We’re in the home stretch of our short story boot camp, and now it’s time for you to put your knowledge to work. You will work with a cohort to discuss and analyze a story from an assigned group. The ultimate objective is to write a paper about the story which uses specific examples from the selected text to answer an AP-style prompt.
Your cohort will complete the following tasks:
- Read and discuss your story – you may mark your electronic copy either with notes/highlighting in Google Docs or through a PDF markup tool like Acrobat or Kami
- Select an AP prompt from a provided list
- Collaborate to plan and write a formal paper – all members of the cohort should assist each other in gathering evidence and refining the paper draft
You and your cohort should confer to select ONE story from your assigned group. You may access/download a copy of your story from the following links:
Gina Berriault, “The Stone Boy”
Ha Jin, “Saboteur”
Tillie Olson, “I Stand Here Ironing”
Alice Walker, “Everyday Use”
Sherman Alexie, “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”
William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”
Frank O’Connor, “First Confession”
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, “The Medicine Bag”
Arthur C. Clarke, “The Nine Billion Names of God”
Nadine Gordimer, “Once Upon a Time”
Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
Gabriel García Márquez, “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”
In your cohort, you will first discuss and expand your knowledge and understanding of your selected story. Use the Literary Elements diagram to guide your analysis and discussion. Consider which of the tools are being employed in a way that reveals the author’s overall meaning in the story. For example, John Updike’s “A&P” is successful because of his choice of the first person point of view, which helps to create the indelible character of Sammy the checkout clerk. You can discuss strong characterization, the success of the use of dialogue, diction and syntax choices that reveal tone, how symbols in the story convey meaning—your choices are open. You could also refer to the Exploring and Identifying Theme handout to begin crafting a MOWAW for your story. Remember, a statement of meaning cannot be a single word; it must be expressed in a phrase.
Your discussion and analysis will be used to select a prompt for your final 500-word paper, which will be due next week. Prompts will be made available tomorrow.