English paper 1

For your first paper, you will conduct a close reading of one of the stories assigned thus far in class. This means that you will examine the language and literary devices (symbolism, metaphor, imagery, characterization; etc.) within a narrative in order to arrive at a conclusion about an underlying theme, message, or effect. Your thesis should clearly state a) the main literary devices you will be examining in the paper, in the order you will be discussing them, and b) your conclusion about their larger significance within the story itself.

For example, you might ask:

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1)    What is an author criticizing about American culture in their story? How do they do this?

2)    Is an author asking us to feel sympathy or disdain for a main character’s behavior? How do you know?

3)    What kinds of behaviors is an author endorsing in a story? How do you know?

4)    What warnings is an author offering to readers? How are those warnings revealed?


·      To familiarize you with the process of close reading and to review basic literary devices

·      To enhance your appreciation and understanding of a text through in-depth analysis

·      To improve your interpretive reading and writing skills


·      3-4 double-spaced pages plus Works Cited page in MLA style.

·      12 point Times New Roman font

·      1-inch margins on all sides

·      No extra spacing between paragraph

The story topics to choose from :

Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Chopin, “Desiree’s Baby”

Cather, “Paul’s Case”; Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”

Jackson, “The Lottery”;

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