Choose just one of the following topics:
“Royal Beatings” by Alice Munro
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin
“Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan
“Paul’s Case” by Will Cather
“Death by Landscape” by Margaret Atwood
“To Room Nineteen” by Doris Lessing”
To what extent is the protagonist of the story you’ve chosen responsible for the conflict or predicament he or she faces?
How does the antagonist in the story you’ve chosen contribute to the story’s overall meaning?
To what extent is the protagonist conditioned by his or her physical and social environments?
Which is more important in the story you choose: the physical environment or the social environment?
Your essay should have three parts: an introductory paragraph, a body containing fully developed paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Following is a general guide for what to include in each section of your essay.
In your introductory paragraph:
Provide the complete title of the story you’ve chosen and the author’s complete name.
Identify clearly your essay topic.
Include a strong thesis statement on your topic.
Forecast the main stages of your essay.
In your analysis in the body of your essay:
Make effective use of topic sentences to identify the main ideas of your analysis.
Support your comments with evidence (paraphrase and direct quotations) from your chosen story.
Explain the significance of each piece of evidence you present.
Contribute to the reader’s understanding of the story as a whole.
In your concluding paragraph:
Summarize how your analysis supports your thesis.
Restate your thesis in different words.