Critical Analysis



Select any passage from any of the short stories on your syllabus. The passage should be about 12-15 lines long in your text, either one substantial paragraph or two or more short paragraphs. Do not choose passages from different places in the story. Type out the passage, using single spacing and blocking (as I have done here) without quotation marks unless there is dialogue in the passage, at the beginning of your essay, exactly as it is in your book and cite the author, title, and page number after the passage in this way:

(Anton Chekhov, “The Lady With the Dog,” 182)

You must include the following elements in your essay:

–a title, not just the title of the story or the assignment, but one that reflects your thesis;

–an introduction, including a thesis statement, the controlling idea of your essay, perhaps

why you selected this passage; also give the author’s name and the title of the story;

–at least 3 body paragraphs in which you discuss a literary device or theme:

  1. the meaning of the passage in its context in the story,
  2. the significance of the passage to the story as a whole and its themes,
  3. your own personal response to the passage, a personal connection to it based on your own specific experiences; perhaps you understand what the character is feeling because you have found yourself in a similar situation.

–a concluding paragraph in which you reflect on the significance of the passage and the story to you, perhaps what you have learned about yourself as a result of reading this story.

Be sure to include brief quotations (textual evidence) from the passage and the rest of the story in your essay.

Lead in with your own words and give the page reference in parentheses. For example,

Gurov finds himself thinking of his affair with Anna much more than he expected to: “He was tormented by an intense desire to confide his memories to some one. But in his home it was impossible to talk of his love, and he had no one outside” (179).

Your essay should be about 3 typed pages, at least 5 paragraphs in length, double-spaced, 12 point font, with one-inch margins.

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