The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich

only writing a thesis and BODY paragraph.

The thesis statement should be the last sentence of the introduction paragraph.

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The introduction paragraph should provide background about the “life topic” and not broad and general summary info or the author’s biography. It can be a long paragraph.
Always connect your main points back to the thesis. Never summarize the plot unless it is cited and directly relevant to the argument.

Thesis statement: Decide which story to write about and devise a working thesis statement using the steps and template on the Guidelines. You can change that thesis if you want to later, depending on how your evidence comes together, but it is good to identify a topic and begin finding examples and evidence in the story about it and trying to interpret the author’s message about it. Do not write a three-point thesis statement. If you don’t know what a “life topic” is, review the resources in the first module. I used to require that students discuss how the author uses literary elements, like foreshadowing for example, to convey their message and I don’t require that anymore but you can take that route if you are having trouble figuring out what to talk about. The main thing is that you connect them to your interpretation of a message and not just end up “proving” that the author uses foreshadowing. All authors use literary elements–that’s what they do; but we are more concerned here with the WHY? question. (In other words, if you are technically minded and want to include that to help you to accomplish the outcome, that is fine as long as the critical thinking part is there.)

Intro paragraph: the criteria for the introduction paragraph that you will also submit this week is also on the Guidelines. In short, it is the background of the humanities topic and why it matters, with a transitional sentence to the short story. That transition may be something about the author, the time period that the story was written (current events, etc.) or something relevant and meaningful about the author’s contribution to the genre in the context of the story.

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