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ENG 236 African American Literature - Short Story Research Paper

This guide is designed to help you complete a research paper about an African American short story in Ms. Suber's English 236.

2. Explore Your Story

After thoroughly examining your assignment, now it's time to look for some initial background or starting information on your short story. Many short stories have an entry in Short Stories for Students, which is a great place to start learning more about your short story. 

Analyze Your Short Story

Magnifying Glass

When and where did the story take place? (place and time)

What is the atmosphere? (historical / sociological)

How is the story told? (narrative / point of view)

What language is used? (style, tone, and irony)

Who are the main characters? (protagonist / antagonist / others)

Are there symbols used? (symbols)

How does the plot help the reader understand the theme?

What is the dramatic moment?  What is the conflict?

What is the moment of climax? (turning point / illumination / understanding)

How does the story end? (resolution)