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LIT338 Critical Essay – unicorp essays


Essay Prompt
Bennett and Royale state that Short fiction often revolves around a moment of recognition or revelation, but the epiphany is not necessarily religious or even illuminating. It might be a moment of opacity or uncertainty, of obscurity or indecision (54). Is this a useful way to think about the short story? Discuss, comparing at least two short stories we have studied in LIT338.

(Note: The idea of the “moment of recognition” was discussed in Module One at the start of the course.)


Make sure to watch the video in the Critical Essay & Final Exam folder on Blackboard before writing your essay. Contact me immediately if you have questions, concerns, or areas of confusion.
Your essay should be more than about 1000 words (around 3 pages and above), and it must clearly address the prompt.
Make sure you take the time to draft, revise and proofread before submission. You should start this task early and give yourself time to work on it. Essays written at the last minute or that havent been revised seldom receive a high grade.
Organize your essay to make it easy for your reader to follow your ideas. Start with an introduction outlining your key claims and the stories you intend to discuss. Divide the body into a series of paragraphs, with each paragraph corresponding to one key point. End with a conclusion that wraps up your essay and suggests at its broader implications or significance.
Your essay must compare at least two different stories. They may be two stories by the same author or by different authors. You may refer to more than two stories if you wish, but make sure that you dont cover so much material that you end up being superficial.
You may write about stories you have also discussed in the Final Exam, Response to Text Posts or Discussion Posts, but dont repeat ideas or material from another assignment. Do not copy and paste previous assignments.
Your essay must be original and written for this task. You may discuss ideas with your classmates or others, but ensure that what you turn in is entirely your own.
Your essay should be based around a central claim, argument or thesis. Your goal is to be persuasive, using evidence derived from close reading, critical analysis and reasoning to convince your reader that your position is correct.
The prompt is broad and open-ended, giving you freedom to focus your attention on whatever issues you find most interesting. Here are some ideas:
You could focus on a particular theme (such as identity, belonging, or death), and compare how two different stories present it differently.
You could choose a literary element (like character, setting or plot) and compare how two stories use that element differently.
You could consider a question like literary merit or success and make a case for why one story is better or more effective than the other.
You could take up the issue of context and discuss how different stories respond to the same context in different ways, or different contexts in the same way, and so on.
You could compare two stories by the same author, identify common patterns, and make an argument for what they reveal about that authors style or perspective on life.
There are many other possibilities.
Dont think of this as an exercise in repeating back what your instructor has said; this assignment is supposed to be about your critical interpretation of the stories, and a demonstration of your capacity for independent thought.
You must discuss the texts in detail, paying attention to literary elements (such as character, setting, plot, and so on) and exploring how the text is written.
Quote the stories extensively. Essays that rely only on paraphrase or summary, or which are lacking in a close engagement with the precise language of the texts, will receive a poor grade.
You are not required to do outside research. If you do use any outside sources, make sure they are reliable and provide a citation/reference showing how you used them.
Carefully edit and proofread your essay before submission. Present your work with care. Use double-spacing, regular margins, a readable font (like Times New Roman) in 11- or 12-point size.


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