The second short essay is a bit longer than the first one and involves a critical reflection upon your first essay. First, read through the questions featured on the weekly schedule of the syllabus. Choose one question to address in a 4 – 5 page essay. Your answer must include both 1) a reflection upon the analysis in your first essay and 2) an analysis of a new passage or scene from a story that was not featured in your first essay.

What you need to do:

Reread your first paper. Pay attention to the way in which you analyzed the scene you chose. Dont forget to read the comments that you were given on your paper. Addressing the major issues specified in your comments is one of the best ways to ensure a successful second essay.

Take notes on your own paper: what did you like about your analysis? What didnt you like? What did you not do enough of? What would you do differently if you were to write it again?

Reread the questions featured under each week on the weekly schedule on the syllabus. Pay close attention to the questions. Is there one question that helps you to think about your first essay and that you would like to explore more? Choose one question only. 

Once you have identified a question that relates to problems or interesting issues with your first essay, choose a scene or passage from another story that you might be able to analyze in order to reflect upon the problems you encountered in your first essay. This scene might be dealing with a similar literary problem (eg. an opening paragraph, a landscape description, a dialogue, a character type) or a similar functioning of time as a category in the story, or it might be a contrasting depiction, where either time or the literary problem serves a different function. The key is to CHOOSE CAREFULLY.

[NB By scene we mean something rather short. It might be a dialogue, a paragraph or two of description, or a page or two of an event. It should NOT be the whole story or a plot summary. You do need to contextualize your scene within the whole story, but do not analyze the whole story or begin your paper with a synopsis of the entire plot.]

This paper has two goals: it should perform a new analysis of a scene whilst also reflecting upon your previous analysis, identifying problems in that previous analysis and showing how you can improve them in this new essay. Another way to think of this assignment is: what have you learned from your first essay that enables you to write a better second essay? Give a brief summary of what you wrote in your first essay and how you would like to improve it, and then show us in a reading of your second scene how you would improve it.  Essentially you will be using your own first essay as a source for your second paper, which means analyzing your thinking and writing and referring to it in the context of your new argument, which necessarily means being critical of your own previous work.

Please remember the following:

You should consider the scene in terms of the question you have selected from the syllabus.
As last time you should look closely at what is happening in your chosen scenefocus on details in the scene itself, not big general concepts. After youve looked closely at the scene youre analyzing, then you can consider the bigger implications and dynamics at work in it.
Remember to pay attention to questions, for instance, of how things are described and what characters thought processes are. Make sure youre able to support your ideas with the text itself. Avoid guessing, speculating, or hypothesizing about what might have happened in the story, but focus rather on the details of what is actually happening and what kind of meaning you can infer from those details.

This is not a research paper, and you should use no sources other than your chosen passage and your own first essay to make your argument. This is your chance to demonstrate that you can read literature carefully, closely, and thoughtfully.

Lastly, since you will only be using at most a few pages of two sources, there is no need to have a full bibliography or formal citations. Make it clear in the beginning of your essay which story and passage youre discussing and when you refer to specific moments in your passage, include the page number at the end of the sentence in parenthesis. For instance, this is what it would look like if the last part of this sentence is a quote from page 20 of the text (20).

Your analysis should be 4-5 pages long, double-spaced and in font size 12.