Essay #1: Formal Analysis For your essay, you will write about one of the short stories or poems we have studied in c

Essay #1: Formal Analysis

For your essay, you will write about one of the short stories or poems we have studied in class.

Your essay should be 3 or more typed pages with a works cited page.

The assignment requires 3 literary scholarly sources.

Additionally, you will need to use your textbook, so remember to cite it.


Create a research-based literary analysis that examines one of the short stories or poems we have read this semester. Choose at least one but no more than three elements of fiction or poetry and demonstrate how these elements are used to develop the theme. Elements that work well are imagery, metaphor, structure, characters, plot, setting, conflict, symbolism, but you may use any of the elements we have discussed. Assume that your readers have read the specific texts you are discussing.

MLA Formatting:

The paper should follow standard MLA formatting, which does not require section headings or subtitles. The paper should have 12-point font, 1 inch margins, no additional spaces between paragraphs and a proper in text citations and a works cited page.

Thesis structure: Make sure that your thesis clearly identifies the author, the work, and the literary elements that you will be analyzing in your paper. For example:

The structure, language and title of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” suggest that the speaker is dissatisfied with his choice.

Structuring the Essay: A suggested structure for this essay includes in the introduction providing a concise overview of the plot or theme with the thesis at the end of the first paragraph. The subsequent paragraphs will focus on the argument with a conclusion that restates the thesis and provides a reason why this is important. The essay should be at least 5 paragraphs in length.

Using and Integrating Sources: The sources that you use are first to help you develop a greater understanding of the work and second to back up your interpretations. When incorporating sources, make sure to use each source at least once, and to balance your use of sources with the original text. Therefore, each of your body paragraphs should have at least one quote from the text and one quote or paraphrase from an outside source. The quotes need to be integrated into the writing. They should be introduced, explicated, and related to your thesis. For example:

Frost begins his poem with the speaker’s lament that “two roads diverged” forcing him to choose between the two roads, which symbolically are two life paths(1-2).

Book: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Ninth Edition, 1865 to Present. ISBN 9780393264531