas of style you need to use in your papers. I highly recommend you print it out and refer to it often as you set about writing your papers for this course.
  • Use quote marks, not italics: When you give the title of the short stories, place them in quote marks (not italics). For example: “A Rose for Emily.” Do this in the title of your paper and in the first paragraph and every time you use the titles in your essay.
  • Works Cited: Be sure to cite each short story in your Works Cited. That means each short story author needs its own Works Cited entry even though they come out of the same anthology. When you have one author in an anthology, you need to format it correctly. Look at the example “A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection” here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/06/
  • Quotes need page numbers: Any time you directly use words from a source, you must place those words in quote marks and give the page number (or paragraph number if no page numbers are available) at the end of the quote in parentheses. Do it one or both of these two ways:
    • Smith says, “Without question, this is actually a very complex and intricate issue” (24).
    • “Without question, this is actually a very complex and intricate issue” (Smith 24).

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