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  Assignment Overview This essay exam requires you to reflect critically on the texts we have read in the first three modules

 

Assignment Overview

This essay exam requires you to reflect critically on the texts we have read in the first three modules of this course. You will choose 

TWO 
texts that we have read and develop three paragraphs that help you to 
differentiate the works based on a thematic issue. Be sure to follow the instructions below for what to address in each paragraph. For example, you will NOT include an introductory paragraph in your exercise; dive right into your analysis. 

 Directions

Paragraphs One and Two

Dedicate one full paragraph to each text you choose. What aspect of each work’s handling of this topic, motif, or theme is the most important to analyze? Why? What does it reveal about the characters or their relationships with one another and, based on your close reading, what broader idea is each short story expressing about the topic, motif or theme? That is, what social or philosophical commentary does the work offer via its handling of this topic, motif, or theme?

In each paragraph, be sure:

· to include a topic sentence that frames your discussion as an analysis of the handling of the topic, theme, or motif in each work;

· to convey at least one well-situated textual or concrete narrative detail from the work under consideration that you believe sheds light on your topic, theme, or motif;

· to analyze or close read that evidence by explaining what it reveals about the story’s characters or their relationships in relation to your topic, theme, or motif;

· to close each paragraph by stepping back from your close reading to make an inference on its bases as to what idea the work expresses through its handling of this theme, topic, or motif.

Other things to consider:

· Counterintuitive findings, ones that reveal something about the evidence and short story that go beyond simply paraphrasing, will be the most highly valued. Try to use your close attention to the evidence to make your discussion of the question as nuanced as possible in each paragraph.

· You may focus your discussion on an important narrative detail (or small set of such details), but if you quote from a story at length, be sure to pay particular attention to the language of the passage that you cite, especially its use of figurative language or analogies, its tone, its style, and/or the writer’s specific word choices within it. Do not discuss these elements for their own sake; show how they help you to answer the overarching questions. In other words, explain how the short story’s language (or at least the translation’s language) helps you to begin to answer these questions.

· You may refer back to your first paragraph in your second paragraph. However, save any comparative analysis for your third paragraph. See below. 

Paragraph Three 

In this paragraph, further differentiate the ideas each work expresses about the shared topic, theme, or motif by expanding on your preceding discussions with a brief contrastive analysis. That is, put those preceding analyses into conversation with one another. What’s further revealed about the difference in each work’s social or philosophical commentary by juxtaposing the works? Don’t just assert, explain. Develop a nuanced claim that differentiates the ideational content of the two works in terms of the point of contrast (i.e. the shared topic, motif, or theme).

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

· Format: 12 pt. Times New Roman, double-spaced

· Heading: Use the MLA four-line header and create a title for your essay

· Length: Each paragraph should be approximately 200 words (but no more than 350 words)

· Citations: Use MLA in-text citations for textual evidence

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