Read the following short story: One Christmas at Shiloh https://americanliterature.com/author/paul-laurence-dunbar/short-story/one-christmas-at-shiloh

Post a thesis statement and an outline. Show how a theme that you have identified in the story is represented in it; that is, what evidence in the story reveals the theme?

How is a literary theme represented in a short story? You will develop a paper that answers this question and demonstrates the following outcomes for writing and literature:

  • Analyze literature for a purpose
  • Distinguish digital or print materials through annotation to demonstrate reading and summary skills
  • Identify a theme in a short story
  • Identify one to three examples in the story that support the theme
  • Write a thesis statement that clearly identifies the title of a story, its author, the theme, and what the paper will discuss about the story and the theme
  • Write clear topic sentences for paragraphs that let the reader know what each paragraph of the body of the paper will discuss
  • Write paragraphs that explain how the examples from the story support the theme
  • Arrange a paper by presenting paragraphs in a logical and interesting fashion
  • Write sentences in standard American English that clearly express ideas
  • Demonstrate the MLA style of formatting in the layout of a paper
  • Demonstrate the MLA style of formatting by documenting material from the story within the paper and on a Works Cited page
  • Explain in a clear and logical fashion what you have learned about your writing

Overview of the Workshop Format for your Paper

Writing this paper will follow a process that allows you to practice and develop your writing skills in the discussions.

Thesis. Your thesis statement should include the title and author of the story and its theme. Outlining and organizational strategies will also be covered. (Note: the assignment requires a complete alphanumeric outline be submitted with the paper in a single document.)

The development or body of the paper will focus on finding evidence in the story that illustrates the theme and supports the thesis and explaining in your paper how it does so. Except for evidence within the story itself, you will be developing this material through your own observations; you are not to use outside sources to develop paragraphs of the body of the paper.

Sentence Level and MLA. Your writing should be carefully proofread for sentence-level concerns. Your final paper should be formatted and documented according to MLA documentation style in the form of parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page, which must list the short story. You will study resources for accomplishing these tasks. In the discussion, you will workshop Standard English writing and MLA protocols. You will submit the final paper at the end of Week 4, which must include (within the a single document) paragraphs of Reflection upon your writing process (see below).

Hints: Remember that your reader has read the story and is familiar with it; extensive summary is not useful. Rather, explain and analyze how the theme is demonstrated in your story.

Special Hint about Plot: Be aware that a paper about a piece of literature is NOT a plot summary. Your plot summary, if you must have one, should provide only details necessary to identify parts of the story required to develop the paper, no longer than three to four sentences.

Reflection on your Writing Process: Following the Work Cited list of the paper, provide two or three paragraphs explaining what you are learning about the writing process. Also note two features that you would like feedback on, such as the thesis statement and topic sentences.

When you are satisfied that your paper and Reflection are complete, submit the paper to turnitin and upload the paper along with its outline and Reflection paragraphs (in a single document) to the Assignments Folder within the link “Paper 1” by the deadline.

Word Count:

  • 500-750 words for the paper (two to three pages, double-spaced)
  • complete alphanumeric outline
  • 2-3 paragraphs (Reflection)


 
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