Literary Analysis 1 Writing Assignment: Literary Analysis Essay 3 For your third

Literary Analysis 1

Writing Assignment: Literary Analysis

Essay 3

For your third essay you will write a literary analysis, and just as we have discussed, you must do a little work before beginning reading and understanding the nuances of any piece of literature. In order for you to understand more of what you will need to do, let’s take a look the characteristics of a few theories in literary criticism.

In our case, we will be reading and interacting with several short stories. You will need to choose one of the stories we’ve read in class to develop a literary analysis of that piece of literature. To begin ask yourself the following questions:

What, if anything, do I know about the author?

Have I read anything by the author or about the author?

Have I ever read or heard of this short story?

What is this text about?

When was the short story written or published?

What period of time is author writing about?

You may already be familiar with the author and the story your chose or you may not. Much of literature focuses on the period of time in which it is written with the author giving a commentary on life through the story itself. Stories are a great way of getting political, social, and psychological messages to the general public. An extraordinary example is Uncle Tom’s Cabin. According to the Harriet Beacher Stowe Center, legend has it when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe he said, “’So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war’” (“Impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Slavery, and the Civil War”). Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852 just shy of ten years before the beginning of the Civil War. The country was already divided on the issue of slavery, and Stowe’s novel exposed the horrors slaves faced every day like no one had before. While the characters and their journeys in her novel were fictitious, the horrors she illustrated were common occurrences in the everyday lives of slaves.

With this is mind, before you begin reading, make sure to read any introductory material about the author’s life. Knowing where and when the author came from, how she/he became a writer, and what happened to her/him, may help you read the story and develop a better understanding of those nuances previously mentioned. Knowing about the author is not necessary to understanding or even developing your own ideas about the story, and it is also unnecessary to know why the author wrote something or what he/she was hoping to accomplish. But what is important is that you gather as much background information as you can to help guide you when you are trying to decide which aspect of the story you are going to analyze.

Third Essay: (3 to 5 pages in length)

Audience: general

Purpose: to persuade

Scholarly Sources needed: three

Quotes: three

For your final essay you will argue some aspect about the short story you choose. While it is not a requirement, you can and should use the questions from the literary theories to help you plot your argument. As always, make sure you provide ample evidence from the story to back up your claims. Additionally, you will need to utilize literary critics to support your claims. Here is a general idea of what your essay should include:

A clear and arguable position (Field Guide 170);

Necessary background (Field Guide 171);

Good reasons (Field Guide 171);

Convincing evidence (Field Guide 171);

Ethos: yours and your sources;

Logos: remember you must have good reasons, and you are using your sources to support what you think;

Careful consideration of other positions (Field Guide 172);

Signal verbs (Seagull 144-46)

Write at least two paragraphs for every point you make.

To get started, answer the questions found at the beginning of this document.

Paragraph 1: Introduction (5-9 sentences)

Your introduction should clearly introduce the story and your idea about the story. It also must contain a thesis statement that precisely defines what your position is about the story and what you intend on discussing. Your introduction sets up your entire essay and should engage the reader.

Paragraphs 2-3: your first point (each paragraph should be 5-9 sentences)

The body paragraphs focus on the major points you are going to make about the story you chose. Develop your argument based on information we discussed in class or you found on your own. This essay is longer, and you should be prepared to take a deeper look at the elements of the story that drew you in or had some kind of impact. You should have an overall opinion of the story that you can pick apart to develop enough information for this essay. You also must have a least one quote per major point you are presenting and integrate what “they say” throughout the essay.

Paragraphs 4-5: your second point (each paragraph should be 5-9 sentences)

Follow above directions. Do not forget you need at least one quote for each major point you make.

Paragraphs 6-7: your third point (each paragraph should be 5-9 sentences)

Follow above directions. Do not forget you need at least one quote for each major point you make.

Paragraph 8: Conclusion (5-9 sentences)

Your conclusion wraps up your argument and reminds the reader why your position on the story is correct. It may encourage people to read the story, to take heed of the lessons the story presents, or to pay attention to the impact the story has had. It can reflect back to your introduction but should not repeat exactly what you have said before. You also want to avoid presenting brand new information.


A warning about quoting: while this essay is your third, none of your quotes should be longer than two lines. Remember to:

Integrate your quoted material;

Document the source appropriately;

Properly indicate any changes made to the quote;

*For more information read pages 130-141 in LS and pages 528-543, 503-509 in Field Guide.

Works Cited:

The last page of your essay must have a properly formatted Work(s) Cited page and include the story you chose. The Work(s) Cited page is on its own page.

This essay must be submitted to SafeAssign.


You have an interesting title that is not simply the title of the story.

Your introduction contains a clear thesis statement and gives the reader a preview of what you are going to be discussing. Your introduction is interesting and engaging, and you have applied one of the methods for writing an effective introduction found in Field Guide.

Your introduction does not contain any language that announces what you are getting ready to say (i.e. this essay is going to discuss, this essay will tell you…)

Each body paragraph discusses one of your major points and uses logical reasoning and outside sources to support your claim.

Each point you make can be linked directly to your thesis statement.

You have more than five paragraphs.

You have used three sources and used one direct quote for each of the points you made. Your quotes are properly integrated.

Each of your major points is examined and discussed in at least two paragraphs.

Your conclusion does not announce that it is a conclusion and utilizes one of the methods for writing an effective conclusion found in Field Guide.

There is no use of first or second person.

There is no use of contractions (i.e. can’t, won’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t).

The paper is three to five pages in length, not including the Works Cited page.

You have a properly formatted essay and Works Cited page.

Work Cited

“Impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Slavery, and the Civil War.” Harriet Beacher Stowe Center, Accessed 20 Mar. 2017.