short stories

Look to page 450 of our textbook for suggested topics regarding the Flannery O’Connor short stories. However, topic number five is far too broadly generalized, and I don’t think that will work as a topic to start with. However, with the other five topics, any one could be a very effective topic. If you have an idea about a topic other than these, then clear it with me first by sending it in an email. If you are using one of the topics on page 450, respond to this posting with that topic, but don’t just give me the essay topic number. Tell me why that topic interests you, and which story or stories you plan to focus upon. If you already have an idea of what you will focus upon more specifically, let me know that as well. You will get up to ten points, depending upon your response.

I also recommned that you read the excerpts from essays and articles about Flannery O’Connor, her short stories, and/or her characters (pages 441-450). You may use ideas or quotes from these essays, but in addition to these, I want you to use at least three other articles or essays that you find when conducting your own research. You also will need a “Works Cited” page that lists all sources used (even if you only use ideas from those sources and you do not quote them). Correct MLA format is required throughout the essay. An example of a research paper can be found on pages 1869-1873 of our textbook. This gives you examples of in-text citations and a “Works Cited” page.

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Chapter 42 of our textbook–“Writing about Literature” (pages 1769-1799)– and Chapter 43–“Writing about a Story” (pages 1791-1815) provide excellent ideas and a process on how to go about planning, researching, and writing your essay. Regardless of your topic, the essay should be an argument essay where you argue your claim (that is, your thesis) and support that claim with reasons. Those reasons should be developed with your ideas, specific details from the short story/stories, and information collected from your library research.

Once you have decided on your topic or you have come-up with your own approved by me, go back the story / stories you will us in the essay, and closely re-read and study the story / stories. Take notes, paying attention to anything that is related to your topic. Whenever making a note, be sure to list the page number and paragraph number. This will help you when you need to go back to that part of the story, and this method will save you time from having to look for it.

You will have the opportunity to submit a rough draft, and I highly encourage you to see a tutor (online), but if you have not already done so, you will need to sign-up for that no credit / no cost course for tutoring. (See the first module under “Tutoring and Library Help” for instructions on how to do that.)

The final draft should be at least 1,250 words (approimately five double-spaced pages using correct MLA format)–not including your “Works Cited” page. I am thinking that an ideal page range is 5-8 pages, not including the “Works Cited.”

Chapter 46–“Writing a Research Paper” (pages 1849-1883)–covers MLA format, but the CMC Library also has a link to MLA Citation on its home page that seems more thorough than our textbook.

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