English 1B: Short Story Exam Assignment
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
English 1B: Short Story Exam Assignment
ASSIGNMENT: Write a 500+ word essay interpreting the way the genre of a science fiction short story helps you better interpret its meaning. The word count is approximate – just say what you have to say. Use complete sentences, include specific quotes from the text, and explain how these support your thesis argument. Submit in MLA Style to Turn-it-in.
- Your job is to examine in detail how the science fiction (sub)genre influences the way you interpret one or more literary elements in the story – how the genre informs its setting, a character, a particular symbol or a critical plot point so that we better understand an important theme or take-away message.
- In the opening paragraph of your literary analysis, compose a brief synopsis of the story. Be sure to identify and offer a working definition of its primary subgenre.
- Then, explain how knowing it’s science fiction helps you understand one or more of its literary elements – the setting, a symbol, or the narrative POV, for example – as you explore the story in more depth and come up with a meaningful interpretation.
- Topic: “Zora and the Land Ethic Nomads” by Mary Turzillo
- Alternate story (ONLY IF WAS NOT YOUR E#1 FOCUS): “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, a horror short story. You must argue why knowing the story is horror fiction helps you interpret its elements.
- Use a strong thesis claim in the opening paragraphs and at least three specific quotes from the story as support for your interpretive argument.
Begin by reviewing the Genre Studies Ppt. lecture on the Essential Materials Module. Then, study the Ppt lecture that focuses on the subgenre of the story of your focus. As you know, Turzillo’s story is categorized as Science Fiction and Poe’s story is categorized as Horror. The question to ponder is how knowing the subgenre of the story helps you to interpret it. What difference does recognizing its genre make? For example, does the setting take on more ominous overtones? Is there an implied social critique or a clear intent to cause terror? Why? What’s the point?
Find free pdfs of both stories on the Unit One and Midterm Modules. This is an “open book” exam, which means you may keep the story open in front of you as you analyze it, if you like. Also use the Checklists for Writing on the Course Essentials Module. The Gardner textbook will be useful in reminding you how to format and comment on quotations. USE MLA STYLE. When you quote from the story, use an MLA-style citation (author’s last name and the page number). Do not construct a Works Cited page unless you use secondary sources (not recommended).
INSTRUCTIONS: Find a quiet place to work and read the short story through at least twice, taking notes. Then, formulate a thesis that names the subgenre and links it to a specific, element, (for example, a setting, a symbol, the narrative POV, or a particular plot point). Your analysis of the story must explain how the genre-linked literary element exposes a theme or purpose typical of the story’s genre. Remember to include the “so what” factor even in your thesis– briefly say why this matters to us as readers? Use at least 2-3 specific quotes from the story as evidence to support your interpretive argument (your thesis claim).
SUBMISSION & TIME REQUIREMENTS: Submit your essay to Turn-it-in by the published deadline. If you find yourself spending more than 2-3 hours on this essay after you’ve read the story, you’re working too hard! Just show me you know how to compose a thesis-driven literary analysis. Submit the assignment on the Turn-it-in by midnight on the due date (100 points). Late submissions within 24 hours will not be penalized.
- Re-telling the story and making comments as you move through it usually receives no more than a passing grade in this advanced expository writing class.
- Employ a working definition of the genre to help you analyze a particular setting, theme, symbol or plot point for your focus. How does knowing the story is science fiction or horror, fantasy or science fiction draw your attention to a particular element? For example, setting is particularly important in science fiction. Narrative POV is often significant in horror stories, and a subtle influence that leads to frightening us, inspiring insights. CHOOSE ONLY ONE ELEMEN for the best result. How does this literary element help to shape the meaning of the story?
- If you focus on the setting, describe a particular location in detail. Then explain in what ways the WHERE of the story is important to a theme or take-away point. Remember that setting is a primary element in SCIENCE FICTION. What themes or messages does the setting bring to the forefront? Why is it so important to the meaning of the story? (See the BIG PICTURE point below.) It also plays an important part in setting the scene for horrible things to unfold.
- If you focus on a character, it’s always best to select the protagonist or the antagonist. What motivates the character and/or what important character traits help emphasize a theme, a tone, or a message? What do readers learn by the example set by this character? What’s the take-away point? Character is NOT typically a well-developed element in science fiction or typical horror fiction.
- If you focus on a symbol, describe it in a particular moment in the story, and then explain where and how its physical presence resonates, underscoring a theme or main idea. What are some of its possible associations? Why does the object come to mean more than the thing itself? What important message might it illuminate?
- If you focus on a plot point, begin by explaining why this particular moment strikes you as significant. (All of the plot points are significant, but just choose one or two—see Plot Point Prezi lecture on Essential Materials Module.) Clearly name and define the plot point and describe exactly what happens at the pivotal moment of your focus. The rest of the essay must illustrate why the moment matters – what issue or theme does it underscore or emphasize?
- If you focus on POV (a primary shaper of meaning in horror fiction), think about how the narrative voice tries to convince the reader that it must be believed. How does this contribute to our growing sense that this narrator is UNRELIABLE? What impact does that have on the overall take-away you get from reading the story?
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