Clearly identify the topic or question you have chosen to address

I will evaluate papers based on content, organization, and language use. A rubric for written assignments is available on Blackboard. Below are some guidelines for writing analytical essays and the analytical portions of creative essays.


A successful analytical essay should:

Beginning: Announce the argument and orient the reader in one paragraph

  • Clearly identify the topic or question you have chosen to address
  • Place your argument in context (provide a brief summary or literary, historical, cultural, or critical background for the text in question)
  • Provide a thesis statement that clearly articulates your analysis and how you will develop your argument

Middle: Present, support, explain, and clarify each point of your analysis in separate body paragraphs

  • Each paragraph should: present one idea; clearly announce the idea in a topic sentence; convincingly support the idea with relevant and specific textual/contextual examples; clearly explain the critical thinking and logic that connect your examples to your claim; and by the end of the paragraph, reiterate and clarify the argument of the paragraph

End: In one paragraph, draw a conclusion that does more than just repeat your thesis. Instead, connect your claim with a larger issue. For instance, reveal how the text(s) may be important to you beyond this class or to people other than yourself.


  • Use logical and clear transitions at the sentence, paragraph, and section levels
  • Correctly cite sources in-text using MLA style
  • Demonstrate control of grammar and mechanics issues
  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Include a Works Cited Page written in MLA style


Note: For additional resources on writing, analyzing, and citation see “Helpful Resources” on Blackboard.



  • 3-page Paper
  • Works Cited (citing the primary and secondary sources)



Paper assignments must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins (on the sides, top, and bottom), and in MLA style. The paper must meet the page length requirement, which, in this case, is three pages. Page length requirements are set to give you an idea of how detailed and extensive your papers should be at a minimum to construct a strong paper and therefore should be met. I do not appreciate clever attempts to lengthen papers (this includes varying font sizes and styles; extra spaces between paragraphs; extra spaces separating the title from the text; enlarged margins; and so forth).


MLA Format: A cover page will not be necessary. However, I do expect a heading in the top left of the first page that gives your name, my name, the course number, and the date. MLA style also calls for a header in the top right corner of each page (except for the first) that gives your last name and the page number. (This assignment sheet has such a header.) All citations and documentation, including the Works Cited, should also be in MLA style. Refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab site ( for MLA style guidelines. If you have troubles formatting your paper, please feel free contact me.


Titles: Please try to experiment with intriguing yet informative titles. Do not simply title your paper, “Compare and Contrast” or “Defining Modernism.” Your title should strive to grab the attention of your reader while hinting at the text’s focus. Ex: “Impotency: The Modern Garden.”)

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