Write a well-developed essay analyzing any of the stories you have been assigned thus far in the Kennedy and Gioia text. Your essay must cover one of the assigned stories only.

Write an analysis of the story using 3-4 essential elements to discuss how those elements contribute to the message or theme of the story.

Avoid plot summary. You are choosing one story and analyzing it using 3-4 of the elements listed below. Plot is NOT one of those elements and neither is theme. Your plot summary, if you must have one, should be no longer than one short paragraph (5-6 sentences).

 Head’s Up! Story Analysis Essay

Next week you’ll be writing an essay analyzing any story you have been assigned thus far in the Kennedy and Gioia text.  

page. 

  • You will submit your draft for peer review by Thursday.
  • You will provide feedback on the drafts of two of your peers before Noon Saturday. 
  • You will turn in your final 4-6 page essay before midnight Sunday.  


If you haven’t already, now is a good time to review the Resources for Writer & Editors and Guidelines for Good Writing under Course Home. 

Here are the details in case you want to get started on this just before the end of this week.

 STORY ANALYSIS ESSAY 

Write an analysis of one of the stories assigned thus far, using 3-4 essential elements to discuss it.   Your essay must cover one of the assigned stories only. 

Avoid plot summary. You are choosing one story and analyzing it using 3-4 of the elements listed below. Plot is NOT one of those elements and neither is theme. Your plot summary, if you must have one, should be no longer than one short paragraph (5-6 sentences).

Not everyone will choose to discuss the same elements, as it varies depending on which story you choose. Your essay must also discusses how those elements contribute to the message or theme of the story. 

Essential Elements Some elements that you might consider in your essay are symbol, style, tone, character development, setting, irony, allusion, imagistic language, etc. 

 Additional Guidelines:

  • Do NOT use any outside sources (just the story in the textbook).
  • 4-6 pages minimum (not including works cited page)
  • MLA format (see example on how to document work from an anthology) 

Essential Elements  Some elements that you might consider in your essay are symbol, style, tone, character development, setting, irony, allusion, imagistic language, etc.

Additional Guidelines:

  • -Do NOT use any outside sources (just the story in the textbook).
  • -4 pages minimum  (not including works cited page)
  • -MLA format (see example on how to document work from an anthology) 

Guidelines for Good Writing

The Essay Grading Criteria below shows you how much each element counts

towards the grade for your essay.

Essay Grading Criteria (100 Points)

1. The essay has a concise thesis that includes the author’s name, title of the story, and the 3-4 major points of the essay (10 points)

2. The essay fully develops and organizes at least 3-4 points that analyze the story (25 points)

3. The essay uses plenty of specific evidence from the story, including summary, paraphrase, and direct quotes, to support its thesis statement (20 points)

4. The essay uses correct fiction terms and vocabulary as discussed in this course (10 points)

5. The essay is free from mechanical and technical errors, and is written in standard academic English following MLA essay formatting. (10 points)

6. The essay uses correct MLA documentation style on both parenthetical citations and the works cited page (10 points)

7. The essay has an effective title (5 points)

8. Essay fulfills the assignment instructions. (10 points)

Grading Scale

The Grading Scale explains more in depth what the difference is between an A paper and a paper that does not earn an A.

A Paper:

This is characterized by outstanding informative writing marked by superior readability and competent handling of content. These traits are demonstrated in the following ways:

The substance and organization follow a clear, logical sequence that makes the information easily accessible to the reader.

The purpose is clearly expressed, and the selected details of the assignment reflect this purpose.

The audience is accommodated throughout the assignment as reflected in effective communication and style.

Words are chosen and sentences are constructed to make the information understandable.

 The grammar, mechanics, and format are flawless.

B Paper:

This is characterized by distinguished writing that successfully fulfills the requirements but contains one of the following weaknesses:

Although the writing is essentially well organized, the audience analysis, the statement of purpose, or the handling of the content is flawed.

Although sentences are grammatically correct, their structure or length or both sometimes cause readers to work unnecessarily hard.

Ambiguous or vague wording hinders precise communication.

A small lapse in audience accommodation causes reader distraction.

Grammar, mechanics, and format flaws interfere with reading and comprehension.

C Paper:

This is characterized by satisfactory writing that is generally effective but contains any one of the following weaknesses:

Although satisfactorily written, the body of the assignment is not clearly organized, or some material is not clearly explained; the audience and purpose are not clear.

Sentences, although they are grammatically correct, often make information difficult to extract; editing key words or converting nouns to verbs could solve such problems.

Wording interferes with readability, but the reader can still glean the meaning; rereading is often required.

Repeated grammar, mechanics, or format errors mar the paper.

D Paper:

This paper struggles to communicate information and contains weak writing. In a professional working environment, such writing would be considered incompetent because it suffers from any one of the following problems:

Any two of the problems listed under a C paper.

Minimal evidence of audience accommodation.

Serious wording problems, such as garbled wording, gives the reader repeated and serious difficulties in understanding.

Serious sentence problems, such as run-on sentences and comma splices, damage the readability.

Grammar, spelling, or format problems create frequent obstacles to understanding.

A failing grade on a writing assignment usually means that your paper contains any two problems from the list for a D paper.

PEER REVIEW CHECKLIST

ISSUE GUIDED QUESTIONS
THESIS STATEMENT How is the thesis structured? Does it follow the teacher’s instructions? How can the thesis be more specific and complex? How does the writer demonstrate why his/her argument is significant? Does the thesis provide an outline of where the paper goes?
ORGANIZATION How do the ideas in the paper progress? How does the writer transition between points and/or paragraphs? Does the writer use paragraphs that are too short? How can the writer develop the paragraph more or integrate this information somewhere else? Does the writer use paragraphs that are too long? How can the writer condense these paragraphs or split them up?
EVIDENCE/ANALYSIS Is every piece of evidence followed by analysis? Where can the analysis better explain the evidence? How often does the writer use quotations? Where can the writer paraphrase instead? Is it clear how examples support the argument and connect to the thesis statement? Does the writer make any leaps in judgment that are questionable or illogical? Where can the writer incorporate a counter argument?
CITATION What citation style should the writer be using? Is the writer following this style? Does the writer cite the text appropriately in the works cited page? Are any in-text citations missing? Is the punctuation correct for each direct quote and citation?
INTRODUCTION How does the introduction hook the reader? Does the introduction provide enough context on the topics covered in the paper? Does the introduction use clichés (like rhetorical questions or dictionary definitions)?
CONCLUSION Does the conclusion introduce new information? How can the conclusion restate the thesis in a more complex way? Does the conclusion summarize the main points of the paper? How does the conclusion reinforce the significance of the writer’s argument?
GRAMMAR/SENTENCE STRUCTURE Is there appropriate variation of sentence structure? (Using phrases, inverted syntax, no fragments, etc.) Is everything punctuated correctly? Did the author appropriately capitalize and punctuate names, titles, beginning and ending of sentences, and quotes? Is the paper free of major grammatical errors and typos?