A minimum 700-word summary and analysis of “How to talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman. Including at least TWO direct quotations from the story, ONE quote from a critical article on the subject and MLA Works Cited. Attached Essay Instructions for detailed information.
Comp 1302Essay One:
Instructions for Story Summary and Lit Criticism Analysis
This first essay assignment will encourage you to read, comprehend, and analyze literary elements by examining and writing about concrete details and interpretations. A few [not all] of the literaryelements of a particular story will be incorporated into your summary and personal evaluation. Ultimately, this assignment should help you develop your own understanding about the story and howthe parts fit together well using the primary source and a secondary source.
You will write a minimum 700-word summary and analysis of a selected short story [primary work] from our textbook or story links.You will also choose an acceptable literary critical article [peer reviewed][secondary source] to include in your analysis section of the story.
Your essay will have two majorparts:
Part 1. Anobjective summary of the story: what happened to whom, where, and when; this should take up at least two-thirds of your short essay. This is not a subjective rendering of the story—be as matter as fact and informative as possible.
Part 2. Athoughtful analysis of any of the story’s literary elements based on your own interpretation relying on concrete story statements; now you may show your personal opinion AFTER the summary has been completed.
- includeany useful commentary [direct quote or paraphrase] from the secondary source/literary criticism article that relates to whatever literary element[s] you are discussing; and
- include a correctly formatted Works Cited page in MLA [NOT APA!] with hanging indentations, double spaced, the works!
FIRST, YOU OBJECTIVELY SUMMARIZE THE STORY, and then your analysis section will follow. Remember, you should choose almost any story from our textbook or links I have provided, with some restrictions. Below are suggestions for stories that are not long–although I encourage you to challenge yourselves and choose a story that is interesting, regardless of its length:
John Updike’s “A&P”
Alice Munro’s “An Ounce of Cure”
T.C. Boyle’s “Greasy Lake”
Kate Chopin’s “The Storm”
Neil Gaiman, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”
Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill”
Zadie Smith’s “The Girl with Bangs”
Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds”
Richard Wright’s “The Man Who Was Almost a
Man” or “Big Black Good Man”
Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”
Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow
Alberto Rios’s “The Secret Lion”
Sherman Alexie’s “This is What It Means to Say
OR ANY OTHER STORY IN OUR TEXTBOOK OR MY LINKS….EXCEPT….
*DO NOT WRITE AN ESSAY FOR THE FOLLOWING SHORT, SHORT STORIES [or you will receive a zero]:Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” Kincaid’s “Girl,” or any other story less than two book pages long.
- Choose a story, read it carefully, and make notes about it. Next, choose a legitimate literary criticism article that you can use with your story. I have modules of articles from the library databases below our course assignment modules; however, you are welcome to find your own IN THE LIBRARY. Please do not Google the story and assume you will use some random blogs or study site information about the story! You will receive deep grade deductions.
- How do you summarize a story?Summarizing condenses a literary work into your own words, while you make sure to capture the text’s main points. The summary is objective andtries to answer what, where, when and who is involved [for example, who is the narrator?Who are the main characters? Where and when did the story take place?]. Here are good steps for a summary:
 introduce the summary by using the “story title” and author’s full name and what it’s about in the first sentence;
 answer the basic who, where, when, what and why and how any of those relate to the theme/message of the story in the next sentences; also identify who is narrating the story, if it is a character in the story. Is the story a flashback of the narrator’s? What is the attitude of the narrator as they retell the story?
 break the story into parts [rising action, climax, denouement, ending] and note the shifts in scenes or tone;
be sure to summarize each section’s main idea in your own words; and
 use the language of literature: narration, plot, climax, characters, protagonist, antagonist, denouement, themes, metaphors. The main character IS the protagonist. The high point of the story is the climax… and so on.
 this is not the section where you begin to philosophize about the story or its elements. No
“I feel” or “I think” responses are part of the objective summary. Actually, those shouldn’t be part of any college level literary essay. You can provide your opinion or feelings in the analysis section with better wording.
- How do you analyze a story with a literary criticism article? After summarizing, you are ready to pick apart the story and examine various parts, such as the author’s motive and/or any literary or rhetorical devices used to tell the story [Dialogue? Description? Narrator? Plot? Imagery? Flashbacks?]. Next, you are ready to synthesize your own personal perspectives or interpretations with the actual text of the story. Also, when you interpret the text, you can focus onparticular elements that help illuminate the messages or themes of the story. Once again, go back to the videos and links and chapters that I’ve suggested for clarifications. Find any statement[s] in the literary criticism article that can help support your interpretations on the devices that you are presenting. All you need to use is at least ONE quotation or paraphrase from the literary criticism article.
- Includea minimum of TWO direct quotationsfrom thestory,and incorporate–smoothly blend–them into your summary and analysis by using signal phrases and avoiding dropped quotes. Make sure your quotations are not too long [not over two sentences] and make sure you use MLA documentation formatting for the in-text citation and the Works Cited. Using quotations is a balancing act. You don’t want to use too many quotations for your summary, since a summary is mainly your retelling of the story in a condensed form.
- Use a minimum of ONE quotation or paraphrase from the critical article that you are using with this story. Again, incorporate–smoothly blend–them into your summary and evaluation by using signal phrases and avoiding dropped quotes. Make sure your quotations are not too long [not over two sentences] and make sure you use MLA documentation formatting for the in-text citation and the Works Cited. Using quotations is a balancing act. You don’t want to use too many quotations for your summary, since a summary is mainly your retelling of the story in a condensed form.
- Make sure that you introduce the author’s full name and title of the work in your introduction statement, which should be presented within the first sentences of the paper. You should always introduce the full name of the critic/author of your critical article, including the full title in quotation marks.
- Include a Works Cited list with at least two references correctly cited in MLA: the storytextbook citationand  the critical article citation that you have used.
EXAMPLE OF INCORPORATING ASTORY QUOTATION IN AN ESSAY:
In Aimee Bender’s story, “Jinx,” the teenage character Cathy learns about superficial friendships when her friend ditches her downtown. When Cathyends up going home too early in the afternoon, she feelsthat “[i]t was like the whole afternoon had got a haircut that was too short”[Bender 153].
Here is how you cite a story from our textbook [double spaced and in hanging indentation]:
Last name of author, first name of author. “Story Title.”Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, and Writing, 9th ed., Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, editors,Cengage Learning, 2017,pp. xx-xx. [story pages indicated by p. or pp.]
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado.”Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, and Writing. 9th ed., Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, editors, Cengage Learning, 2017, pp. 249-56.
Here is the citation for a story not in our textbook, but in our Module files:
Munro, Alice. “An Ounce of Cure.” Literature Craft & Voice.Nicholas Delbanco and Alan
Cheuse, editors, 2nd ed. McGraw Hill, 2012, pp. 153-58.