How To Write An Essay About A Short Story

With each draft, you improve your story, and the more drafts you make, the better your story should be.

Once you have typed what you hope will be the final copy, leave it for a day or two–more, if possible–before returning to it and proofreading it.

That proofreading will probably reveal more errors that have to be corrected before you print out the real final copy. Henry’s “After Twenty Years.” It is a little under 1,300 words in length and is easily and quickly read. Henry’s “After Twenty Years” as a model for short story writing?

Interestingly, the writer makes good use of dialog that moves the story forward–not one-word lines of exclamations, or only a few words in a series of single-line exchanges, but paragraphs of several lines spoken by each character. You will find the link to “After Twenty Years” at the end of this post. Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome.

Other elements that may be useful but may be difficult to handle in a short essay are narration/point of view tone, imagery, symbolism, motifs, form or storytelling technique.

If you choose to include the more difficult elements, be sure to define the elements for your readers.

Be sure that your thesis is underlined and at the end of your introductory paragraph.

To write an effective critical analysis, you must first be sure that you understand the question that has been posed, and all literary terms that you have been asked to address.

Ensure that you deal with each kind of evidence in a paragraph of its own, and that you introduce the topic of each paragraph with a carefully-focused topic sentence.

Goals of Analyzing a Short Story: You must begin setting up your research paper with a good thesis.

Here is an example of good thesis: “The Story of an Hour” uses a middle-class setting, static and dynamic characters, an ironic plot and typical conflicts to demonstrate that some marital relationships may not be what they seem.

Once you feel you understand the question, reread the piece of literature, making notes.

Then look at the notes you've made, consider what connections you can make between observations, and reconsider the question.

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