The topic for this paper should be specific and meaningful. By being specific, I

    The topic for this paper should be specific and meaningful. By being specific, I mean that you should confine yourself to one thing in a story, such as characterization, plot, theme, narrative, setting, mood, tone, or imagery. By being meaningful, I mean that you should provide an interesting and insightful point of view on certain aspects of a story, and should relate to the universal human experience revealed in the story. To get yourself started, you may consult your reading-question sheet and the subjects brought about in our class discussion. Of course, you are welcome to come up with your own topics.
    Before you start your first draft, I would like to read your paper proposals, in which I expect you to provide your thesis and proposed structure of your paper.
    Since this is a paper of interpretation, you should try to convince your reader with enough textual references. In every developing paragraph, you should have a topic sentence, which is supported by your explanation of the text and some citations in the forms of direct quotation, paraphrase and summary. Guard against any personal and unsupported opinion intruding into your writing (never use “I” or “my”), and always back up your arguments with facts found in the text.
    You need to evaluate evidence and avoid taking it at its face value. Learn to understand words, phrases, and sentences in their immediate context. If you experience difficulty in supporting your thesis and fitting your evidence logically, you will need to revise your thesis.
    The paper should have a comfortable length to carry through your committed objective. Although I don’t want you to prolong your paper artificially simply because you have to meet 500700 word requirement (two to three pages typed), I will insist on the word limit to ensure the quality of the argument.
    Don’t go to the library for reference materials. This is the paper, which should come entirely from your own approach to and interpretation of the story. You are welcome to draw on our class discussion for ideas and insights. However, your personal and original interpretation of the story will be highly encouraged and rewarded so long as you can prove your case.
    Follow closely the essay format provided by the sample essay(s) we have discussed in class. Whenever you can, please observe MLA documentation guidelines for all citations in your essay.

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