SHORT STORY CLOSE READING ANALYTICAL ESSAY
Short stories provide compact and concise glimpses into the lives of the characters, but they also suggest the
author’s particular point of view about the world in which we live. Close reading involves looking at the details of
how authors create their texts, but it also involves stepping back from the text and analyzing the big picture, how
the details contribute to the overall message or theme of a work.
For this essay, you will draw from your practice with closely reading texts, answering the big questions (What it is?
How does it function? Why is that important?), determining the meaning of the work as a whole, and looking at
texts through various critical lenses. You will read a short story and create an argument about what the author
and text are saying about the human condition – our motivations, our behaviors, our livelihood and relationships –
while also researching critical commentary on the short story and/or author to support your independent thesis.
LEARNING GOALS. Students will…
Create a reasoned and developed argument containing a focused thesis statement concerning an
author’s theme/message in a short story.
Analyze the development of the chosen theme throughout the text, providing and citing specific textual
evidence to support the argument.
Support the argument with a secondary source, incorporating and citing the source to strengthen their
own thesis both within the paper and in a Works Cited page.
SCORING RUBRIC. FOLLOW THE GENERAL WRITING RUBRIC IN ADDITION TO THE FOLLOWING FOR THIS ESSAY:
Exceeds Expectations… Meets ALL the requirements of Meets Expectations in addition to:
Synthesizes the secondary source effectively into the argument, embedding the information within
Meets Expectations… Meets the General Writing Rubric PLUS:
Provides and cites evidence from a credible source in both the text and a Works Cited page.
Uses a critical lens to interpret the story and the text’s theme/message.
Partially Meets Expectations…
Meets 1 of the Meets Expectations requirements (in addition to the General Writing Rubric).
Does Not Meet Expectations…
Meets none of the Meets Expectations requirements for this essay.
18.104.22.168 – Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as
inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leave matters uncertain.
22.214.171.124 – Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course
of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide
an objective summary of the text.
126.96.36.199 – Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and
relevant and sufficient evidence. (a) Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim, establish the significance of
the claim, distinguish the claim from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that
logically sequences claims, counterclaims, reasons and evidence.