ENH 291 UP The Plot Setting and Theme in Cinder Elly by Frances Minters Analysis


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Formal paper that closely examines and analyzes a work of children’s literature.

Planning the Course Paper

* The subject of your analysis can be any work of children’s literature that you believe is worth your time and study. Your choice can be qualified in one of two ways:

  1. First,ifitislistedinthe”RecommendedBooks”listatthe end of any chapter in your textbook, then it is acceptable.
  2. Second,youcanaskyourinstructortoqualifyyourchoice. If you want to use a book that is not listed in your textbook, please ask for your instructor’s approval at least two weeks before you plan to begin the paper.

Note: Since you studied Charlotte’s Web and Julie of the Wolves in depth, these books are not acceptable choices for the Final Paper.

* To produce your paper, follow these steps:


* Analyze your book carefully. Identify its genre. (Be sure you can give some evidence from the book that supports your choice of genre; for instance, what makes it high fantasy or a folktale? Why is it a fictional biography?) Briefly describe the intended audience (age, interests, etc.).

* Analyze the literary elements apparent in the book. Write notes that analyze the major characters, plot, theme, setting, point of view, style, and tone. If you choose to study a book of poetry, you must analyze the type of poetry and the additional elements you learned about in Lesson 9.

* Select a focus for your paper. To do that, choose three or four of the literary elements that you find most significant in this

particular book. Your paper will focus on these points, so select several pieces of evidence from the book that will make good examples for what you will say about the element.


* Introduction. Draft a list of the factual information that you would include in your introductory paragraph: title, author, date of publication, genre (and evidence to prove that), and intended audience. Also, draft a statement (a complete sentence) that offers your opinion about why this book is an important work of children’s literature (this assertion is the unifying concept around which your paper will center). By writing this statement, you create the first step of your planning outline.

* With your list of information for your introduction and your assertion before you, you can now write a planning outline for the body of your paper. (If you have chosen three literary elements to discuss, you will have three central paragraphs in the middle of the paper; if you have chosen four, you will have four paragraphs.)

* Continue your planning outline by writing a sentence naming the literary element one of your paragraphs will discuss and stating why it (the element) is significant in the book. Under that sentence, list (a) the ideas you will use to explain that point and (b) the evidence from the book (quotations or description of content) that can illustrate what you mean.

* Finish your planning outline by repeating this process for each of your two or three other central paragraphs.

Drafting the Paper

* Using your planning outline as a guide, draft the body of your paper. Be sure that all of these paragraphs are more or less the same length and contain about the same number of examples.

* Draft the introductory paragraph. In two or three sentences, integrate the factual material from your list. End the paragraph with your assertion—your opinion—about why this is an important work of children’s literature (this assertion is the thesis of the paper).

* Draft a conclusion paragraph that will follow the paper. This paragraph needs to reiterate your thesis (your opinion about this work), reiterate the value of what you’ve said, and end with a final statement that provides a satisfying wrap up for the reader.

* For additional assistance in writing, grammar, and punctuation, visit Rio Salado College’s Online Writing Laboratory: http://www.riosalado.edu/owl

Revising and Editing the Paper

* Reread your paper, making sure that it fulfills all your intentions. Your draft should address the following items:

  1. Makes a positive statement about your book
  2. Illustrates your point by presenting and discussing

three or four literary elements that make the book what it is.
3. Leaves the reader with an understanding that this book deserves an important place in children’s literature.

* Reread the paper again, looking for sentences, which should be clearly or better expressed and for errors in vocabulary, mechanics, spelling, punctuation, etc.

* Prepare your paper for presentation by creating the following:

A Cover Page

* Center the title of the paper. In the lower right hand corner, include your name, the course, and section number, and the date.

Note: The title of the paper should reflect its content. For example:


Characterization, Point of View, and Plot in Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are


Style, Tone, and Setting in Burnett’s The Secret Garden
* Do not underline your title or use quotation marks around

it. Underline the book’s title only if you cannot use italics.

A presentation outline that uses this format and includes these sentences exactly as they appear in your paper:

THESIS: (insert the last sentence from the introduction here)

  1. The first sentence of the first body paragraph.
  2. The first sentence of the second body paragraph.
  3. The first sentence of the third body paragraph.
  4. The first sentence of the fourth body paragraph (if you

have one).

Note: This outline follows the cover sheet and precedes the paper.
A neatly typed (word-processed) paper on white paper with

normal margins, font style and font size, no graphics.

* Are you clear about the requirements? You will write a short paper that expresses your assertion that this book makes a worthwhile contribution to children’s literature and supports that opinion by showing how the book successfully uses three or four literary elements to do so.

HINTS: Don’t, for any reason, quote the dictionary. (It’s boring).

* Don’t say, “In this paper, I am going to . . .” or “The purpose of this paper is . . . .” Your purpose should be obvious but unstated.

* Don’t say, “In conclusion. . . .” That, too, should be obvious but unstated.

* For more help in understanding the full expectations for this paper, read the presentation outline below. It will give you a good sense of the content and organization expected in this paper. Also, consult the criteria sheet included with this lesson. Your instructor will use this criteria sheet to evaluate your paper, but you should use it first to plan the paper and assure yourself that your paper will meet all the requirements. Use it again when you finish to be sure you’ve accomplished everything you meant to do.

THESIS: Because this book creates a worthwhile experience that children from almost any geographic or cultural background can relate to, it deserves the high regard it has enjoyed in children’s literature.

I. White’s style—especially his use of figurative language— creates an imaginary world that children universally understand and accept.

II. The main characters, Wilbur and Charlotte, embody traits that all children would recognize and know are admirable.

III. The theme confirms to children that strong friendships

will help them throughout their lives.

The children literature book that can be used are:  Fanny’s Dream by Caralyn and Mark Buehner, Cinder-Elly by Frances Minters, and Bubba the Cowboy Prince by Helen Ketteman


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