Objectives: o Employ critical reading strategies o Critically analyze course theme within a work of fiction o Review and practice MLA style and documentation Introduction: A literary analysis explores a work of fiction, offering insight and interpretation to the work. A literary analysis is not merely one’s reaction to a reading of fictional literature; it is an objective argument (written with third person pronouns) that uses a primary text to provide evidence. The work of fiction itself is considered a primary text, as it is an original, creative writing. To add insight and strengthen the argument, however, a literary analysis often includes secondary research. Secondary sources offer analysis or interpretation of primary sources. For the literary analysis specifically, there are three types of sources generally used: literary criticism, biography, and history (Booth and Mays). For the literary analysis, it is important not to confuse secondary sources as merely sources outside a text (such as other short stories, poems, or films). Again, secondary sources for the literary analysis should analyze and interpret the work being discussed. Critical thinking is a key element to literary analysis, and reading fictional texts closely employ skills needed across the disciplines, from comprehension to use of language to better observation skills. These critical reading strategies will be useful as one undertakes new courses. Through literary analysis, once can better connect with a culture, an event, and the overall human experience. Fictional works cover broad themes, and they include nearly all disciplines, from religion to psychology to history. Assignment: For this assignment you will analyze one fictional work listed under your course theme, or a fictional work approved by the instructor (fictional works may include films). The course theme must be discussed in your response, regardless, and you must include at least one secondary source. As you work, consider how your particular theme is treated within the work of fiction. Requirements: o Two full pages, double-spaced in Times New Roman, 12-point font o Discussion of course theme o At least one secondary source o MLA style/documentation—including a works cited page and corresponding parenthetical citations Secondary Source(s): Secondary sources should offer analysis and interpretation of the fictional work being analyzed. Gordon Harvey provides the following “guide” to better explain what secondary sources provide: opinion (or debatable claims)—other readers’ views and interpretations of the text, author, or topic, which “you support, criticize, or develop”; information—facts (which “you interpret”) about the author’s life; the text’s composition, publication, or reception; the era during, or about which, the author wrote; or the literary movement of which the author was a part; concept—general terms or theoretical frameworks that you borrow and apply to your author or text. (Booth and Mays) Booth, Alison and Kelly Mays. “Writing About Literature.” LitWeb. W.W. Norton.
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