Fiction Analysis Paper Tobias Wolff. “Bullet in the Brain,” Choose one short st
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Fiction Analysis Paper Tobias Wolff. “Bullet in the Brain,”
Choose one short story in our textbook that I have not posted a lecture on. It could be any of the stories not assigned or any assigned but not lectured on.
Analyse Tobias Wolff. “Bullet in the Brain,”
You will tell your audience what the major themes of the work are (there may only be one), as well as discussing other relevant elements that the author uses (symbolism, characterization, etc.), just as we do in our class discussions of works. Remember that a theme is more than a subject, like love or death. It is what the author is saying about that subject. Think about class lectures, and how particular “tools” a writer uses are explored and what messages the writer is trying to convey though his or her story. In the body, focus on the way the elements used by the author support your idea of what the theme is. Do more than just re-tell the plot.
You can also choose to concentrate on one or more passages that advance theme and explain how it (or they) work(s), as we do in close readings. This paper should be a minimum of 750 of your own words (do a word count that does not involve direct quotations) and in MLA format. Do not plagiarize from outside sources. If you use outside sources, you must cite them, but I prefer your own analysis. Include a works cited page (It would be called Work Cited if only the short story is on it.)
Remember that theme in literature, in the deepest, most meaningful sense, is not merely a subject (topic). It is what a writer is saying about the subject (topic). While it is true that a common definition of theme is the subject a writer examines, such as war, love, faith, envy, prejudice, etc.—in other words, “what the work is about”—that is a very limited approach to theme. In fact, it is so limited as to be pretty useless when talking about a work simply because it is so obvious. Anybody reading a literary work can tell you what the subject is. They can tell immediately if it deals with war or love and so on. After all, in a work where people are at war, a “theme,” in this very limited sense of the word, is war. In a work where someone is in love, a theme, in this very limited sense, is loves. In order to analyze literature in an interesting and meaningful way, we must discuss themes in a more specific, analytical Otherwise, an essay often becomes mainly a summary of plot elements. The deeper, and more specific—therefore most useful—meaning of “theme” is what the work says about the subject.
Try to imagine a general audience, not just me or your classmates, when you write your paper. Don’t assume that everyone in the audience has yet read the work or that every reader has a copy in front of him or her—In other words, make sure that you give enough context when you quote or summarize so that anyone would understand you.
Don’t assume that everyone in the audience is just like you. A general audience is made up of people from different age groups, cultural backgrounds, genders, sexual preferences, religious choices (including no religion), political viewpoints, economic and social classes, and places of origin.
It is customary to write about the ongoing events in a work of fiction in the present tense.
Don’t forget in-text citations for quoted material from the work you are examining and all information you take from outside sources if you use them. Don’t forget that papers require works cited pages.
Try for a title more interesting and informative than “Essay” or “Fiction Analysis Paper.”
Your first paragraph should give an overview—it can serve as a “mini outline” of what your paper will cover. Introduce the author and tell your readers when he or she wrote. End the first paragraph with your thesis, which will emphasize the main points you want to prove in your essay. This should include your idea of the theme of the work—and remember, when we are talking about analysis in this class, we mean “theme” in the most specific sense: not merely the subject (love, death, happiness, grief, etc.), but what the writer is saying about the topic. Tip: Don’t even worry about writing the introduction until you have finished the body of the essay. How can you adequately introduce something that doesn’t exist yet?
The conclusion is like a mirror image of the introduction. In the introduction, you have previewed what you will explain; in the conclusion, you sum it up. Your conclusion should provide a sense of closure to your essay, highlighting the key points that you have made in support of your thesis. Refrain from introducing new information (if you come up with new ideas at this point, consider integrating them into the body of your essay). A conclusion is not simply a last body paragraph. In many ways, it mirrors your introduction. (Avoid beginning with boring, redundant phrases like “in conclusion.”)
Don’t skimp on development in the body. Write so that anyone picking up your essay would be able to understand the points that you make—even if the readers do not have the literary work in front of them. This means quoting lines or passages that you are talking about. A lot of the time, quoting words or phrases out of context isn’t enough for readers to fully understand the points you are trying to make, particularly with poems.
Try for a relatively formal register in academic papers (“register” means the tone and level of language). Avoid first person singular (“I,” “me, “mine”) and second person (“you,” “your”). Do not talk about yourself or your feelings. Remember that these are essays, not forum responses or journal entries. Don’t use slang or overly informal language like “kids,” “moms,” “dads,” stuff,” “nowadays,” and so on.
Avoid the phrases “meaning that” and “being that.”
Avoid language that “gushes” and doesn’t really say anything specific and concrete (it is subjective). Examples are “great,” “unique,” “interesting,” “very [anything],” etc. Terms like this are also called “empty adjectives” because they are emotional, not specific.
The word “quotes” means to use someone else’s exact words. It does not mean “says” or “states.” If you quote a character in a story saying something, you are doing the quoting, not him or her.