Fiction essay – due in 18 hours

The instructions will be posted below. I am also going to include information that I have received from the instructor. She grades sort of hard and likes her work a certain way. 

The selected story is “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver

 

Fiction Paper Instructions

ENGLISH 102 FICTION ESSAY Overview: In a paper of at least 750 words, you will be analyzing a story we have NOT read as a class.  You may choose from the following stories:

  • “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver (page 28)
  • “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara (page 146)
  • “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin (page 91) 

I want you to generate your own thesis (argument) for this paper.  However, your paper should generally be arguing a theme.  This means that your thesis will (in more elegant language) say, “The theme of the story is _____________, which is shown by _____, _____, and _____.”  Each story has multiple themes, so the best thing to do is read all three, choose the one that moves you the most, and decide what’s affecting you about it most strongly.  What is the story trying to say on a deeper, thematic level?  Now, how can you prove it to me?  This is your job!  Tips:

  • This is an interpretive paper, NOT a research paper. I want your interpretation and no one else’s.  Do not consult outside sources.  Do not quote outside sources.  Do not reword, paraphrase, or otherwise borrow from outside sources.
  • Include one brief quotation from the text in each of your body paragraphs. If you have no quotations, you have not adequately proved your point.  If you have more than one, you are packing them in and not analyzing each one.
  • Review the Writing about Literature Powerpoint for instructions on where quotations should be placed in a paragraph and how they should be cited.
  • Avoid plot summary at all costs!
  • Do not use the first person (“I”) or the second person (“you”) in college writing.
  • If you have not yet read it, please go back and read the “102 Pet Peeves” file in the Week 2 Module. It lists many common mistakes in 102 essays, and avoiding those errors can save you big points!

How You’re Graded:

  • The quality of your analysis (most important!). Did you make a strong argument about your interpretation of the text’s theme?  Did you back up that argument with relevant quotations and evidence?
  • Parts of the essay (hook, thesis, topic sentences, transitions, conclusions)
  • Quotes/Citations (having the appropriate number of quotations in the paper, not overpacking quotations in, punctuating the quotation and citation correctly, placing the quotation in the correct part of the paragraph)
  • Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formality (no contractions, no slang, no abbreviations, etc)

 Your job in the thesis is to tell me what you think the deeper, underlying message of the story is. What is the writer trying to tell us or teach us by writing this story? What dies he want us to learn? 

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