Option 1 – Folktale Assignment: All folktales’ initial purpose was to instruct their readers/listeners about a particular aspect of life. What major topic do you see come up in the folktale, and what does the story imply about it? What specific, moral lesson is being taught? How valuable or relevant is this moral lesson today? Why or why not? Answer these questions about the folktale as specifically and clearly as possible to form a thesis and to help you develop support for your own analysis. Point to aspects of the folktale’s use of plot, setting, character, and point-of-view/perspective, as evidence to support your answers to the questions about the text. Use this textual evidence to support your answers to the questions. Cite textual evidence in proper MLA format.

Use proper MLA formatting and citation conventions, and adhere to the standard conventions of written English. Get help on those conventions if you need it.

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The key here is to construct a persuasive argument that analyzes the language and elements in your chosen short story or folktale to make your point. To do well, you must identify a specific topic, and come to a conclusion of your own about what insight the story gets across, or what moral lesson the folktale is trying to convey.

Cite lots of evidence from whichever text you choose. Provide specific and general evidence from your chosen short story or folktale to support your interpretation.


Some Suggestions-

Just describing to your readers what happens in your folktale or short story without including a definitive point that you’re striving for (no clear thesis statement), will result in a failing grade on this essay. To successfully complete this paper, you must choose a topic, and construct a thesis statement and argument that makes a case for what you infer the short story or folktale is trying to communicate about the topic you have chosen. To develop a clear argument of your own, address the “so what?” question regarding the text’s development of the theme and your overall appraisal of it.

For this essay, your evidence to prove your argument will be instances and language within the story itself. Find places in the story that support your argument, include quoted evidence within your essay, and explain how and why the evidence supports your argument.

Please do not write in the first person point-of-view (I think the most important lesson is…., I would say that the theme that permeates the tale is …., etc. ). Instead, show us examples from the text that illustrate the lesson or insight being conveyed to the audience, and analyze and explicate how the story’s language, plot structure, setting, or character types, help communicate your tale’s most important lesson or insight.

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