The key elements of fiction and its logical application

English 1B: Writing Assignment #1: Fiction

Your task in this first paper is to demonstrate your understanding of some of the key elements of fiction and how a logical application of these elements can support your interpretation of a literary work.

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Specifically, select any one of the stories we have read thus far, or any story in the textbook (no poetry, drama, and please not “A Secret Sorrow”), do a close reading, and determine a theme, that is, a central idea or meaning in the story. Having done so, write a brief analysis explaining how the author has used one or more of the elements of fiction – plot, character, setting, point of view, symbolism, style, tone and irony – to develop this theme.

There are many ways to do this. For example, you can identify several elements of fiction in the text and discuss how these elements logically support the theme you have identified. Or, perhaps one element really stands out, such as characterization or symbolism, so in your analysis you could focus entirely on this element.  Note the sample paper pages 291-93 (although your paper will be a little longer) in the text. Also, consider reviewing chapters 1-10 before starting on your paper.

The assumption is you will quote from the story to support your analysis. You can also use the criticism that follows many of the selections in the text. And, if you so choose, do some library and on-line research for additionally commentary to further support your analysis.

The format is MLA. So, all sources will be properly documented and cross referenced with a works cited page. The essay must be at least four FULL pages excluding the works cited page. If you do not meet the page count the essay will be returned with a grade of zero. An outline, two rough drafts, each a minimum of four pages, should be submitted with the final draft and the editing checklist on or before the due date of 7/6. 

English 1B: Writing Assignment #1: The Process

Writing is a process, and as we move through the writing assignments we will incorporate this process to arrive at a well-written final draft. Here are the steps we will use for the first essay.

1. Decide on your interpretation of the main idea of the short story you have selected. This will be your analysis. Do not confuse your interpretation/analysis with what the story is “about.” This is a persuasive/argumentative essay in which you attempt to convince the reader your interpretation works.

2. Create an outline. A form is attached for your use. Your submitted outline must be typed. The outline serves as your plan for writing the essay.

3. Write the first rough draft, a minimum of four pages. Then:

A. Ask him or her to read your essay and underline anything the liked and place a question mark next to anything that was unclear to him or her. Doing this tells you, the writer, what is working, the underlines, and what needs work, the question marks. Do not think of this as good or bad, right or wrong, it’s what works and what needs work.

B. Review the underlines and question marks with your reader. Make notes. Use this feedback to revise your essay into a second rough draft for editing.

4. Use the editing checklist, found on the “Assignment” page, to edit your essay for readability following the instructions on the editing checklist. Do not try to edit for all the issues in a single reading. Take it step by step, one item at a time, check it off the list and move to the item on the list until you have completed the entire checklist. Editing is not rushed process; it is slow, deliberate, and methodical.

5. Use the edited second rough draft to make any necessary changes to your essay and make those changes. The edited draft is your final draft.

Note: Editing is not the same as proofing. You may want to proof your essay for minor issues like spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Outline

(submitted outline must be typed)

Name_________________________

I. Introduction (note: the introduction can be more than one paragraph)

A. Hook (something to draw the reader in)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

B. Necessary Background

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

C. Thesis

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

D. Plan of Development

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

II. Body Paragraphs (note: there can be more than three supporting points and supporting points can be more than one paragraph)

A. First supporting point ____________________________________________

1. Details__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

B. Second supporting point___________________________________________

1. Details________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

C. Third supporting point __________________________________________

1. Details________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

III. Conclusion (a predominant feeling, impression, or message I want to leave my reader

with about my analysis) : __________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

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