Poe’s The cask of Amontillado

Module 3 Writing Assignment

All due dates are listed in the course Calendar.

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Minimum requirements to earn credit:

Length: 2 pages (plus additional Works Cited page)
Sources: Use 1 primary source AND 1 secondary source of literary criticism
Documentation: Correct MLA documentation is expected, including in-text citations and a Works Cited page. If you include any source material without giving proper credit, you risk either earning a zero on the assignment or an F as your final grade in the course.

Purpose: To analyze a significant primary text as a forms of cultural and creative expression; to explain the ways in which the text reflects the culture and values of its time and place; to frame a comparative context to critically assess the ideas, forces, and values that shape texts; to develop an interpretation of a literary text, support the interpretation with textual evidence and a secondary source, and cite the source material; to use MLA documentation and formatting; to practice using scholarly sources of literary criticism; to practice the process of writing; to practice essay organization and editing skills.

Assignment: Create a literary analysis essay built on close readings of one text from Module 3. You will select one specific symbol in the story, discuss what it represents, and explain its significance to the text.

Choose one symbol from any of these texts:

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”
Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”
Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers”
Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist”
William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”

Expectations: You need to open with a strong introduction and a thesis statement that addresses the topic. You should support your position using 2-3 well-developed body paragraphs, and you must incorporate quotations, paraphrase, and/or summary from the story to support your points. You will also integrate evidence from one secondary source. You should end with a conclusion that briefly sums up your main ideas and connects your discussion of this symbol to the culture and values of its time and place. Use an academic voice with third-person point of view (no “you” or “I” except within direct quotations), and use formal grammar and spelling. Your essay should follow MLA paper formatting and MLA documentation style.

I do not want:

Biography – you should not use background information on the author or text (from the course Content or the textbook) within body paragraphs. Body paragraphs should provide evidence from the short story and secondary source about the symbol only. You may use background information on the author or text in the introduction or conclusion if it is directly relevant.
Plot summary – assume your reader is familiar with the text; avoid summarizing it or providing an overview; use only the relevant evidence to prove your thesis.
Large copied passages – quote sparingly; use ellipsis as necessary; avoid block quotations

Sources: You must use and cite the primary source AND one secondary source of literary criticism.

A primary source is a text by the original author. You will use one short story from the Module 3 readings.
A secondary source is a work that explains or analyzes a primary source (such as a journal article).
For example, Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” is a primary source, and a literature scholar’s article about the symbolism of Emily’s house would be a secondary source.
Your secondary source should be literary criticism from a scholarly book or an article from a peer-reviewed journal. I suggest using the databases, eBooks, and books provided by the NSCC library. You should avoid biographies, plot summaries, and all sources written for a general audience (such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines, and most websites). If you have questions about whether a source is appropriate, ask.
Information from our textbook and course Content may be used if it is directly relevant, but these do not constitute research. While you may use these as extra sources, you should not rely on them to meet your source requirements.

You may NOT list any sources on your Works Cited page that you do not use in your paper. Also, you may NOT use (through quotation, paraphrase, or summary) any sources that you do not cite in the text and on the Works Cited page – this is plagiarism and grounds for failing the assignment.

Submission: Do not email your essay; submit it on NS Online through the Assignment Dropbox. Your document must be in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. Late work is not accepted. Please review the relevant guidelines in the syllabus.

Grading: Your essay will be graded using the grading rubric for our course; you can earn up to 30 points for Content, 25 points for Organization, 20 points for Editing, and 25 points for Documentation.

Extra help: Be sure to review the Additional Resources on Module 3 Content. If you have a question that other students could help you with, or if you think my answer to your question would help everyone, please post a message on the Help Discussion Board so that everyone can see the replies. If you have a specific question that can be answered in an email, send me an email. Please do not send me your entire paper in an email. If you need more help, ask for an in-person or virtual appointment, stop by during my office hours, get feedback from Net Tutor online tutors, or take your paper to NSCC’s Learning Center.

If you have trouble with research, the librarians at NSCC are very helpful; just make sure you show the librarian this assignment. Also, check out the NSCC library’s guide for researching literature at nscc.libguides.com/literature.

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