Text only | Back

English Composition 1

Essay Assignment 3

Due Dates

ENG 1001-01 (Mon/Wed/Fri 8:00-8:50 a.m., E-214)
Wednesday, October 17
: Draft of at least 600 words due for peer critique.
Friday, October 26: Revised draft of at least 800 words due.

ENG 1001-05 (Mon/Wed/Fri 10:00-10:50 a.m., E-214)
Wednesday, October 17
: Draft of at least 600 words due for peer critique.
Friday, October 26: Revised draft of at least 800 words due.

ENG 1001-300 (Thurs 6:00-8:45 p.m., E-214)
Thursday, October 11
: Draft of at least 600 words due for peer critique.
Thursday, October 18
: Revised draft of at least 800 words due.

Essay Assignment 3: Analysis of a Short Story with Documented Sources

Essay 3 is a interpretive and analytical essay with documented sources on one of the short stories by James Joyce below. (Just click the links to access the stories.)

This assignment is similar to the Diagnostic Essay and Essay Assignment 2 in that you will write an interpretation of a short story, but your essay must include information from at least two of the secondary sources listed below. (Important: Use only the secondary sources listed below.) The story itself is referred to as your "primary source" and does not count as one of the secondary sources in your paper. Therefore, you need a minimum of three sources for this paper: the story itself and at least two secondary sources. All sources, including the story itself, must be properly cited and documented according to MLA standards, and a "Works Cited" page must be included as part of your essay. (See below for information about the sources for Essay 3 and about using, citing, and document your sources.)

Your essay needs to be written in a formal writing voice and needs at least five paragraphs, including an introduction with a clear thesis statement and a conclusion with a restatement of that thesis. The minimum required length for the revised draft is 800 words. 

You can assume that your audience has read the short story that is the subject of your essay but has not studied or analyzed it. Your job is not to summarize the story but to help readers appreciate it and to understand its meaning. To help you go beyond a simple summary of the story, you should ask yourself what point the writer is trying to make. What is the author trying to tell us through the story? 

You might start by thinking of a possible theme conveyed in the story. "Theme" can be defined as the "main point" or, more specifically, the "comment about life" that an author conveys in a story (or other work of literature). With a possible theme in mind, you should then reread the story carefully, making notes on anything that seems to relate to the theme.

As you consider a possible thesis for your essay, it might be helpful if you come up with three or four important and related claims that you think you can support with specific evidence from the story. These claims could then be the bases for the different body paragraphs of your essay. From the claims, you could then formulate a one-sentence thesis statement.

Be an active reader. Read the story you are writing about several times. When you reread the story, you should have a pen or pencil in hand, making marginal notes to help you remember things you notice and to write down any questions that come to mind.

Secondary Sources For Essay 3

Important: Use only the secondary sources listed here!

For Essay 3, you must use material from at least two of the online secondary sources listed below to help you support and develop your interpretation. The story--your subject--is referred to as your primary source. The story must be listed on the "Works Cited" page, but the story does not count as one of the two required secondary sources.

The secondary sources that you use for your essay must be chosen from the sources listed below. Please do not use any secondary sources except those listed below.

Joyce's "Araby"

Available in IVCC library databases (EBSCOHost, JSTOR, ProQuest)

  1. Almond, Ian. "Chekhovian Overtones in Early Joyce: Some Brief Remarks on 'Araby' and 'The Kiss.'" (Academic Search Premiere (EBSCOHost))
  2. Conboy, Sheila C. "Exhibition and Inhibition: The Body Scene in Dubliners." (JSTOR)
  3. Coulthard, A.R. "Joyce's 'Araby.'" (Academic Search Premiere (EBSCOHost))
  4. French, Marilyn. "Missing Pieces in Joyce's Dubliners." (JSTOR)
  5. Mandel, Jerome. "The Structure of 'Araby.'" (JSTOR)
  6. Walzl, Florence L. "Pattern of Paralysis in Joyce's Dubliners: A Study of the Original Framework." (JSTOR)

Available on the Web

  1. Palmer, Alex. "Profound Silence: The Irish Language in the First Stories of Dubliners."
  2. Salma, Umme. "Orientalism in James Joyce's 'Araby.'"
  3. Snart, Jason A. "Detached and Empty: Subtexts of the Unoccupied House in James Joyce's 'Araby.'"

Joyce's "Eveline"

Available in IVCC library databases (EBSCOHost, JSTOR, ProQuest)

  1. Boysen, Benjamin. "The Necropolis of Love: James Joyce's Dubliners." (ProQuest)
  2. Conboy, Sheila C. "Exhibition and Inhibition: The Body Scene in Dubliners." (JSTOR)
  3. French, Marilyn. "Missing Pieces in Joyce's Dubliners." (JSTOR)
  4. Ingersoll, Earl G. "The Stigma of Femininity in James Joyce's 'Eveline' and 'The Boarding House.'" (Academic Search Premiere (EBSCOHost))
  5. Latham, Sean. "Hating Joyce Properly." (ProQuest)
  6. Paige, Linda Rohrer. "James Joyce's Darkly Colored Portraits of 'Mother' in Dubliners." (ProQuest)
  7. Walzl, Florence L. "Pattern of Paralysis in Joyce's Dubliners: A Study of the Original Framework." (JSTOR)

Available on the Web

  1. McCorry, Kevin. "Exploring the Nietzschean Impulse in the Presentist James Joyce."
  2. Putzel, Steven. "Portraits of Paralysis: Stories by Joyce and Stephens."

Accessing Sources in the IVCC Library Databases

If you are using a college computer, you do not need to enter a login and password to access the sources in the library databases (EBSCOHost, JSTOR, ProQuest).

However, to enter the databases from off campus, you need to enter the login information given below.

Using, Citing, and Documenting Sources

A major difference between this essay assignment and the earlier essay assignments in the course is the requirement that you use secondary sources to help you develop your essay. You will present your interpretation of one of the stories, and the majority of supporting material in your essay should be from the story itself, but the secondary sources will help you better understand the story and will also help you more effectively persuade readers to accept your interpretation. The material you use from sources should offer good insights into the story that are relevant to your interpretation. Do not use material from the sources if that material only summarizes facts from the story.

Whenever you use sources in your writing, you need to give proper credit to the sources and you need to be careful to distinguish your own words and ideas from those you use from the sources. There is a specific way to do this, and there is an organization that has established one of the two most widely accepted standards for citing and documenting sources. This organization is the Modern Language Association, abbreviated MLA, and you need to make sure that you follow MLA conventions as you cite and document your sources in your essay.

The following course web pages provide information about using, citing, and documenting sources according to MLA standards:

Preparing the Works Cited Page

A "Works Cited" page is required for this essay, and the publication information on that page must follow the correct MLA format. The course Web page listed below is the most useful resource for preparing your Works Cited page. For some of the sources, including the stories, you could simply copy what appears on the page linked below and then make changes to the date when you accessed the sources. In other cases, you could use the examples on the page as models for how your sources should appear on your Works Cited page.

The page linked below also includes an example of a "Works Cited" page.

The Citation Machine
The Citation Machine is a useful tool that can help you list the information for sources on the "Works Cited" page. Just click the type of electronic source on the left side of The Citation Machine home page, fill in the information you have for your source, and then click "Make Citation." You can then copy the citation from the page and paste it into your "Works Cited" page. (To copy, highlight the text, right mouse click, and choose "Copy." To paste, right mouse click and choose "Paste.") The Citation Machine can help you with the format of your "Works Cited" page, but look carefully at the course Web pages on the citation and documentation of sources to make sure that you have the correct format. 

I recommend not using The Citation Machine for sources from subscription databases such as JSTRO. Instead, see Documenting Sources from Online Subscription Databases and Preparing the Works Cited Page for Essay 3 for the correct format.   

Sample Essay

Things to Consider about this Assignment

As you are writing and revising your essay, you should keep the following information in mind.

  1. As you are writing about a short story and are referring to what the storyteller says, you should not refer to what the "author" says but to what the narrator says. Do not confuse the author and the narrator.

  2. Your main source of supporting evidence should be the story itself, but you should use material from secondary sources to help you develop and support your ideas. The thesis statement and topic sentences should be your own. Be careful not to lose your own writing voice by bringing too much material from secondary sources into your essay.

  3. Your essay must demonstrate a good understanding of how to use, cite, and document material from sources.

  4. Do not guess how to prepare the "Works Cited" page. There are many resource provided to help you prepare the "Works Cited" page correctly. Of course, just ask if you have any questions.

  5. As usual, read carefully the web pages linked from the Expectations for All Essays page and make sure that your essay follows the guidelines. After writing a draft, use the Revision Checklist page to help you identify ways to strengthen the draft as you are revising.

Helpful Web Pages

The web handouts linked below were also linked at the previous essay assignment page; they should be helpful as you are writing and revising your essay.

When I evaluate your essay, I assume that you have read the web pages linked above and that you are familiar with the information presented on the pages. Of course, make sure to ask if you have any questions!

Copyright Randy Rambo, 2012.