You may complete this assignment using any of Tim O’Brien’s short stories that we have discussed in class. Many of you will probably choose to use more than one story.
The purpose of this paper is to show you have an understanding O’Brien’s fiction. Begin by coming up with an idea or theme that you see in his work. Identify where this idea is developed in the stories. Now step back and try to refine your thesis, to make it as specific as possible. At this point you should be able to outline the structure of your essay. Make sure that your thesis statement is clear and that it appears early in your paper.
Your next number of paragraphs should focus on passages and details from the stories that help prove the point you are arguing about the texts. Be sure to see if any of the elements of fiction can help bolster your claims.
You may follow this section with a discussion of the importance of this idea, or the importance of the stories, either in a historical context or in our lives now.
Avoid plot summary for its own sake. You get no particular credit for simply having read and followed the contents of a story.
Length: 3 to 5 double-spaced pages. MLA format.
Grading Criteria: Do you have a clear thesis statement? Do you use appropriate details from the stories to support your thesis? Is your paper organized so that the supporting paragraphs flow smoothly from idea to idea? Is your conclusion appropriate? Does your paper show command of Standard Written English?
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