Essay Prompt: For this writing assignment, please select the most prominent central theme of the story (only one theme) and examine how three significant characters, setting, symbols, or imagery from the story help showcase that theme.
—the purpose of this assignment is to give students additional practice with literary analysis by examining the significant literary devices within a novel
—strengthen writing and analytical skills by doing the following:
Now that you have fully read J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, have a deeper understanding of Catcher’s cultural context, have examined some of the novel’s more prominent literary devices (i.e. characters, theme, setting, symbolism, point-of-view…etc.),have used our online library’s Literature Resource Center to find secondary sources, and have examined secondary sources—it’s time to write an essay about this controversial novel.
➢Your essay must be between 1000-1500 words in length. Keep focused, control your writing, and do not open any doors that you are not willing to shut with an explanation.
➢One primary source and two secondary sources must be used. One of the secondary sources must be included in either the introductory paragraph or concluding paragraph. The other secondary source must be used in any one or more of the body paragraphs.
➢Concluding Paragraph Requirements
➢Include a Works Cited at the end with all of your sources
NOTE: Chapters 8-11 and 13 (Sample Essays: Essay on a Novel) from your WEAL textbook will help prepare you for this assignment. Also, refer to the “Essay Components” document (Quick Links), the MLA links (Quick Links), and the series of checklists included on 3-5 of this instructional guide.
The following revising and editing checklist (pp.3-5) is my grading criteria.
_____Developed introductory paragraph that captures the readers’ attention, introduces the author, title of novel, novel’s publication year, relevant cultural or biographical information, and thesis with plan of development
_____ A clearly stated thesis with a logical plan of development that properly introduces the focus of your essay. Place thesis and plan of development at end of intro paragraph as the last sentence.
_____Strong topic sentences at the start of supporting paragraphs that begin with appropriate transitional phrases, include the plan of development point being discussed in that paragraph and reinforce the thesis in some way.
_____Effective transitions throughout essay: use transitional/signal phrases at the start of each supporting paragraph and when launching supporting examples (First,Secondly, One way X is so, Additionally, Next, Conversely, for example, for instance…etc.)
_____Convincing summarized, paraphrased, and/or directly quoted evidence that support your main point (thesis). Quotes or paraphrased passages (contextual support) must be directly relevant and should sufficiently illustrate your claim
_____Use of 2-4 relevant quotes and/or paraphrased passages from novel for each literary device that advances the theme of the story (i.e. three characters equals to 6-12 borrowed passages from the novel)
_____Use of at least two secondary sources (literary criticism, overview, abstract, bio…etc.): one of which in either the introductory or concluding paragraph, and the other in one or more of body paragraphs
_____Do not place quotes back-to-back.
_____Correct integration (Triple-E Formula) and citation (MLA) of quoted, summed up, and/or paraphrased material: establish context of quote before inserting quote, discuss the significance of the borrowed passage to your main argument afterquoting, and use the MLA format to cite your sources both in-text and on your Work(s) Cited page
_____Triple E: Present the example, include the contextual evidence to support the example, and provide an explanation of how the contextual evidence supports the example and the thesis in order to make sure that your readers understand why you have used that source in your essay.
_____Avoid beginning and ending your paragraphs with quotes; instead, begin your paragraphs with strong topic sentences and end them with muscular concluding remarks.
_____Closing sentences at the end of supporting paragraphs that bring topic of paragraph to a close
_____Concluding paragraph must include the following: reiteration of the thesis and plan of development to properly bring the argument to a close and to frame the essay; followed by a closing thought, resolution, or brief and relevant quote that ends the entire discussion on a thoughtful note
____Use the present tense.
_____Careful use of diction (detailed descriptions, concise language, avoid slang, avoid fallacies or biased language…etc.
_____Proper use of mechanics (good grammar, appropriate punctuation marks, strong sentence structure…etc.)
Eliminate the following:
_____ Spelling errors
_____Slang and clichés
_____Personal pronouns, such as you, your(s), yourself, me, I, mine, myself, we, us, our(), and ourselves
_____Repetition, especially at the beginning of nearby sentences
_____Vague words, such as good, interesting, nice, hate, neat…etc.
_____Pronoun Agreement errors
_____Subject-Verb Agreement errors
_____Punctuation errors, such as comma, semi-colon, quotation marks, apostrophes…etc.
Finally, be sure you have included the following:
_____Correct use of commas, semi-colons, apostrophes, and quotation marks
_____A combination of sentence forms (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex)
_____Parallel structure with parallel elements in a series (commas must separate three
or more elements in a series)