ENGL 240 SPARKNOTES STUDY GUIDE
LENGTH: Approximately 2500-3000 words.
VALUE: 100 points
GRADING: SparkNotes Study Guide Rubric
Knowledge: You will understand how abstract ideas and concrete compositional techniques are connected to, and reinforce, each other in a complex written text.
Skills: You will demonstrate the ability to identify, define, describe, categorize, interpret, and examine the most important elements of a complex written text. These skills are relevant, not only for discussing short stories, or even specifically for interpreting literary texts, but for analyzing and understanding nearly any piece of writing.
For this assignment, you will be creating a 2500-3000 word SparkNotes Study Guide for one of the stories we’ve read this semester. You can choose any story we’ve discussed. The only restriction is that you CANNOT choose a story for which a study guide already exists on the SparkNotes web page. I’ll send you a list of excluded stories.
Included below you will find a template for writing your SparkNotes Study Guide. A template is just a model for how your study guide will be formatted. So your guide should have the headers that appear below. (For example the headers “Context,” “Themes ,” etc.) Your paper should also have subheaders, but these will be different from paper to paper. For example if one of the themes in your story is “Revenge” that will be the subheader under the header “Themes”. But obviously don’t include a subheader like “Marriage” if marriage is not one of the themes in your story. (See below for a definition of a theme.) It will help a lot if you look at the handouts I’ve distributed for each of the stories we’ve read this semester.
Examples of short story study guides can be found at:http://www.sparknotes.com/short-stories/
Unlike the examples on the web, however, your study guide must cite at least 3 sources, not including the primary text, and include a Works Cited page.
Finally double-space the text of your study guide, and use a legible font (for example, Times New Roman). The font size should be 12 pt. You do not need a Cover Page.
SPARKNOTES STUDY GUIDE
Write a short biography of the author.
Consider, for example: What other things has the author written? What have critics said about the author, and about the story, if anything? Has the author spoken about the story you’ve chosen in an interview? Has s/he been interviewed or written about her/his work in general?
Give a brief, but accurate description of the plot. But remember, this is one of the least important sections of the study guide for our purposes. It should be no longer than a hundred words or so.
List all ofthe characters in the story and describe them in one or two sentences.
Analysis of Major Characters
Give an accurate and comprehensive analysis of the majorcharacters—a brief paragraph instead of a couple of sentences.
Give a detailed account of at least three themes that appear in the story. A theme is just an important idea that the story considers. There is always more than one theme in a story. Sometimes the theme is stated directly. But sometimes you have to give it a little thought. A theme can be identified in a single word. Some examples that we’ve discussed in class are (but of course there are many other possible themes that could be listed. Choose themes that are relevant to the story you’ve chosen):
What is the point the story is trying to make about Revenge? Your discussion here
What is the point the story is trying to make about Marriage? Your discussion here
What is the point the story is trying to make about Love? Your discussion here
What is the point the story is trying to make about Adolescence? Your discussion here
(Motifs are images, phrases, actions, or events that are repeated throughout the text—they’re like the pattern in a design. According to SparkNotes, motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.)You only need to identify one motif in the story. Example:
In “The Miniature Wife,” the narrator’s numerous allusions to the dollhouse are a motif. Discuss how this motif is used.
According to SparkNotes, symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. You only need to identify one symbol in the story. Example:
In “the Lottery” the battered black box that holds the lottery tickets is symbolic of how outmoded the lottery itself seems to have become. Discuss how this motif is used.
Analyze at least one of the most important, unusual, or typical aspects of the story.This is a little ambiguous, I realize, so you can be creative here. Again, look at the handouts I’ve distributed for each of the stories we’ve read. If the story is an allegory, this section will be the place to discuss it. Is the point of view significant? Again, you’d want to mention that here. Other examples: Does the story belong to a recognizable genre—crime fiction, for example? Is its structure unusual—does it depend on a deus ex machina, does the author do weird things with time—is it a non-linear narrative—are there a lot of flashbacksor is there much foreshadowing, etc.? Does the story reference a real medical condition—postpartum depression, sociopathy, anterograde amnesia, etc.? If so say something about these conditions in this section. Does the story refer to a real historical event? Is the specific time in which a story occurs important? Analysis is the place to discuss it: Even more examples that we’ve discussed in class are:
Your discussion of Dirty Realism here
Your discussion of Southern Gothic here
Your discussion of the Unreliable Narrator here
Important Quotations Explained
Choose 5 important quotations and explain their significance in the story. A good idea would be, for example, to connect these quotations to the story’s themes. Since you’ve already identified the themes in the THEMES section above, some repetition in this section is inevitable and perfectly ok.
Cite at least two sources you used during the research for this paper. MLA format is preferred, but not required.
Please see the Rubric for the SparkNotes Study Guide and the Annotated SparkNotes Study Guide Assignment.
Plagiarism Free Papers
All our papers are original and written from scratch. We will email you a plagiarism report alongside your completed paper once done.
All papers are submitted ahead of time. We do this to allow you time to point out any area you would need revision on, and help you for free.
A title page preceeds all your paper content. Here, you put all your personal information and this we give out for free.
Without a reference/bibliography page, any academic paper is incomplete and doesnt qualify for grading. We also offer this for free.
Originality & Security
At Homework Valley, we take confidentiality seriously and all your personal information is stored safely and do not share it with third parties for any reasons whatsoever. Our work is original and we send plagiarism reports alongside every paper.
24/7 Customer Support
Our agents are online 24/7. Feel free to contact us through email or talk to our live agents.
Try it now!
How it works?
Follow these simple steps to get your paper done
Place your order
Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.
Proceed with the payment
Choose the payment system that suits you most.
Receive the final file
Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.
We work around the clock to see best customer experience.
Our prices are pocket friendly and you can do partial payments. When that is not enough, we have a free enquiry service.
Admission help & Client-Writer Contact
When you need to elaborate something further to your writer, we provide that button.
We take deadlines seriously and our papers are submitted ahead of time. We are happy to assist you in case of any adjustments needed.
Your feedback, good or bad is of great concern to us and we take it very seriously. We are, therefore, constantly adjusting our policies to ensure best customer/writer experience.