“Analysis consists of a balance of assertions (statements which present their viewpoints or launch an exploration of their concerns), examples (specific passages, scenes, or events which inspire these views), explanations (statements that reveal how the examples support the assertions), and significance (statements which reveal the importance of their study to personal and/or cultural issues)” (Exploring Perspectives, Preface).
Purpose: To deepen and extend analyzing complex texts. Like the author, Randall Fallows, I do not want you “to convince me that your points of view are correct but rather to reveal that [you] have thought about [your] subject thoroughly and arrived at reasonable and significant considerations” (8).
Format: MLA with a Work Cited for the story and any other sources you may use although you are not required to use other sources. I have read all the online commentaries and articles on this short story, so if you use them, cite the source.
Audience: Assume your reader has read the story.
Assignment: Write a multi-paragraph essay in which you analyze “Midnight in Dostoevsky” according to the process you have studied this semester (AXES). To begin, review the discussion about the story, formulate some thoughts about the story, and create several possible assertions.
Remember that analysis is breaking apart. So consider metaphors, symbols, wording, setting, tone, and place. Do not write a summary of the story.
Since you will need to use the story to support your thesis, remember to include examples and explanations including integrated quotes, summaries, or paraphrases with in-text citations.
As part of the introductory paragraph, begin with an interesting attention grabber. The last sentence of the introductory paragraph needs to be a thesis.
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