English 102 Literary Analysis Paper
Length: 3-5 pages
For this paper, you should write a fully developed literary analysis of one or more story, poem, or play from the class readings. The paper should be a complete essay with an introduction that ends with a thesis, body paragraphs that support that thesis, and a conclusion. You should directly cite the work as you make your arguments, and you will probably need to paraphrase and refer to the work also. Each reference to the work (be it mentioning a specific passage, paraphrasing, or quoting) must be accompanied by an MLA formatted in-text page citation. At the end of your paper, please include an MLA formatted works cited page that lists the work or works you are exploring and any other texts you reference. You must use the analytical elements we study in our readings and our class discussions.
You have two options to choose from:
Option 1: Compare and contrast two works we study in this class, making sure to ground your analysis in the literary terminology from the book and from our discussions in class. For example, if one of your works is a poem, you should bring up such things as stanza breaks, word choice, meter (or lack of meter), who the speaker is, etc.; if you are using a story, you should consider the setting, characters, presentation of events, and so forth. You are free to choose any works from the readings in this class, and you may want to read ahead to find works to explore.
Option 2: Write a paper that analyzes one work we study in this class. For this option you should try to identify an important theme of the work and identify how the author achieves this by using the literary terminology from the book and from our discussions in class. For example, if you analyze a play you should bring up such things as character, dialogue, the use of spectacle, and so forth.
You may use any work we have looked at so far or you may read ahead and use any work on the syllabus or web readings.
Note 1: You should use a MLA style guide to make sure your page citations and works cited page are properly formatted. The most recent MLA style guide can be found in the library, but you can also use the following resource: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
Note 2: Your essay should be well-developed and well-written. That said, writing is difficult, and many students encounter barriers. Fortunately there are resources to help you if you experience barriers. If you make an appointment with me outside of class, I will happily sit down with you in my office and work through your concerns. Also, The Learning Center has a number of helpful resources (Information Desk: (818) 364 -7754). Many students continue to bring papers to The Learning Center, even as they work on graduate degrees.