Outline and thesis

I don’t know how to handle this English question and need guidance.

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Choose a short story below and write 4-5 pages analyzing the story. Your thesis should put forward an arguable interpretation and/or evaluation of the text’s impact or significance based on a close reading of the short story. For a close reading, I recommend that your print the story and read actively (with pen and/or highlighter in hand), marking things you notice and writing notes in the margins. Make inferences about the intention of the writer based on their usage of literary devices and figurative language.

You can choose any short story off this list:


  • Have a compelling, original title.
  • Put forward a thesis that asserts an arguable claim about the text you have chosen. For more help on developing a thesis, I recommend watchingThesis Statements: Four Steps to a Great Essay (Links to an external site.)
  • Support your thesis with well-developed and clearly organized paragraphs that develop specific evidence from your primary text and secondary sources using a balance of clearly attributed and properly documented summary, paraphrase, and short quotation.

Key Definitions

For this essay, you must understand literary devices and figurative language. I will post some resources on these concepts in announcements.

Sample Thesis Statements

Each of the following is a sample thesis statement from a different story.

  • Celeste Ng’s coming of age story, “Girls, At Play,” expresses a young girl losing her innocence using different figures of speech such as alliteration and similes, imagery, mood, and through exploring the sexual nature of pubescence.
  • “Premium Harmony” uses figures of speech and imagery to examine the last few hours of an unhappily married couple’s marriage while maintaining a darkly humorous tone.
  • It is through the juxtaposition of the motifs of present and past, winter and summer, and physical and spiritual, that Doerr illustrates the conflict between Mr. Dumas and Mary in “The Hunter’s Wife.” The contrast between these motifs is primarily conveyed through variations in sentence structure, diction, and imagery.
  • In “The Veldt,” Ray Bradbury argues that humans have lost sight of morality and rationale in their pursuit of self-satisfaction. He utilizes literary devices to demonstrate how technological reliance aggravates dependency and distorts reality.

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