For your Week Three assignment, you will write a two and a half page draft (excluding the title and references page) of your Week Five Literary Analysis. The draft should contain a working thesis (which you wrote in the Week One assignment), an introduction, at least three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Be sure to include some paraphrases and quotations of the reference material in your Week Two Annotated Bibliography. You should use your research to help you develop and support the thesis.Copy and paste the writing prompt you chose to explore in Week One at the beginning of your draft (this will help your instructor see if you focused well on the prompt).Restate your working thesis after the copy-and-paste prompt.Develop your working thesis based on the feedback you have received. Again, the thesis should offer a debatable claim in response to one of the prompts on the list.Analyze the literary work(s) from the approved list of prompts chosen in Week One that pertained to your selected topic using the Eight Steps to Writing a Literary Analysis resource and include the three key ideas developed in the Week One Proposal.Focus on one or two primary text(s).Include references from at least two secondary sources identified on your Week Two Annotated Bibliography. More sources are not necessarily better.Apply your knowledge of literary elements and other concepts in your response to the prompt. Reference the List of Literary Techniques.Avoid any use of the first person.Do not summarize the plot. choose: “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” (Oates, 1966) I will send you my draft once I choose you as my tutor. Also, the price is $3-$5 because I have already written MOST of the paper. You just need to add to it.ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Eight Steps to Writing a Literary Analysis Essay
1. Carefully read and annotate the literary texts:
To begin an essay, you first should become familiar with the literature you will write
about. Read the story/poem several times. Write notes in the margin of the text or use
sticky notes to jot down your thoughts and impressions of what you read. Some potential
things to notice include:
 What role does setting have in this story?
o How does the author create this setting?
 If figurative language is used, what is significant about the author’s
 What interests you about the story?
 What do you find disturbing about it?
 What did it teach you?
 Are elements of the story similar to others you’ve read? Do any of these elements serve
as symbols and/or allegories? If so, how do these symbols and/or allegories connect to
the theme of the story?
 What is the pace of the story like?
o How does the author create this pace?
o How does this pace connect with the storyline and theme?
 What is the main character like?
o How do you know this? What about his/her clothing, speech, etc. affects your
perception of this character?
Annotations help you to read the text closely and prompt you to think about it in various
2. Brainstorm potential topics and select one that interests you (be sure to include the three
literary techniques required in the assignment in your brainstorm activity)
In the class, you have been supplied with a general topic based on conflict. However, it’s
up to you as the writer to devise how you will narrow a topic and find a specific subject
to write about. It’s best to write on a conflict that interests you. What conflict in what
story/poem/play do you find most compelling? Once you decide on a conflict, you can
then begin brainstorming about it. Many brainstorming techniques and templates exist;
several can be found on this page:
In selecting a topic, make sure you devise one that you can easily defend using examples
and evidence from the literature.
3. Write a working thesis
On a blank piece of paper, jot down a “working thesis” that will help you focus on the
main idea of your essay. A working thesis does not mean that this is the final thesis for
your paper; rather, it will help you direct your thoughts and assist you in sketching out an
outline (and eventually your draft).
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Tips on Writing a Thesis:

It should be specific, concrete and detailed.
It should focus on a specific conflict and explain why that conflict is important to
It should convey the essay’s central point.
It should include the title of the text that you are writing about.
It should be arguable.
It should NOT have any use of the first person (“I” statements).
It should be one sentence long. (For very long papers, a thesis can be longer; however,
for the paper you are writing for this class, one sentence is sufficient).
One place to get started is the “Thesis Generator” found in the Ashford Writing Center:
Some examples of a “working thesis” include:

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein expresses a conflict between humans and science; the novel
shows how humans do not understand nor take responsibilities of the scientific creations
they unleash on the world.
The novel Gone With the Wind tells of the Civil War and how that conflict not only
destroyed people, but allowed some people to prosper, creating a “nouveau riche” class
that no longer depend on land to define their status or create their wealth.
The spy thriller, James Bond, shows that the Cold War conflict centers on how to prevent
the villain, who wants to dominate the globe, from using a deadly technological weapon
that can annihilate millions of people.
Okonkwo’s inner conflict and ultimate demise in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is
analogous to the conflict and downfall in the tribe, thus revealing the tribe would have
“fallen apart” regardless of the missionaries’ arrival.
Sir Gawain’s struggle with the Green Knight in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is
symbolic of the struggle all humans have when confronting their own mortality.
Note: Notice how each working thesis example contains the word “conflict.” This word
helps to focus your writing on a specific kind of conflict. This is a suggestion, but is not
4. Research and collect evidence (this includes collecting evidence on the three literary
theories that you need to discuss in the essay)
Now that you have a working thesis, do a bit of research and create a list of evidence to
support it. Your research may lead you to change your thesis, which is fine since a
working thesis is meant to be revised and changed. Evidence should come from both the
primary texts (which is the literary works themselves) and secondary resources.
5. Select the best evidence and Interpret It.
With a list of evidence on hand, select the evidence that can best represent your
thesis. When you select the evidence, take time to interpret it and write down that
interpretation. Whenever you use a quote, it’s best to follow it with an interpretation in
your own words. What do the quotes you’ve taken from the text mean? Write that
meaning as you understand it.
6. Write an outline
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
You can find many outline templates online, including a Word template
in your Word program. There is also an outline guide at the Ashford Writing
7. Write from the outline
Think of your outline as a “to-do” list for your essay; you will need to flesh out all the
ideas on it. You don’t need to start at the introduction. Start with a body paragraph write a topic sentence that connect with your thesis, find supporting evidence for it, and
comment on that supporting evidence. Do this for each body paragraph
You can write your introduction and conclusion last. Remember the thesis should be in
your introduction, and the introduction “points to” what you will argue. The conclusion
should recapitulate the thesis and “point back” at the argument you just made.
8. Revise and Develop
This is the step where you make sure that ideas are fully developed, that the order of
ideas makes sense, and that paragraphs are connected with transitional language. You
might look for sentences that are awkward and/or redundant wording. READING YOUR
PAPER OUT LOUD is a fantastic tool to use at this stage. For additional help at this
stage, visit the Writing Reviser in the Ashford Writing Center at You can also visit
Proofread and Edit.
This is the stage where you look for small errors, run spell check, change wording,
etc. Make sure all your evidence, quotes and sources are cited properly in APA!
A. ___________ Have you carefully read and re-read your text and annotated it?
B. ___________ Have you fully brainstormed your topic and arrived at a single, specific,
focused topic?
C. ___________ Have you written a working thesis that will help you explore and develop your
D. ____________ Have you done your research and collected evidence?
E. ____________ Have you selected your best evidence to use in the paper and write your
interpretations of quotes?
F. ____________ Have you written an outline?
G. ____________ Did you write your draft from your outline?
H. ____________ Have you revised your rough draft? Have you re-organized your draft and
added transitional phrases between paragraphs? Have you revised your working thesis into a
final thesis?
I. ____________ Have you thoroughly proofread and edited your paper? Are all your in-text
citations in place and correct? Is your reference page formatted in APA?
Best wishes for a successful literary analysis!
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
List of Literary Techniques
A reference to a recognized literary work, person, historic
event, artistic achievement, etc. that enhances the
meaning of a detail in a literary work.
The crisis or high point of tension that becomes the story’s
turning point—the point at which the outcome of the
conflict is determined.
The struggle that shapes the plot in a story.
Dramatic irony
When the reader or audience knows more about the
action than the character involved.
A profound and sudden personal discovery.
Setting and essential background information presented at
the beginning of a story or play.
A reduction in intensity following the climax in a story or
play, allowing the various complications to be worked out.
An outside source that determines human events.
Falling action
Figurative language
Figures of speech
First-person point of view
Language used in a non-literal way to convey images and
The main tools of figurative language; include similes and
Occurs when the narrator is a character in the story and
tells the story from his or her perspective.
The description of an event that occurred prior to the
action in the story.
A technique a writer uses to hint or suggest what the
outcome of an important conflict or situation in a narrative
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
will be.
A distinct representation of something that can be
experienced and understood through the senses (sight,
hearing, touch, smell, and taste), or the representation of
an idea.
A contradiction in words or actions. There are three types
of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic.
Limited omniscient point of
Occurs when a narrator has access to the thoughts and
feelings of only one character in a story.
A figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made
between one object and another that is different from it.
A detached point of view, evident when an external
Objective point of view
narrator does not enter into the mind of any character in a
story but takes an objective stance, often to create a
dramatic effect.
Omniscient point of view
An all-knowing point of view, evident when an external
narrator has access to the thoughts and feelings of all the
characters in a story.
Literally, in Latin, “a mask.”
A connecting element in fiction; a sequence of interrelated,
conflicting actions and events that typically build to a
climax and bring about a resolution
Point of view
The perspective of the narrator who will present the action
to the reader.
Rising action
The outcome of the action in a story or play.
Conflicts and circumstances that build to a high point of
tension in a story or play.
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Situational irony
When the outcome in a situation is the opposite of what is
A figure of speech that compares two objects or ideas that
are not ordinarily considered to be similar, linked by using
like or as.
A lyrical musical expression, a source of emotional outlet
common in ancient communities and still influential in
contemporary culture.
Third-person point of view
An object, person, or action that conveys two meanings: its
literal meaning and something it stands for.
Occurs when the narrator tells the story using third-person
pronouns (he, she, they) to refer to the characters.
Verbal irony
In a literary work, the speaker’s attitude toward the reader
or the subject.
When words are used to convey a meaning that is opposite
of their literal meaning.

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