The Story of an hour

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Short Story Essay

Total Value: 5%

Due Date: 11/7/18 before 11:59 p.m.

General Guidelines:

  • The required word count is 500 to 1000 words. If your paper falls short of the minimum required word count or exceeds the maximum word count, the grade will certainly suffer. The word count is calculated by only the words in your paragraphs.
  • A works cited page is required.
  • Work in a Times New Roman 12 point font, and use all formatting guidelines established by the syllabus and course materials.
  • Use MLA Style Guidelines.
  • Remember to title your research paper, which should not read Research Paper or anything of the like.
  • Do not use humor in your title or in any other part of the paper.
  • This paper will not be accepted late. A grade of zero would be recorded.

Your Potential Grade Will Be Affected by How Well the Following Documentation Skills are Demonstrated:

  • At least two parentheticals that include the author’s name.
  • At least two parentheticals that do not include the author’s name.
  • At least two direct quotations.
  • At least two paraphrases
  • The quality of your works cited page

Your Potential Grade Will Be Affected by, in Part, How Well the Following Research Skills are Demonstrated:

How well your paper follows the Criteria for a Valid Library Source (see the section below) and that you have a minimum of two scholarly sources.

How Do I Write This Short Story Essay? What Should My Process Be?

Step One: Your Primary Text

Your primary text is the short story that you are writing about, which is “The Story of an Hour.”

Step Two: Complete Your Research

  • Using the Central College library resources, either online or at the physical facility, locate two scholarly articles, not books, that relate to “The Story of an Hour.”
  • Below I list the criteria for what constitutes a valid scholarly article. Choices of scholarly articles that do not meet the requirements will cause a reduction to the grade this paper can receive.

Step Three: Write Your Introductory Paragraph

  • Your introductory paragraph must be biographical information on your author; this paragraph must fall between 125 – 150 words; if the word count does not fall between 125 – 150 words, a minimum of 10% of the paper’s grade will be deducted.
  • In your introductory paragraph, you will be using biographical facts that are all over the Internet and in our course book, so BE CAREFUL NOT TO PLAGIARIZE IN THIS PARAGRAPH; plagiarism can be easily avoided by using short direct quotations, by paraphrasing effectively, and by citing your sources.
  • You can obtain the biographical information from our course book, p.127, and from a credible Internet source.

Here are the Steps to Write Your Introductory Paragraph:

  • Introduce the name of the author you are writing about, along with the biographical information, totaling about 100 words.
  • Put most of the biographical information into your own words by paraphrasing your source, and make certain to include appropriate parenthetical citations. For the parts of the biographical information that are not in your own words, you must use some VERY SHORT direct quotations from your source as necessary, and of course, parenthetical citations are required here too.
  • Next, include a transitional sentence that names your primary text. An example is something to the effect of “One of Hawthorne’s most widely studies short stories is “Young Goodman Brown.”

Step Four: Write Your Thesis Statement, and Attach it to Your Introductory Paragraph as its Final Sentence

  • The thesis statement is, perhaps, the most important moment in your paper, so follow directions carefully because inferior thesis statements will have a negative impact on the grade your paper can receive.
  • The thesis statement must be the final sentence of your introductory paragraph, and it must specifically name between one and three literary devices the paper will use to analyze the theme of the primary text (refer to the list of terms in the Learning Activities folder).
  • The specific theme must also be named in the thesis statement.
  • All of this should put the paragraph at a word count of 125 – 150 words.

Here is an Example of How Your Thesis Statement Should Look:

In “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne uses irony, setting, and symbols to convey the theme of freedom.

Of course, your thesis statement does not have to use irony, setting, or symbols as the literary devices, but your thesis must contain between one and three literary devices and exactly one theme. Choose your devices from the handout “Fiction Terms” in Lesson 2, but do not choose devices that are too similar. For example, it would be a bad idea to choose symbols and imagery, but you could choose one or the other.

Here are some possible themes, but you are not limited to this list:

  • Ambition
  • Jealousy
  • Beauty
  • Loneliness
  • Betrayal
  • Love
  • Courage
  • Loyalty
  • Duty
  • Perseverance
  • Fear
  • Prejudice
  • Freedom
  • Suffering
  • Happiness
  • Truth

Step Five: How Do I Begin the Body of My Paper?

  • You should begin the body of your paper by using the first (or the only) literary device named in your thesis to explain your theme.
  • This section can be a single paragraph or more than one paragraph that is an analysis of theme driven by the first literary device named in your thesis. For example, if your theme is fear and your first device is symbolism, then this section would explain how symbols in the story help us to better understand fear.
  • If you are using more than one device, then repeat the same process.

Step Six: Write a Conclusion Paragraph

  • Your conclusion paragraph should be sufficiently long, which means that it should surely take up at least five or six lines on the page.
  • Often, an effective approach for conclusion paragraphs is to refer back to key points from previous paragraphs, but if you take this approach, make certain to use completely new wording; otherwise, you will have copied and pasted previous sentences in your paper, which is not an effective approach.

Step Nine: Include a Works Cited Page

  • The Works Cited page should not be a separate MS WORD document; it should be part of your paper, and it should begin a new page.
  • Work very closely with MLA Style Guidelines, and do not treat lightly the importance of an error free Works Cited page and the impact it has on the grade your paper can receive.

Step Ten: Check For Academic Prose

  • Your paper will be graded, in part, on how well you use academic prose, so check your paper against the academic prose requirements, which can be found on the left menu-bar.
  • Work very closely with MLA Style Guidelines, and do not treat lightly the importance of an error free Works Cited page and the impact it has on the grade your paper can receive.

Criteria That Determines a Valid Outside Source

  • For your two required library sources (scholarly articles), you cannot use magazines, newspapers, websites, or any Web-related material that can be reached with just an Internet connection. In other words, you must use the Central Texas College Library interface and do your research in databases to which the Central Texas College Library subscribes.
  • Your scholarly articles must be from scholarly journals, and the articles must have the equivalent of a works cited section at the end, which might also be titled as one of the following: references, bibliography, sources cited, and so on. Alternatively, there may be no such section at the end, but the articles might be footnoted throughout, which is also acceptable if the footnotes give the publication information that is typically found in a works cited citation.
  • Each scholarly article must be a minimum of four pages in length, or it will be considered invalid.
  • Do not use articles from anonymous authors, or they will be considered invalid.
  • Do not use book reviews, or they will be considered invalid.
  • Our course books do not qualify as a valid outside source; you would use our course book only to cite, quote from, and paraphrase the short story you are writing about.

Additional Sources (optional)

  • Students may use additional outside sources beyond the two valid sources, and they may come from newspapers, magazines or websites, and they do not have to be a minimum of four pages in length, but do not use these additional sources to replace the two required library articles. Even so, students should strongly consider the credibility of non-scholarly sources.

Grammar, Punctuation, and General Writing Skills

  • Understand that grammar and punctuation are very important factors that determine the grade your work can receive.
  • To help with grammar and punctuation issues, consider using the writing lab.

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