The final essay, is a critical analysis of one of the course novels. Choose one of the prompts listed at the conclusion of this assignment.

write a critical analysis essay that employs evidence from the text, and analyzes and examines what you believe to be the novels message to readers.

Develop an essay that illustrates the validity of the meaning you see and write a thesis that you can thoroughly develop and support.

Your essay must be a critical analysis rather than a summary of the story. As with any essay, your paper must cohere around a single idea that grows as you move through the essay. Your opinion must shape the paper and your authorial voice should dominate the essay; therefore, a patchwork of quotes and paraphrases from the novel is unacceptable.  Specific evidence (details, quotes, etc.) must be given in support of your claims and your interpretation of meaning must be clearly communicated. Use quotes (evidence) from the book, and analyze and explore/interpret each of those quotes so that your reader understands how and why you believe each quote is important in supporting each of your claims.  The organization of your paper must be logical; claims should build upon previous claims and each quote used to support at claim should build upon the others.

Your essay must be 1250-1500 words, meet format requirements (typed & double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font) and be written in literary present tense.  Proper MLA documentation (parenthetical and works cited) is required.

Your rough and final drafts must include correct parenthetical notation and a complete works cited page. 
This essay requires you focus on one novel from the second half of the course. Additionally, you may, if you choose, include historical research from a reliable source(s) about the events and/or geography of your chosen text. You should not use secondary sources focused on critical analysis of your chosen text. No matter which option you choose, all outside research must be used to support your literary analysis of the text.

Choose One of the following:

What is the meaning (theme) at the center of the piece? Support your argument by offering specific evidence that reveals that theme; interpret the evidence you offer and show how those pieces of evidence, when put back together, reveal the central meaning (theme) you identify.  Your central question will be What is the author saying about _______ and why? Your answer to that question will serve as the central idea of your essay.

Examine the use of food as metaphor within the text and write an analysis essay arguing how the particular food metaphors and themes you identify are used by the author to create meaning and/or understanding of a particular issue.

Analyze the text based on the journey of any one character and argue how that characters journey reveals the central meaning inherent in the whole work. Warning: this prompt can easily lead students to write the story of the character rather than an analysis of meaning based on the characters journey. Make sure, if you choose this, you have a clear idea of what your thesis is arguing and what meaning you feel emerges from the characters narrative. Do not just tell the characters story. That would be a summary and would fail to meet the requirements of the essay assignment.

Examine two course texts together based on a common theme. This is not a comparison/contrast essay, but a critical analysis essay of a common idea you identify. What meaning is created by looking at the two works together that might not be apparent when considering each work in isolation?


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