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literary analysis - Freshman Essays

literary analysis

The literary analysis should be organized around your rough draft and thesis statement. Your thesis is the controlling idea of the entire essay. In the Week One assignment you submitted a proposal in which you chose a topic based on the List of Writing PromptsView in a new window. You also identified a short story to analyze from the List of Literary WorksView in a new window. In Week Two you compiled an annotated bibliography in which you identified your primary and secondary sources. In Week Three, you created a rough draft and revised your working thesis. You also incorporated research into this draft.

Assignment Instructions

In this assignment, you will refine that thesis and essay even further and develop your argument. You are required to incorporate your instructor’s feedback in your Final Paper and to take peer feedback into consideration.

In your paper,

  • Create a detailed introduction that contains a thesis that offers a debatable claim based on one of the prompts on the list.
  • Apply critical thought by analyzing the primary source you selected from the approved List of Literary Works. Avoid summary and personal reflection.
  • Develop body paragraphs that contain clear topic sentences and examples that support the argument.
  • Write a conclusion that reaffirms the thesis statement and includes a summary of the key ideas in essay.
  • Apply your knowledge of literary elements and other concepts in your response to the prompt. Reference the list of literary techniquesView in a new window found in Week Two of the course and discussion forums.
  • Incorporate research from the primary and secondary sources.


What You Pawn, I Will Redeem (Sherman Alexie, 2003)

Guiding Questions (DONT ANSWER THESE)

  1. How does the grandmother’s property at the pawn shop help to define the narrator’s desires and feeling of obligation to recover it? Why is it so important?
  2. How does the character accomplish his objective, and how is this surprising considering all of the unfortunate events and bad decisions he makes along the way?
  3. How do the other characters–the Aleuts, the pawn shop owner, the waitress, the police officer, the other Indians at the bar–each play an important role in showing how the narrator is committed to an important mission he is worthy of completing?


The Literary Analysis

  • Must be four to five double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Paper prompt #
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must use one primary source and two secondary scholarly sources in addition to the course text.
    • The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible SourcesView in a new window table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
  • Must document all sources in APA style
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style