ENGL 102 (1:00 PM) Essay 1

Context: For this essay, you’re going to put close reading to use.  Remember, the larger point of this course is to hone your analytical and interpretive skills.  Therefore, keep in mind that you are going to use close reading to prove some larger, more analytical or interpretive point.

Text: Anton Chekov’s “The Lady With the Dog” or Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Task: You will select one of the assigned texts (but not both texts), and choose a small piece of it to close read. The small piece can be no more than 6 sentences long (though you may choose sentences from different parts of the story).  Then, in a 2- to 3-page essay, you’ll answer the following question:

How does (do) the small piece(s) of text that you’ve selected demonstrate a larger theme of the short story?

Tips to help you:

  • Check the blog posts on this website on grading and on essay expectations.
  • Choose a piece of text that you think evokes at least one key theme of the short story.  If you can’t think of how your chosen piece of text relates to a larger theme, you need to select another piece of text.
  • I’ve set up links for further information on writing introductions and on incorporating quotations into your essays.
  • Remember to consult the syllabus to see the instructions for formatting.
  • Try writing an outline in which you list the points that you plan to make in your essay.  Knowing your points before you write your draft will help give your essay more strength, unity, and clarity.

Due date: Monday, February 7, 2011

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