Independent Short Story Project: Spring 2016

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1 Page1 Independent Short Story Project: Spring 2016 Overview: For this project, you will choose a short story author and explore and analyze the author s background, the short story elements/devices, and various aspects of the author s style. Lastly, you will interpret all of your findings and translate them into a creative representation in the medium of your choice. I m excited to see what you create! Requirements: 1. Short Story Review (see page 2) 2. Project. All parts listed below must be included as proof of process and learning a. Analysis of story elements (see pages 3-7) b. Analysis of author s style: syntax (see pages 8-11) c. Analysis of author s style: passage comparison (see pages 12-13) d. Literary analysis (see page 14) e. Creative interpretation: the sky is the limit! Open-ended means you get to think outside the box. It can be digital or touchable. i. Write concise explanations of the exhibition of learning as detailed in the instructions (see page 15) Note: For each of these written elements, create a new document and follow the format demonstrated in the models shown. For filling in the graphic organizers on the elements/devices pages, you can mimic the format in your own document, or open the Microsoft Word version of this document, copy and paste the organizer onto your own document, and fill it in there.

2 Page2 Part 1. Short story review format with instructions and requirements At the end of the short story review, include a Works Cited page for all sources you used to write the author s biography. Works cited page should be formatted properly and contain at least 3 credible sources (must refer to Paraphrasing/ Citing Research and Choosing Credible Sources PowerPoint on my website).

3 Page3 Part 2a. Analysis of story elements Literary analysis requires an inquisitive and open approach to studying literature. When a story is well-written, there must be a convergence of elements that work to create a unified, meaningful journey for the writer. Study the following diagram, which contains those elements of most concern to us in our current studies. In this portion of your study, take moment to carefully look at each, individual element that is present. Use the chart on the Elements/Devices page to guide your thinking. The chart is set up in TDEC format, but please remember that TDEC is not an inflexible formula that limits thinking; rather, it is a flexible way of looking at how we seek to reason all that we encounter. The chart offers prompts for thought, so be thoughtful, but also realize that you only need fill in what applies to the element and to your author and story in particular. Put an x next to any area in the chart work below that does not apply.

4 Page4 Story 1 Title, Author: Plot analysis. As an element of a story that is important for consideration, consider the elements of plot as they are communicated in Freytag s Pyramid, and fill in each element for this story. Borrowed from Exposition (exposes the protagonist, antagonist, characters and setting, setting the stage for rising action): Inciting moment/incident (reveals the central conflict and sets it in motion. There is no going back to the way things were before after this moment): Complication (introduces obstacles and/or secondary conflicts that are frustrating the protagonist and other characters in reaching their objectives): Rising action (reveals the path the characters must take in order to resolve conflict): Climax (incites the moment of greatest tension in the story. It is the breaking point, making it clear that something must be done in order to finally resolve the central conflict and create stability): Reversal (exposes the shift in power between the protagonist and antagonist; the protagonist gains the upper hand): Falling action (results of the climax make the story s conclusion foreseeable; the fallout ): Resolution (clarifies the solution to the conflict; problem is solved): Denouement (Wraps up the story, helping the reader to reach intended conclusions):

5 Page5 Elements/devices. Story Device / Element Setting Detail: Quote and line #s (l. or ll.) A quote that captures the relevance of the setting: Elaboration: HOW the Detail appears in The Odyssey Commentary: WHY does the Detail expose something about the element/device and its contribution to meaning? Why does it matter in the scope of the story s meaning? Brainstorming: Possible ideas for representing the story device / element in visual Characterization: indirect Characterization: direct Dialogue A quote that succinctly captures an instance of indirect characterization: A quote that succinctly captures an instance of direct characterization: A quote that captures an instance of dialogue that guides the reader to the author s purpose in a particularly meaningful way: Conflict: internal A quote that captures a pivotal moment of internal conflict: Conflict: external A quote that captures a pivotal moment of internal conflict: Theme: speaking to the mind A quote that captures a crystallization of a theme: Tone: speaking to the hear A quote that captures the author s intention in moving his/her reader: Thesis Statement: must communicate purpose

6 Page6 Story 2 Title, Author: Plot analysis. As an element of a story that is important for consideration, consider the elements of plot as they are communicated in Freytag s Pyramid, and fill in each element for this story. Borrowed from Exposition (exposes the protagonist, antagonist, characters and setting, setting the stage for rising action): Inciting moment/incident (reveals the central conflict and sets it in motion. There is no going back to the way things were before after this moment): Complication (introduces obstacles and/or secondary conflicts that are frustrating the protagonist and other characters in reaching their objectives): Rising action (reveals the path the characters must take in order to resolve conflict): Climax (incites the moment of greatest tension in the story. It is the breaking point, making it clear that something must be done in order to finally resolve the central conflict and create stability): Reversal (exposes the shift in power between the protagonist and antagonist; the protagonist gains the upper hand): Falling action (results of the climax make the story s conclusion foreseeable; the fallout ): Resolution (clarifies the solution to the conflict; problem is solved): Denouement (Wraps up the story, helping the reader to reach intended conclusions):

7 Page7 Elements/devices. Story Device / Element Setting Detail: Quote and line #s (l. or ll.) A quote that captures the relevance of the setting: Elaboration: HOW the Detail appears in The Odyssey Commentary: WHY does the Detail expose something about the element/device and its contribution to meaning? Why does it matter in the scope of the story s meaning? Brainstorming: Possible ideas for representing the story device / element in visual Characterization: indirect Characterization: direct Dialogue A quote that succinctly captures an instance of indirect characterization: A quote that succinctly captures an instance of direct characterization: A quote that captures an instance of dialogue that guides the reader to the author s purpose in a particularly meaningful way: Conflict: internal A quote that captures a pivotal moment of internal conflict: Conflict: external A quote that captures a pivotal moment of internal conflict: Theme: speaking to the mind A quote that captures a crystallization of a theme: Tone: speaking to the hear A quote that captures the author s intention in moving his/her reader: Thesis Statement: must communicate purpose

8 Page8 Part 2b. Analysis of author s style: syntax study through Author Aping In this exercise, you will be Author Aping. In other words, mimicking your author s style of writing and, in so doing, creating your own little creative snip-it of writing. This exercise has many advantages: 1. Critical reading. Through careful study and deconstruction of an author s syntactical choices in language use, we come to recognize nuance in the power of words and in their relationships to one another. These nuances are normally glossed over in regular reading. Exercises such as this help reveal that language is not simply words on a page, but they are symbolic of the human experience. 2. Critical thinking. Through careful study and deconstruction of an author s language and syntax, we come to better understand how and why language and particular structures work so well to communicate larger purpose as well as smaller themes. 3. Syntax. Through careful study and deconstruction of an author s syntax, we come to recognize that words alone are not enough. Without symbolic marks and structures that communicate our mental or verbal phrasing, which communicates tone and other subtext, and a thorough understanding of the impact of particular sentence structures on amplifying (or detracting) meaning, we miss much meaning in a text. When we miss this creative element of an author s writing, we miss out on half of the experience. In a sense, syntax is the ghost in the machine, breathing life into otherwise lifeless words, words, words (Shakespeare). The reader s ultimate goal is to have a rich, moving experience ideally at least with serious literature. 4. Grammar. Through careful study, followed by deconstruction and repurposing of an author s syntax through our own words, we learn the power of structures in language. When we borrow from them, we can begin to emulate their syntax structures in our own writing and in verbal persuasion as well.

9 Page9 Model: Author Aping illustrated

10 Page 10

11 Page11

12 Page12 Part 2c. Analysis of author s style: passage comparison In this exercise, you will be comparing two passages, one of each from two different works by the same author. 1. Type or locate/copy/paste two passages that are being compared. Set them next to each other using the columns function 2. Print 2 clean copies 3. Complete an initial annotation of each. Create some kind of system so that similarities can be categorized and organized. The goal is to BEGIN to see how the author wrote and how that shows up in both passages. Following is an example of an initial annotation of two John Donne poems to see what it this might look like

13 Page13 4. Complete a second annotation of each. a. This time, what is to be marked should be clearer because of the clarity gained in the initial annotation. Recommendation: color code and vary markings (wedge, underline, circle, block) items that really stand out as similarities, using the same coding for both passages b. Between the columns, list generalized similarities and differences Again, here is an example of what this might look like:

14 Page14 Part 2d. Literary analyses (Answer these questions separately for each short story; label which story each set of answers pertains to) Literary analysis: write a paragraph with at least 2 DECs each for each of the following questions: 1. How do the author s stylistic choices lead to creation of meaning? 2. How is the author s style inherently his or her own? 3. And how, between two different works by the same author, do authors still exhibit their style while perhaps tackling inherently different themes?

15 Page15 Part 2e. Creative interpretation 1. You will choose another method in which to communicate the following elements of the short stories you ve analyzed: a. The two different themes of the stories (one each) b. The author s style (as you ve analyzed it over the course of the project) c. At least three story devices/elements of your choice from the graphic organizer you completed (excluding theme/thesis) 2. Examples of mediums are: 2D or 3D visual representation (if flat: size should be half of regular poster board; if 3D should be no more than 1 ft high, 1 ½ feet long, 1 ½ feet wide), video (1:30 2 minutes long), song (1:30 2 minutes long), slam poetry (must be read aloud), and the list goes on. PowerPoints and Prezis will be off-limits for this portion of the project think beyond numbered slides! 3. Make sure every artistic choice you make has a purpose. There should be little to nothing that is not intentionally geared toward communicating your message. Just like when annotating and analyzing literature, consider how each small choice adds up to an overarching idea. 4. You will write explanations of how your artistic choices represent these elements in the following format: 1) [Insert story #1 title] Theme: (state theme) a. Explanation of how it s represented in your creative interpretation 2) [Insert story #2 title] Theme: (state theme) a. Explanation of how it s represented in your creative interpretation 3) Story Device/Element #1: (state which device/element) a. Explain how it s represented in your creative interpretation (should be relying on chart you already filled in) 4) Story Device/Element #2: (state which device/element) a. Explain how it s represented in your creative interpretation (should be relying on chart you already filled in) 5) Story Device/Element #3: (state which device/element) a. Explain how it s represented in your creative interpretation (should be relying on chart you already filled in) 6) Describe the author s style (as you ve analyzed it over the course of the project): a. Explain how the author s style is represented in your creative interpretation

16 Page16 CHECKPOINT DUE DATES Because this project has many parts, instead of having to do it all at once (or at the last minute ), we will break it down and have separate due dates for each element. Be sure you have completed each element to its highest quality before submitting; you CAN T go back and change an element after its due date, even though the presentation will be last! NOTE: All of the documents are due on turnitin.com only on the checkpoint dates below (excluding the actual creative interpretation which is due in class). On presentation day, you will submit a hardcopy of all of the written elements stapled together in order. 1. Part 1: Short story reviews DUE WED 2/3 OR THURS 2/4 (to turnitin.com) 2. Part 2a: Analysis of story elements (2 Freytag s pyramids, 2 graphic organizers) DUE TUES 3/1 OR WED 3/2 (to turnitin.com) 3. Part 2b: Analysis of author s style (syntax): Author Aping DUE TUES 3/22 OR WED 3/23 (to turnitin.com) 4. Part 2c: Analysis of author s style (passage comparison) DUE FRI 4/1 OR MON 4/4 (to turnitin.com) 5. Part 2d: Literary analyses DUE FRI 4/15 OR MON 4/18 (to turnitin.com) 6. Part 2e: Creative interpretation and written explanations DUE FRI 4/29 OR MON 5/2 (written explanation due to turnitin.com, creative interpretation due in class) 7. Presentations and HARDCOPY of all project elements (stapled together in order) DUE THURS 5/5 OR FRI 5/6 Please know that these dates are subject to change, but they should provide for you a general guideline of how much time you will have to work on each element.

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