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Canon Persuasion Paper

For your research essay you will write a 2000-word canon persuasion paper.

This paper has three components: 1. Short Story selection: I have prepared a list of contemporary short stories that I would have liked to include in our course syllabus, but due to limited course time, could not include. Your task is to select one short story and argue for its inclusion. The list of authors and copies of their stories are available on Blackboard in Course Documents > Persuasion Paper reading.

Your essay should include a literary analysis of the short story you select that argues for its literary significance and inclusion in our course. A story being “interesting” or “entertaining” does not make a good argument. You should engage instead with how the story is constructed. You might want to consider the following questions:

  • Why should we read this piece?
  • What genre is it?
  • Who wrote it and why?
  • What is its historical context?
  • How does it connect to themes discussed in class or in the literary criticism readings?
  • What made you choose this piece? What does it teach us about the author, history, or life?
  • Does the story do something new with narrative? With the narrator’s voice?
  • Does it represent a group, identity, or experience not included in previous course readings?
  • What makes the piece enjoyable and enlightening?

You don’t have to answer all of these questions, but your essay should address both the substance and the style of your selection and about why you think it’s worth our time.

3. Your essay should also contain research that includes at least 4 scholarly sources on the author. Scholarly sources include academic monographs, articles published in scholarly journals, and (in some cases) book reviews. Your sources will need to be cited using the MLA format.

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