Symbolism in a piece of literature

symbolism in the yellow wallpaper


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Symbolism in a piece of literature
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1. Choose any piece of literature (book, short story, comic, poem, play), a film, or a television show that you’d like to learn more about. However, the work MUST be a piece of FICTION. If you’d like, you can even use some of the short stories we discussed in this class.

2. Keep in mind, this is a persuasive paper. Meaning, this shouldn’t be a book or film report, rather this is an analysis with a clear thesis. In order to focus your topic, consider exploring some of the ideas below:

How does the protagonist function as the classic idea of a quester?
Explore symbolism in the work. How does the use of symbolism amplify the story’s themes, characters, etc.?
Compare any two works. How do the themes coincide? How are they different?
Investigate the work’s historical context.
Research the author’s purpose and technique behind the work.
Does the work function as an allegory? How so?
If you can think of a better idea that you’d like to explore, please feel free to do so. However, I would highly recommend running your idea by me before you dive too deep into research.

3. Develop a rough thesis and paper outline to guide the rest of your research and ideas.

A Few Tips:

DO NOT retell the story! Assume I have already read or seen the work. However, DO provide some background or context when establishing major ideas, scenes, symbols, characters, etc.
Evidence is incredibly important to making your argument work. However, evidence should not overtake your essay. For every bit of quoted info, have a sentence or two of reflection (or “glue”), indicating how this evidence supports your topic sentence. Yes, the more evidence, the better, but you should not simply have an entire paragraph of quoted info.
The sources you find are meant to support and amplify your own ideas, not to BE your ideas. It is still your responsibility to come up with your own position (thesis) on the topic you’ve chosen, and you still have to provide your own rationale for your points as well as your own specific support and warrants.
Yes, you can use “I” (first-person) in this essay. However, the use of “you” or “we” is still banned.
Research Paper Guidelines

An introduction to the topic with a clear thesis, stating your argument for this essay

Each body paragraph should be focused on one main point or idea

A conclusion that wraps up your arguments and provides some final thoughts

Must utilize at least four sources (fewer than four will result in zero!), not including the primary source(s)

Sources are meant to support your ideas, not be your ideas

Must have a properly formatted Works Cited page as last page of essay (not having a Works Cited page will result in a zero)

Must use parenthetical references (in-text citation) to indicate use of any idea which is not your own or not common knowledge (not using parenthetical references will result in a zero)

Proofread to check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors

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