Assignment: Literary Analysis of Your Own Selection

Review the following statement from one of the readings in this course:

Literature isn’t made up of inscrutable texts that can be deciphered only by a chosen few who have learned to speak in a secret code. Literature is written by people—talented people perhaps, but people nonetheless. And the concerns of literary critics are concerns that many people share: What does this work say about the human condition? How does it convey its message? Does it portray its subjects fairly? What political or social ideas does it advance? Literature has many potential meanings, and literary theory gives scholars different avenues to uncover those meanings.  (“Why Study Literary Theory” CC BY NC-SA)

Assignment Instructions

Select one of the readings from this course and uncover the author’s deeper meaning of the text.

Write a persuasive essay (1,000–1,250 words long) in which you present a thesis and develop an argument that in some way addresses one of the questions posed above in the quote from “Why Study Literary Theory.” You will need to conduct research and do the following:

  • Cite at least two secondary sources from the databases in the school’s online library.
  • Use summary, paraphrase, and direct quotes (minimum of five) from your selected work to support your thesis and prove your subclaims.
  • MLA formatting must be used throughout the paper.

Grading Rubric

Fell Below Expectations Met Expectations Exceeded Expectations
A clear thesis is established 1 2 3
Subclaims are established in the main body paragraphs that clearly support the thesis 1 2 3
Academic sources are incorporated that support the student’s thesis and subclaims. Minimum of 2 required. 1 2 3
Direct quotes, summaries, and paraphrases are used from the text to support the thesis and subclaims. Minimum of 5 required 1 2 3
The argument is compelling and persuasive and a deeper meaning of the text is addressed rather than a simple summary 1 2 3
The organization pattern is logical. 1 2 3
Required length is met 1 2 3
MLA formatting guidelines are followed 1 2 3