Synthesize the ideas you have considered in answering the question, “What is literature?”
Craft a thesis that clearly states your interpretation of the meaning (significance) of the story.
Support your thesis with evidence from the story and base it on the literary elements you have examined.
For this paper, you will develop an argument that you began exploring in the Week 2 discussion, which asked, “What is literature?” Your paper will answer that question using the following format:
“This story is an excellent example of literature because it provides meaning about X.”
Examples of how you might fill-in “X” include “children and parenting,” “the Black experience,” “gendered double standards,” or another aspect of the human condition that you can relate to and that has a significant presence in the story.
The answer statement above is only half of your thesis. Week 3 teaches you that the thesis governs your paper’s analysis and development. The thesis is constructed with two main parts: a claim and warrants. For this paper, your thesis will have three warrants.
Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is an excellent example of a literary work because it provides insight into the hypocrisy of religious morality through character, setting, and theme.
Week 3 shows you how the outline is a straightforward way to list and organize your ideas to support your claim with three warrants. Your task in drafting this paper is to expand the levels of your outline in more detail. Next, you will convert the bulleted items from your outline into well-crafted sentences, and then combine the sentences into well-organized, logical paragraphs.
Your three warrants will use the literary elements you explored and applied in Week 2. You may choose any literary elements, and you do not have to use three different ones. However, the body of your paper needs to have three paragraphs. For instance, if you choose to only discuss plot, then you must have enough information to develop three paragraphs about how the plot elucidates your thesis claim.
In Week 4, you’ll learn more about the development of body paragraphs. In the example above, each of the warrants exemplifying the hypocrisy of religious morality—through the story’s character(s), setting, and theme—will have its own paragraph.
Hints: Remember that your reader has read the story and is familiar with it; extensive summary is not useful. Rather, explain and analyze how meaning is derived from the story by the author’s implementation of literary elements. Note that the focus should be on the story, not the author, so repeated references to the author are unnecessary.
Summary vs. analysis: Be aware that a paper analyzing a piece of literature is not a plot summary. Summary should be brief, with only the details necessary to identify the parts of the story required to develop your paper.
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