Paper 2 Requirements

Essay #2: A Literary Analysis

Due: October 13


Your second paper should be a 3-5 page paper, formatted according to MLA guidelines, that analyzes one of the texts for this course. You may choose one assigned for discussion, or one we’ve read from Writing Spaces.  

You must use at least one outside source for the paper. This can include direct quotes, summaries, or paraphrases. Remember that using a source requires a Works Cited page. Also keep in mind that Wikipedia is never an acceptable source for an academic essay. Since anyone can edit the articles on it, there is no way to tell if the information is authoritative. Having said that, looking up your topic on Wikipedia can be quite helpful, and often Wikipedia’s cited sources are great. Looking up those sources and then citing the sources directly is perfectly acceptable as long as the source is authoritative.



So far, we’ve read texts that have something to do with Alaska or with writing. Please choose one of these texts to analyze (remember, a text can be a picture, a music video, a movie, an essay, a podcast, a book).  I am giving you a lot of freedom here. As long as your essay is analytical in nature, you are free to choose what kind of analysis you would like to do. You might analyze something to do with Alaskan cultural identity as it relates to one of our text. You might choose to analyze the author’s purpose.  Be open, ask lots of questions of the text, and answering one of those questions will probably lead to an analytical argument.

Here is a step by step example page walking you through how to write an analysis of a text.

The definition for Analysis is: a  detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation.


I suggest rereading  “Critical Thinking in College Writing: From the Personal to the Academic‘ by Gita DasBender in  Writing Spaces, Vol 2,  as well as  ‘Teaching Literary Analysis‘ by  Rusul Alrubail for further help on what quality analysis looks like.


An A+ paper will display the following qualities:

  • 3-5 properly formatted pages, plus a Works Cited page
  • Nearly perfect grammar and spelling
  • Analysis that provides astute observations of culture and promotes your individual critical thinking on the topic (analytical is the key – this should not read like a journal entry and use of first person should be minimal) and includes examples of your ideas
  • A clear thesis statement that is placed at the end of the first paragraph with organized paragraphs that support that thesis
  • Sources that are authoritative (NOT Wikipedia)
  • See Rubric for details


*Once you’ve turned your paper in, your instructor will grade your draft, and advise you on changes that need to be made. Should you choose to revise, your instructor will replace your first grade with the revised grade. Revision Due: October 27

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with Megan Bush