Four mini essays | English homework help

Choose any four of the short stories: 

1.The Tell-Tale Heart by Edger Poe

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2.The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula Kroeber Le Guin

3.A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

4.A Sound of Thunder –Ray Bradbury

5. Beyond Lies The Wub By PHILIP K. DICK. 

For EACH story: compose a one paragraph summary and a one paragraph response that argues for a main take-away point (see detailed instructions below). Word process all four mini-essays in the same Ms Word document, separating each mini-essay by using its title and author as headings.  


  • SUMMARY — In the first paragraph, briefly describe what happens in the story from start to finish, like a book jacket blurb, in 2-5 sentences max. The first sentence MUST identify the author’s name and the title of the story. The final sentence should make a claim about the meaning of the story (thesis). Be objective – no interpretive remarks! Skillful summaries cover the primary plot points, what we’ll call the “arc” of the plot.
  • RESPONSE has two goals: first, to describe your analytic response to some artful elements of the story and second to briefly explain what this reaction means — how does it influence your interpretation of what happens? The key to clearly explaining your response is to carefully examine what element in the story made the meaning “pop” for you – is it the setting, the narrative POV, the tone, a character, a plot twist or a symbol that most contributes?

*   Please keep the response focused on your ideas about the story (not your personal feelings or experiences). Remember to use present tense 

*  one single-spaced essay 

*  focus on the literary elements in the story itself and how you interpret the story as a result of these elements. Use the personal “I” voice. 


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