What is a lesson we can learn from the pages we read today or the novel as a whole?
We read chapters 6 – 8 for today. In order to help with our analysis of the novel, we will write summaries of the chapters.
The next essay asks you to write about the novel we read. You should begin by narrowing down what it is you are going to write about and begin getting your notes together.
Sample topics you can write about:
- Parenting and sacrifice
- The American Dream
- Immigration and prejudice
Each of these topics requires that you find scenes, lines of dialogue, and examples from the book to use for the evidence. You will formulate an argumentative thesis about the novel and whatever topic you choose to write about. Each of the topics also requires academic research to help with and support of your analysis.
What topics can we research to help with understanding the novel? What keywords can you come up with?
Literary Analysis Proposal
You can analyze a character, theme, or any of the items we will discuss in class. Pick something that interests you.
An effective proposal has a narrow focus, clear thesis, includes primary claims, and context for why you think this is important to write about. Make sure you are annotating your book as you read so that you can easily find quotes and sections to include in your analysis paper.
Questions to consider before writing your proposal:
- What is your theme or issue?
- Why are you writing about this? Why does it interest you?
- Do you need to do any research to help with your analysis?
- What is your initial analysis for this paper?
Comment below with your proposal for the Literary Analysis paper.
The author of Exit West has done many interviews and reading to help promote his novel. He would be a great resource to use in understanding the novel.
Here is an interview he did that addresses many of the questions and observations that we have brought up in class.
Thesis Statements Explained
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to work in small groups to develop the best explanation of a thesis statement and how to write one. You will have ten minutes to draft your answer.
- Explain and define a thesis statement.
- Give steps and tips on how to write one.
When you are done, comment below with your answer.
Purdue OWL has a great write up for thesis statements.
Write a Thesis
- Makes a claim
- Supported by evidence
Purdue OWL does a great job explaining how to cite sources in MLA.
You will be citing from the book in your essay. It is important that we learn how to do it correctly.
After Quisqueya tells the Riveras about Mayor and Maribel, she says, “I’m Sorry” (Henriquez 202). Even though she says she is sorry, she really is not. She came to tell them because it was gossip not because she felt the need to do the right thing. She told them because it gives her a dark satisfaction to know something and to be the one to break the bad news.
Citing a source with one, two, or three or more authors.
- (Henriquez 202)
- (Best and Marcus 9)
- (Franck et al. 327)
If you were citing something a book or article with one author, you just cite the last name of the author and the page number. If you do not have a page number, say an online article or web page, you just cite the last name of the author and no page number.
“I’m Sorry” (Henriquez 202).
Once you have established what or who you are citing, you only need to cite the page number.
After Quisqueya tells the Riveras about Mayor and Maribel, she says, “I’m Sorry” (202). Even though she says she is sorry, she really is not. She came to tell them because it was gossip not because she felt the need to do the right thing. She told them because it gives her a dark satisfaction to know something and to be the one to break the bad news.
To cite something with two authors, you cite both the last names.
The authors claim that surface reading looks at what is “evident, perceptible, apprehensible in texts” (Best and Marcus 9).
Best and Marcus argue that one should read a text for what it says on its surface, rather than looking for some hidden meaning (9).
If you have a text you are citing with three or more authors, you only cite the first author’s last name with et al. and the page number.
According to Franck et al., “Current agricultural policies in the U.S. are contributing to the poor health of Americans” (327). The authors claim that one cause of obesity in the United States is government-funded farm subsidies (Franck et al. 327).
The in-text citations reference the first thing written for the source in the works cited page.
If you do not know the author, either isn’t listed or can’t find it, you cite a shortened version of the title in quotation marks.
If I was citing the article “Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the US Economy” and it did not have an author listed, you cite a shortened version of the title.
According to the article “Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the US Economy,”Legislation informed by racist and sexist discourse has in the past and present severely challenged the survival and well-being of immigrant families” (32).
Immigrants struggle in the novel because “Legislation informed by racist and sexist discourse has in the past and present severely challenged the survival and well-being of immigrant families” (“Friends and Strangers” 32).
Borjas, George J. “Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the US Economy.” (1990).
The structure of an analysis of literature can head in various directions. You can present a string of evidence to support a claim. You can examine similarities and differences. You can ask a question and explore ideas rather than a single point. In all these, you need to support a claim with reasons and evidence from the text.
You can think of these as the “chips and salsa” of a paragraph. The chips can be the reason supporting the claim and the salsa can be the textual evidence, quotes, lines, ideas, paraphrases, chapters, etc that support the reason.
- Introduction leading to claim
- First supporting reason + textual evidence
- Supporting reason + evidence
- 3rd, 4th, 5th supporting reasons + evidence for each
- Conclusion connecting the parts and making the argument clear. Answer the “So what?” question and give the significance. Why does this matter? Why should we care? What should we take away from your analysis? How does it help us understand the literary work better?
This is just one sample structure. You decide what the reasons and evidence are and how to organize the argument best. What do you need to so to prove your reading of the text?
Use a formal style.
Cite your evidence using MLA citations.
- Rowell provides many examples of domestic violence (50).
- Eleanor & Park provides many examples of domestic violence (Rowell 50).
Evidence From the Novel
Summarize key scenes to support your claims and reasons.
Paraphrase evidence when it is not necessary to use exact wording. Quote when it is specific or important to maintain the language.
In academia, we cite where the ideas, points, evidence comes from. We are always writing within a pre-existing discussion. You want to cite others to borrow their credibility.
Workshop looking for structure and evidence, “Chips and Salsa” for your essay. Make it detailed. Add in specific scenes, lines, evidence. What do you still need to research?
Make sure that your thesis is clear from the beginning. This will help focus your writing and your research.
Comment below with your outline for points.
Also, did you provide sufficient reasons and evidence to support your claim? Is there anything you still need to cover to make sure the readers of your essay can follow along? Did you answer any questions you raised?
- Finish the novel
- Rough Draft of Essay