As your work on your essay, it may be helpful to review the information about the writing process presented on our course pages. Although the Web pages linked below use a photograph as the subject of an essay, the same principles apply to an essay on a short story.
Students are asked to write literary analysis essays because this type of assignment encourages you to think about how and why a poem, short story, novel, or play was written. To successfully analyze literature, you’ll need to remember that authors make specific choices for particular reasons. Your essay should point out the author’s choices and attempt to explain their significance.
Sometimes, an essay on a short story will include parenthetical citations for page numbers of quoted words and a separate "Work Cited" page listing publication information for the story, all according to Modern Language Association (MLA) standards. However, please do not include parenthetical citations or a "Work Cited" page with your essay. Understanding how to cite and document material properly can get somewhat complicated, and, at this point, I would prefer than you focus on developing and presenting your interpretation well without having to think about the proper citation and documentation of your subject. Later in the course, we will discuss MLA citation and documentation of sources.