Analysis Paper 2 & 3: Working with Fiction

Analysis Paper 2 & 3: Working with Fiction
ENGL 104, Critical Reading, Summer Session 1, 2016
For the first connection paper, we worked with non-fiction. The rest of your papers ask you to work
with fiction—that is, made-up stories (books, short stories, films, poetry), not essays. This is often
more complicated because the writer is speaking figuratively about a topic. You need to show that
you can develop an interpretation while respecting the text.
As before, there are two parts to this assignment. Label them “Part 1” and “Part 2.”
In the first part, pick a moment that is, to you, central from something fictional (story, poem, or
whatever) that we have covered since your last connection paper. First set the scene or the context a
sentence or two—no throat clearing—and then quote and cite the passage. It should be no longer
than 4 lines long.
Then, clarify what is so crucial about the passage to the text. This part is not about what you feel,
but what the text says. Imagine that you have to explain the story or poem or moment in the film to
someone who hasn’t read or seen it before: how would you explain to them why this is important in
this text? Pick a passage that seems striking or that captures an interesting idea well.
In the second part, illustrate your interpretation of the point you’ve derived with two parallels to it
from outside of the text. Do NOT take examples from the text itself. They might be from elsewhere
in the course, or not (though at least one should not be from the course). Use a story, a movie, a
poem, a song—anything you like. They can also reach beyond texts to other experiences you might
have had.
As with your references to the story in Part One, these should be real, quotable moments, not
hypothetical or vague. Don’t use moments that “typically” happen or that you’ve “heard of.”
Actually quote your examples. Points are at stake in this.
Then, explain how they connect to the point you have culled from the story. Again, refer
specifically to the words you have quoted as support for your connection. Imagine you are
explaining your point to someone unfamiliar with our course.
Note on the rubric how I grade this. First, use the text directly—don’t just summarize it, but actually
quote it, and then pay close attention to the words. Second, your interpretation and connections
should not just reiterate what it says, but build upon it in some original way. And third, follow the
conventions of style and mechanics that you would in any formal piece of writing.
Most of the time people get bad grades on this assignment simply because they don’t follow
directions—avoid that!
Details: These papers should be at least 750 words long, not including the Works Cited, conforming
in every way to MLA Style.

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