Essay 1 Prompt and Wednesday’s class structure

Dear class,

Please be advised that the Essay 1 prompt is posted here and on Blackboard. In addition, I have posted resources that will help to familiarize you with literary essays. Review the prompt and other resources, and bring any questions to class on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, we will spend the first hour discussing the Childress stories and the three works of speculative fiction from this week. Ensure that you pull out quotations and respond to each story in your double-entry journals.

During the second hour, we will complete writing exercises connected to the prompt and work in small groups to workshop ideas. Our goal is to leave the workshop with a strong, aligned thesis, and at least three pieces of strong evidence to support our thesis.

As I stated in class, you should come with something written, no matter the length (a thesis, a few sentences, a paragraph, or a full draft). It is always easier to write about a topic that is interesting and meaningful to you. You also need to have a strong understanding of the reading.

Here is some advice for approaching the essay:

1. Before you commit to an idea, take some time to reread the essay prompt, and jot down ideas from the readings that come to mind.

2. Scan your double-entry journal for any patterns that you may find. Did you connect with or otherwise comment on the same topic or element in different stories? Are there any quotations that you would like to analyze deeper? If so, consider how you might build a thesis around the quotations. In other words, what are the topics or literary devices present in the quotation, and how can you match it with Option 1 or Option 2?

3. Once you have narrowed down the texts that you would like to write about, complete the “Worksheet-Short Story Analysis-Literary Devices.”

4. Use your answers from the completed worksheet to reconsider and revise your thesis idea. Next, read through the “Short Story and Novel Terms” and “Glossary of Literary Terms” documents. Copy down the terms that would help you to articulate your argument.

5. Create a basic outline of your essay with the quotes and page numbers that you will use.

6. Write the first draft of your introductory paragraph. It SHOULD change in some way after you write the body paragraphs. Perhaps you will sharpen your thesis, or perhaps your reasoning may change in the writing process…this is normal and a sign that you are thinking critically.

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