ENGL 101

Paper #4: Critical Analysis of a Short Story


Monday, April 3rd (1 copy)

Revised Paper:

Friday, April 14th in class (in folder: corrections for Paper #2 and Paper #3, and final version of Paper #4).


3 pages

For your third paper, you should develop an argument about one of the short stories we've read so far. Your paper can develop from one of your response papers, from ideas we've discussed in class, or from an aspect that we haven't addressed but you think we should address. As for the previous papers, your goal is to create a persuasive argument in support of your position on the story's theme or theme(s). A persuasive argument, remember, requires the following:

1. A thesis claim. Your thesis should take a defensible, even contestable, position on the theme of the short story you've chosen to write about. (If it's possible to argue the opposite of your thesis claim, or take another position on your topic, then you have a contestable thesis. Refer to the "Thesis versus Topic" handout.)

2. Support. To persuade your readers to your position, you will need to provide evidence in support of your thesis claim. For this fourth paper, draw your evidence from the story itself.

3. Analysis and explanation of evidence. Don't forget to explain for your reader how your evidence supports your thesis claim. (Refer to the "Claim-Data-Warrant" handout.)

Remember to provide an introduction and conclusion to your argument, and a "Works Cited" page. Consult Section 55 "Writing about Literature" (in The Bedford Handbook) if you have questions about the form of an argumentative essay and critical analysis for a short story; consult The Bedford Handbook if you have questions about paragraph organization, quoting from the story, or about grammar and punctuation.

It might be a good idea to do your "corrections" for Paper #2 and Paper #3 before you submit your draft of Paper #4 (or at least before you print your final version of Paper #4), so you don't repeat previous errors. If you have any questions about what's expected for this assignment or about my comments on your previous paper, please ask.

If you have questions at any point in the writing process, please make an appointment (after class or over email) to see me during office hours (listed on the syllabus) or at another time, so we can discuss your concerns and improve your writing. Remember that the Writing Lab tutors (ECTR 216) are available to assist you, too.

Paper #4 | Sample Essay | Syllabus for English 101