Detective Essay

The purpose of your first essay will be to practice the kind of close-reading skills that will help you develop into an active, engaged reader. It’s called a “Detective Essay” because you’re going to be performing the role of a detective by looking into an aspect of a story that an author has left for you to figure out. Like a detective, you’re going to look at evidence–in this case, details from the story. You should cite these details in your paper, using parenthetical citations. For the first paper, you will meet this challenge by taking the role of a detective who must solve a particular mystery regarding the story ” A good man is hard to find” By Flannery O’Connor Your mystery should focus on one of the following topics: What motivates a particular character? Why are these motivations significant? Are there events we don’t learn about or see clearly? Why are these undiscovered details significant? Does the writer intentionally make us see a character or situation the “wrong way? Why would the author do this? (The mystery here would be what is motivating the author.) Guidelines and Hints: Write the paper as if you are solving a mystery. Your thesis paragraph should state the mystery you intend to solve and why that mystery is important to understanding the story’s significance. Your thesis should suggest a solution. This is not a research paper—discuss only your ideas. Include a title that mentions the author and title of the work you are discussing (example: The Role of the Butler in Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”). Cite quotations in the MLA style. Do not re-tell the story in your paper. Instead, in your introduction, summarize the part of the text that highlights the mystery you intend to solve. The body of your paper should include the clues and evidence that you found. Clues and evidence will consist of quotations and details from the story. The paper must consist of at least 600 words and it must include a Works Cited page listing the story you have chosen to discuss.

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