Saturday, September 6, 2008

AP--short story project #2

In addition to the short essay on the story you have been assigned, your final assignment for our study of short fiction is to research and write a paper on a story you choose based on your own interest. Listed below are the requirements and guidelines for this assignment:

• Your story must have been published for the first time while you’ve been in high school, that is 2005 to the present.

• Your story must have actually been “published”; no self-published internet pieces by amateur writers, please.

• Since I am asking you to research the author and write an analysis of the story, I strongly suggest that you read several stories, from a variety of sources, then choose the one you enjoyed the most. As you read new stories, I encourage you to post short responses to them as part of your weekly blogs commenting on our assigned short stories.

• Published short stories are not as abundant as they were 50 or 75 years ago. Nevertheless, you may find excellent material in a variety of places: New Yorker magazine publishes short stories regularly, and Mr.Thommen has set over 100 issues out in the reference section of the library. Also, Mr. Thommen has begun a subscription to a periodical called One Story, each issue of which contains, you guessed it, a single short story. The Best American Short Stories series publishes a new edition every year (guest editor for the 2007 edition was Stephen King), and I have ordered copies of the two most recent collections. Finally, literary journals in libraries often contain new stories, and both single-author and anthology collections of stories may be found in bookstores as well. For example, Jhumpa Lahiri, author of The Namesake on my summer reading list, has a new story collection called Unaccustomed Earth.

• The written portion of the assignment is a paper of approximately 5-6 pages (1500 to 2000 words) in which you cover three key points: your reasons for choosing the story, some biographical background on the writer, and an analysis of the story using the methods and vocabulary we have discussed and practiced in class.

• Drafts of your papers are due in class Monday, October 6 (Tuesday for section 3). Final papers are due, both hard copy and, on Wednesday, October 8.