Assignment 2: Literary Analysis
The major assignment for this week is to compose a 900-word essay on a central theme that appears in one of the selected readings: The Metamorphosis. In this paper you will write an in-depth analysis using your own ideas, scholarly research, and excerpts from the story in the form of quotes, paraphrase, or summary.
As you prepare to write this essay, make sure you understand what you are being asked to do.
Pick a Topic
First, identify a topic in consultation with your instructor or write about one of the following options:
1. Compose an essay analyzing Gregor’s character and how it develops over the course of the story. Start by exploring Gregor’s identity. How does Gregor see himself, his job, his family? Has his view changed by the end of the play? Pay special attention to Gregor’s thoughts as well as to the dialogue between him and other characters. As the story progresses, Gregor becomes more isolated, and he is treated as an outcast. One way to approach this assignment is to focus on how Gregor adapts to his new and changing situation. Another is to delve into the subtopic of personal identity and family duty.
Develop a Tentative Thesis
As you consider different options for your thesis,
• Develop a few hypotheses about the text that are based on your own perspectives and relate to the topic that you chose to explore for this assignment.
• In addition to considering the text’s plot, reflect on what genre and other elements of literature (see the online lecture on this topic) reveal about the cultures and important philosophies and values associated with this era and region.
• Review the lecture on literary movements and determine if examining other literature will shed light on The Metamorphosis and/or test your hypotheses about the literary work.
Gather evidence that is likely to support your tentative thesis. Your evidence should consist of experiential knowledge (what you have learned through life experience) and quotes, paraphrase, or summary from the text.
Next, choose one of the prewriting techniques discussed in chapter 3c, “Invent and Prewrite,” of The New Century Handbook and begin prewriting.
Write your rough draft. You are not required to submit it, but you should acquire the habit of writing one for every essay you compose in this and other classes.
Revise and Edit
Proofread the rough draft to ensure that the
• Thesis is clear and well focused and the introduction includes all the necessary information.
• Discussion of evidence includes quotes, paraphrase, or summary and synthesizes this material and your ideas.
• Conclusion is appropriate and reinforces the paper’s main ideas without repeating the introduction word for word.
• Essay is formatted in APA style throughout, it uses appropriate grammar, spelling and mechanics, and quoted material does not exceed 25% of the paper.
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