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ENGLISH 214 reading in fiction Final essay;

Don’t answer these questions in an essay. Write a complete story using the above paragraph as its opening sentence.

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ENGLISH 214 reading in fiction Final essay

Here is a first paragraph of a story.

The moon hung over the lake like a cheap paper lantern. I sat in an Adirondack chair drinking gin, sure I could watch the damn thing rise on up in the sky if only I stared at it hard enough and long enough. I’d taken the Gordon’s out of the freezer and jammed the bottle into a tarnished silver champagne bucket and set it on the floor next to Rick’s chair, along with a glass. Lightning bugs floated up from the lawn, making constellations that formed and dissolved, distracting me from my moon watch. When I stretched, I could reach the bottle without getting out of my chair. Even though I ought to have known better, I kept expecting I’d hear his tires crunch on the cinder drive.

Before you start writing, analyze the paragraph sentence by sentence. Consider voice, point of view, imagery, plot, setting, character. Remember to look up words that you don’t know. If you’re not familiar with Gordon’s gin, look it up.

What questions does the opening paragraph raise without answering? (From my perspective, I will choose this topic to write)

What do you think will follow? What happens next? Don’t answer these questions in an essay. Write a complete story using the above paragraph as its opening sentence. Your story’s first setting and two characters have just been provided, but you may add more characters and change scenes.


Write a well-organized and concise essay of 2000 – 2500 words, in which you consider the presence of multiple themes in two or three stories (or a story and the novel) that you read for this class. Discuss how multiple themes are developed in each fiction. Be specific.

Some Hints for Successful Essays

All of the following in this section refer to your rough drafts:

Try focused free-writing or brainstorming to get ideas for your essay. You can do outlines of various sorts. If you do not know pre-writing methods, you should ask me or go to the writing center. Feel free to do research, but remember to document your sources. Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph. Then copy the topic sentences, and paste them into a list. Read them and see if they make sense in that order. If not, rearrange them.
Look at your topic sentences. Check to see that all of the sentences in the paragraph relate to the topic sentence, and that the organization of the paragraph is coherent.

If you have a sentence in the paragraph that does not relate to the topic sentence, either re-write it so that it fits, find another paragraph that is a better home for it, or write some additional material and make another paragraph.

Remember that the conclusion of the essay is not just recopying the thesis sentence.

Highlight all the quotations in your essay. Then lay the pages out on the floor. What does the area look like? What proportion of your essay is quotation, what your prose? Most of it ought to be your work.
Use different colors to highlight quotations from the text and quotations from secondary sources. Again, look at the proportions.
ead your essay aloud. You will catch errors like this that you might otherwise have missed. Remember that spell check does not notice if you misspell a weird that is another word, as I just demonstrated. Weird, in case you didn’t notice, should have been word.

Requirements for Essay

Mark the thesis sentence with an asterisk. If in order to write a thesis sentence you find yourself compelled to say, “In this essay I will show (or attempt to show) that,” then write it. Next, delete that section of the sentence so that you begin your thesis with a bold statement. If you need more help with constructing a thesis sentence, consult your handbook and speak with someone at the writing center. You may also email me to ask about your thesis sentence—but not the night before the essay is due.
Underline the topic sentence in each paragraph.

Develop your thoughts. This is not a five paragraph theme, though the
introduction, body, conclusion format is still there. You’d be writing more in the middle. Fifteen hundred words is a bare minimum; it will probably require closer.

Include a bibliography: the website, all references.

Minimum 12 point type: Times New Roman, Courier, or Century Schoolbook, or Courier New. [Manuscripts submitted for publication should use Times New Roman or Courier.]

Word-count. [Exclusive of the quotations from the poem.]

The length requirement is a minimum, not a maximum.

The close reading we have been doing in class is an example of explication.
As this is an essay about fiction please use relevant technical language such as those in the mid-term.

Remember to include your last name in the file title, eg KOTZIN/ 215/Essay12.13

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