ENGL 100 English Essay-prompts on the next page

ENGL 100 English Essay-prompts on the next page


Write a formal essay that responds to one of the prompts on the next page and analyzes a work of prose from our readings—any of the assigned short stories, the personal essay “The Fourth of 1State of Matter,” or our Hendrix novel. Be sure to directly address the prompt, answering its central question(s) in your intro/ thesis statement.

A lit. analysis essay should be argumentative and make a clear assertion about the chosen primary text. Make sure that you adhere to the formal structure we’ve studied in class (you may, of course, include more than the standard three body paragraphs). Think about the strategies we’ve been discussing in class for how to analyze a story (or novel) and the kinds of textual support you should draw upon in your characterization of the text’s narrative, effects, themes, etc. (namely, direct quotes & paraphrasing). Remember that plot summary does not equal analysis—your essay should interpret the chosen text first and foremost, using plot details for this purpose.

Prompt #1: Discuss Poe’s concept of the “single effect”—the theory that every element, sentence, or word in a short story should contribute to a unified effect or theme—in relation to one story. Does the story fulfill a single effect, or resist this concept? If the former, what is the effect? In what ways does it achieve this or resist it?

Prompt #2: Discuss a story that employs one or more plot twists. How does it deceive or manipulate the reader up until the moment of the twist’s reveal? What is the overall significance/point of using this technique?

Prompt #3: Discuss a story in relation to an epiphany: a moment of heightened self-reflection or realization. How does the story signal or build towards this moment? Is it a true moment of change or development for the character(s), or are things left ambiguous?

Prompt #4: Discuss a story in relation to its use of media (television, music, film, news, etc.). How is it used throughout the story? Is its inclusion subtle or front-and-centre? What effect does the author achieve by exploring this media form?

Prompt #5: A topic or theme of your own design in relation to one story. If you’re unsure if it works well, or how to approach this idea, talk to me about it 

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