To analyze is to examine the parts of something—for this course, a written work—to establish their relationship to the whole. Critical or literary analysis is a thoughtful consideration of how a writer achieves meaning in a particular work.
• Analysis of fiction usually means to show how a writer’s central idea is accomplished through the use of the elements of fiction, such as character, conflict, setting, and tone.
• Analysis of poetry usually means to show how a poet’s theme is accomplished through the use of poetic devices or poetic forms or other literary elements such as symbolism or irony.
An analysis explains the process you observe that the author has used to create the work. Therefore, you are more concerned with how a writer conveys meaning than what that meaning is. You should, of course, identify and express the main idea of the work, briefly. But a literary analysis is not a “book report” or a summary of the work. Assume the reader or your paper is familiar with the plot of the text(s) you are analyzing, and keep summary to a minimum (one paragraph or less).
Use literary terminology (which you should have learned about in English 1302) to help you write effectively about what the author is doing. You will also need to illustrate your analysis with quotes from the text(s) you are analyzing. Make sure to quote accurately and to use appropriate MLA format parenthetical references to cite the line or page numbers of the material you are using.
This paper should not involve you in doing any outside research. Your paper should be based purely in a close, informed reading of the text(s) you are analyzing. You may write about any of the literary works assigned in the course between the start of the semester and the due date of the paper. That encompasses the following authors: Whitman, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Chopin. You may not analyze works by these authors that are not included in the assigned readings. Your paper should clearly identify the title and author of the work you are discussing in the paper’s introduction.
Your paper should be about 800 words in length (roughly 3 pages, typed, double-spaced) with its own unique and interesting title. The paper must be word processed and submitted using the dedicated Turnitin dropbox for this assignment in the course. Assignments submitted in any other format or by any other means (including emailed, pasted into email, or attached or pasted into a discussion thread) will not be read and you will receive a grade of zero. Please consult the course syllabus for further information about late paper policies and academic integrity policies. Plagiarized papers will receive an automatic grade of zero.
This paper accounts for 20% of your grade in the course. Consult the rubric for this assignment for more information about how your paper’s grade will be determined.