unc writing center H u m a n i t i e s

unc writing center H u m a n i t i e s

For that essay you will be asked to write an analysis the story.

For this journal assignment, the first step in approaching a literary analysis is to familiarize yourself with the story. That means reading it more than once and exploring a variety of possible topics. One way to explore topics is described in your reading from this unit:

After reading your story, a topic may just jump out at you, or you may have recognized a pattern or identified a problem that you’d like to think about in more detail. What is a pattern or a problem?

A pattern can be the recurrence of certain kinds of imagery or events. Usually, repetition of particular aspects of a story (similar events in the plot, similar descriptions, even repetition of particular words) tends to render those elements more conspicuous.

A problem, on the other hand, is something in the story that bugs you or that doesn’t seem to add up. A character might act in some way that’s unaccountable, a narrator may leave out what we think is important information (or may focus on something that seems trivial), or a narrator or character may offer an explanation that doesn’t seem to make sense to us. Not all problems lead in interesting directions, but some definitely do and even seem to be important parts of the story. (UNC Writing Center)

Identify at least one pattern or problem with the story you have chosen. Describe the pattern or problem in detail, using quotations from the story where necessary. After you have done this, try to make connections between that pattern or problem and the theme of the story. These ideas may or may not become part of your essay; that’s Ok. The purpose here is not to write a rough draft, but simply to become more familiar with the story.

This journal entry should be at least 300 words.


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