1. Selection of Authors: Franzen, Alexie, Olsen, Ng, or Kincaid
2. Length of Paper (4-5 pages in length, Must be at least four full pages, Times New Roman or Ariel, 12 point font)
3. Paper will be checked for Plagiarism (ANY plagiarism will mean automatically failure of the class). This includes any phrasing, sentences or Grammerly help (changing words on an essay already published, or an Amazon review, or notes on SparkNotes.com or a paper online is PLAGIARISM. You will fail the class).
4. Paper must be UPLOADED as a Word Document. Please CONVERT all Google Docs, PDF’s and Pages to Word (.docx). PAYING ATTENTION to DIRECTIONS is also an important aspect of college life and of life in general. Nothing annoys job prospects more than when prospective employees do not do what is expected on them.
5. DIRECTIONS: Compiling all of your notes on my extensive commentary and suggestions on your Discussion Boards, write a 4-5 pages ANALYSIS or ARGUMENT https://penandthepad.com/difference-analytical-argumentative-thesis-statement-8017.html and/or https://www.referencepointsoftware.com/the-differences-between-an-analytical-and-an-argumentative-paper/ paper, with evidence (quotes of support from the entirety of a reading) of support PROVING your analysis. How to Analyze a Short Story: https://www.coursehero.com/study-guides/introliterature/how-to-analyze-a-short-story/ Your drafting has already been done (which is the point of those earlier Freewrites), in the form of your Discussion Boards and Drafts. USE THESE to start drafting your essay and your ideas. Do not summarize (which is telling me what a story is about) (Week 3 has a folder which includes many websites that address the difference between Summary and Analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKRIAyMZIQo ); I want analysis (a breakdown of the elements or ideas of a story) or argument (proving something). You can and should use some of the questions asked for the journals. How to Write a Literary Paper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V__y74UvzYo
For example, an essay could tackle and analyze the difficulties of achieving the American Dream (in either Jonathan Franzen’s “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” or Sherman Alexie’s “What Chicken Means to Me” or “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen, which would ADDITIONALLY “add” historical elements to its argument), or it can make an ARGUMENT that the American Dream is an illusion (built on illusions or a “house of cards” which is definitely Ken and Joan’s place). A paper could examine the difficulties of poverty (beyond food) in both Olsen’s and Alexie’s stories. A paper could examine GENDER (adding ethnicity occasionally) in Ng’s “How to be Chinese” or “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid. Those stories could lead to a paper about gender and the rules, both written and unwritten, said or unsaid that determine women’s lives; how are they forced into certain “roles”? Equally, a story could examine parenting in “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid and explain the many VOICES that go into parenting or examine the differences between living for oneself, “I” or living for a community “we” (which is also somewhat relevant to Ng’s story as well). So many possibilities from the five stories you read. (Moreover, only those confident in their writing skills should attempt a Compare and Contrast essay, using at least two of the stories. WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO IS WRITE ABOUT ALL OF THE STORIES OR GIVE ME A SUMMARY OF ALL OF THE STORIES; if you use more than one story, it’s about Analysis and breaking down an IDEA that they have in COMMON; for example, poverty in Olsen and Alexie’s stories. Additionally, you can USE any of the prompts given (in the DB’s and Journals of the authors; though not the DB’s related to photos etc.) to write this paper. The paper’s FOCUS must be on the five authors I mention above and their short stories.
(50%) Paper must have a clear Introduction (with a THESIS STATEMENT), 2-4 supporting arguments and a conclusion.
(25%) Paper must include evidence (quotes of support from the text). There must be evidence that a student read the assignment thoroughly (from beginning to end) and made an effort to understand the IDEAS of the story (or poem) or text. They must incorporate and explain these quotes correctly throughout their essay. They will not leave quotes hanging or unexplained and their grade here will be determined on the quality of quotes (plural) chosen, as well as their usage in the essay. (Do not shortchange me or overwhelm me with quotes)
(25%) Paper must have all grammatical and mechanical issues addressed. Paper must have transitional phrases, correct tenses, a clear point-of-view (not multiple ones) etc. (Sloppy papers will receive lower grades; students must understand that revision is part of the process and they must read and re-read and revise their papers LOOKING for these kinds of errors. Do I have spelling errors? Transitional phrases? Topic sentences? Etc.
A summary-based paper submitted generally receives an Average grade, which is a C. A summary-based paper submitted that does not speak to the material very well may receive a lower score. There is NOTHING wrong with writing one of these and students should do this if they feel comfortable writing one of these. In addition, sometimes students write sophisticated summaries; which are summary-based papers, with occasional moments of insight (which may receive slightly higher scores; depending on how well written).
It is important to remember that GRADES are based on a COMBINATION on both WRITING and THOUGHT. A well-written paper that struggles with ideas may get a higher grade. A badly written paper with strong ideas may receive a lower grade. Which is why it is so vital to start early and to REVISE and REVISE. It is also important to remember that you cannot casually turn in a paper where you simply write out whatever you want (with grammatical and mechanical and structural errors; I saw some of these in Discussion Board postings). A formal essay is exactly that: FORMAL and it requires students to WORK hard on it; which means, making sure to really put forth a STRONG THESIS, SUPPORTING ARGUMENTS, FIND EVIDENCE IN A STORY you read MORE THAN ONCE and then ANALYZE and then ANALYZE some more.
Here is a basic structure:
Story, Facts, Statistics, General to Specific
THESIS IDEA (with a very specific idea to PROVE or to ANALYZE)
II. Supporting Argument #1
Individual paragraphs need TOPIC SENTENCES, explanations, evidence, and analysis.
III. Supporting Argument #2
IV. Supporting Argument #3
Possible “Ideas” for Franzen Story:
American Dream, Hum-Drum reality of the middle-class existence, Hard-work, Keeping up with the Joneses and cost of the dream, living beyond ones means, Privilege
Possible “Ideas” for Alexie Story:
Poverty, Class or economics, Social structures, Health Care, Native American Identity or Struggles
Possible “Ideas” for Olsen Story:
Poverty, Class or economics, The Great Depression, Comedy to cover, Humor, what ends up happening to daughter and why? Institutions that fail you
Possible “Ideas” for Ng Story:
Ethnic Identity, Hybridity, Language, Growing Up, Cultural Differences and Similarities, Assimilation or Acculturation
Possible “Ideas” for Kincaid Story:
Girlhood, “I” versus “We”, the Individual versus the Communal, Directions or rules to follow about gender
1. Selection of Authors: Franzen, Alexie, Olsen, Ng, or Kincaid