How is a theme represented in a short story?

Topic for Paper 1: How is a theme represented in a short story? You will develop a paper that answers this question and demonstrates the following competencies for writing and literature:
• I can read literature for a purpose.
• I can annotate digital or print materials to demonstrate reading and summary skills.
• I can identify a theme in a short story.
• I can identify one to three examples in the story that support the theme.
• I can write a thesis statement that clearly identifies the title of a story, its author, the theme, and what my paper will discuss about the story and the theme.
• I can write clear topic sentences for my paragraphs that let the reader know what the paragraph will discuss.
• I can write paragraphs that explain how the examples from the story support the theme.
• I can organize a paper by presenting paragraphs in a logical and interesting fashion.
• I can write sentences in standard American English that clearly express my ideas.
• I can document my use of the material from the story within the paper and on a Work Cited page in the style of MLA formatting.
• I can explain what I have learned about my writing process in a clear and logical fashion.
Overview of the Workshop Format for Paper 1
• Writing this paper will be done in a process that allows you to practice and develop your writing skills in the discussions. During Weeks 1 through 4, you will work on your paper in the classroom, receive feedback from your instructor, and build your paper, part-by-part, into your final version. It will allow you time over this period to get to know and develop your writing process through a workshop format as you will be able to revise and edit the different sections as you go along, thereby demonstrating the competency of that particular section.
• To be successful in this process, you must be active and engaged in the discussions and post in a timely fashion. That way, you can successfully demonstrate the weekly competency and be building your paper.
• Week 1: Critical Reading Strategies and Selection of Topic. During Week 1, you will cover strategies to help you with critical reading, including techniques for reading and annotating digital materials. To prepare you for working with your topic for the paper, you will work on these strategies in Week 1 (and throughout the course). During Week 1, you will study the concept of theme and the genre of the short story. You will choose your short story and theme from the list provided by your instructor.

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Choice of Themes and Texts

Hopes, Dreams, Plans
• “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (Mays: 404-417)
• “Volar” (Mays: 196-98)
• “Story of an Hour” (Mays: 277-80)
• “Sonny’s Blues” (Mays: 73-100)
Family Connections

• “Sonny’s Blues” (Mays: 73-100)
• “Why I Live at the P.O.” (Mays: 436-47)
• “Interpreter of Maladies” (Mays: 335-53)
Gender Issues Then and Now
• “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Mays: 307-320)
• “Story of an Hour” (Mays: 277-80)
• “Hills Like White Elephants” (Mays: 114-18)
• “A Rose for Emily” (Mays: 298-306)
• “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Mays: 307-20)
• “Sonny’s Blues” (Mays: 73-100
• “Why I Live at the P.O.” (Mays: 436-47)
Intercultural Encounters
• “Interpreter of Maladies” (Mays: 335-53)
• “Jesus Shaves” (Mays: 426-29)
Week 2: Thesis. Your thesis statement should include the story and the theme. You will workshop the thesis of your paper during Week 2 in the discussions. Outlining and organizational strategies will also be covered.
Week 3: Development. The development or body of the paper will focus on finding examples in the story that support the theme and then explaining in your paper how they do so. During Week 3, you will workshop strategies for developing body paragraphs in the discussion. Except for the stories themselves, you will be developing this material through your own observations; you are not to use outside sources for this material.
Week 4: Sentence Level and MLA. Your writing should be carefully proofed for sentence-level concerns. It should be formatted and documented according to MLA documentation in the form of parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page (work from an anthology). During Week 4, you will workshop these areas in the discussion. You will submit the final paper at the end of Week 4, along with your Reflection on your writing process (see below).
Hints: Remember that your reader has read the story and is familiar with it. You do not have to spend time on summary. Instead, your development should explain and analyze how the theme is demonstrated in your story.
Special Hint about Plot: Be aware that a paper about a piece of literature is NOT a plot summary. Your plot summary, if you must have one, should provide only the details necessary to highlight the parts of the story which help to develop your paper, such as a short paragraph of five to six sentences.
Reflection: When complete, upload your work to the Assignment Folder within the link “Paper 1” by the deadline. On a separate page of your submission, provide an overview of your writing process for this essay and what you have learned about your writing process by developing your paper. Also note two areas which you would like feedback on, such as thesis statement and topic sentences. Note: Do not submit two files. Submit one file only.
Word Count: 500-750 words

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