Paul's case by Willa Cather

Paul’s case by Willa Cather

Fall 2015
Critical Analysis Paper #1

Due – October 28, 2015 at the start of class, printed out, and will not be accepted after that.  If you know for a fact that you are going to be absent, you are responsible for having the completed paper delivered to the instructor by the time the class starts. Critical Analysis Paper #1 will not be accepted early, late, or by email.

Write a five-page paper on one of the following short stories: “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov, “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather, or “Araby” by James Joyce.

What is important to understand here is that you are going to create a thesis statement based off of your own interpretation of the material. You need to not overthink this assignment. The instructor is expecting to see a focused, refined argument in support of a thesis statement based off your critical/literary analysis of the text. One way of going about this is to identify a specific theme or message within the short story and formulate your argument around that.

This is a close reading aka a formalistic approach. No outside sources are to be used. You must, of course, cite from the textual source in order to show your understanding and ability to put yourself into conversation with it.

MLA Style Parenthetical Citations must be used (no block quoting). An MLA Style Work Cited page is required (you need only correctly list the textual source), but does not count towards the five-page minimum.

Additional Information:
Create a unique title for your paper.  You must use Times New Roman font at size 12.  The paper must be double-spaced.  Paragraph format is required. Remember, when writing a supporting paragraph, follow these steps: 2-3 sentences to introduce your point, a citation that backs up your point, then 2-3 sentences explaining how the citation backs up your point (this is called synthesis).

Grading System:
MLA Style Work Cited Page = 10 points*
Correct use of MLA Style Parenthetical Citations = 10 points
Context (grammar, style, argument, etc.) = 80 points

If you do not meet the minimum page requirement (five complete pages), your paper will be lowered to a 70 before the instructor even begins reading.

*I want everyone to do well, so here is what should appear on your Work Cited page (according to which of the three short stories you write about:

Chekhov, Anton. “The Lady with the Dog.” Literature: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Janet E. Gardner et al. 3rd ed.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. 62-75. Print.

Cather, Willa. “Paul’s Case.” Literature: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Janet E. Gardner et al. 3rd ed. Boston:
Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. 90-106. Print.

Joyce, James. “Araby.” Literature: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Janet E. Gardner et al. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St.
Martin’s, 2013. 107-111. Print.
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