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1,250 words plus a Works Cited page; MLA format
DOC or DOCX format.
Your assignment begins with mastering the story “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver. You should know the story very, very well before you start writing the paper.
You will then go online to the BCCC databases and locate three peer-reviewed, literary criticism articles that make arguments about the story. The sources will have been approved by the instructor ahead of time, or the paper may not be accepted. Your best bets for databases are EBSCOhost, JSTOR, and Literature Online (LION). (Literary Criticism Online is also a possibility, but it tends to be difficult to navigate, so it isn’t my first choice). Do not use other sources, such as random blog posts or “example essays,” (ie: cheat sites), or your paper will not pass.
It may be difficult to find a common thread among the critics; if you can’t come up with a common thread, it’s okay to write a paper that discusses three different critical views of the story.
Using the sources you have found, craft a thesis — an arguable statement — about the story, and back it up with material from the sources, and specific moments from the story. This should not be an obvious statement (“The couple in ‘Cathedral’ isn’t getting along well” or linked to the author’s biography “The story ‘Cathedral’ reflects Carver’s struggle with alcoholism).”
Source 1.
Sasani, Samira, “Raymond Carver, Male and Female Intervention’s in Cathedral.”:
Source 2.
Ala Eddin Sadeq; Al Badawi, Mohammed, “Epiphanic Awakenings in Raymond Carvers’ Cathedral and Alice Walker’s everyday use”:
Source 3.
Peterson, Polly-Rose, “Psychological Distance in Raymond Carvers Cathedral”
This will show that you can locate appropriate sources and synthesize, paraphrase appropriately to make an argument. Use MLA.
This paper challenges you to read the story and come up with your own interpretation; to consider the interpretation of the critics; and then respond to the critics, citing evidence from the text (quotes and paraphrases). The evidence should be presented in a way that doesn’t just string quotes together, but rather, offers context (that is, uses the “quote sandwich”). You do not want more than 20 percent direct quotes.
Your paper should be written in a formal, academic tone, and primarily in the third person. You may use some limited first person in toward the end of the paper, where you offer your own contention.
The introduction: Open your paper with a brief overview of the critic’s main point. The introduction should name the critic, and give the title of the short story, as well as the author’s name (spelled correctly). This should be a clear, concise paragraph. The last sentence of the introduction should be your thesis: a specific statement of about the story, responding to the critic’s main point. This will be your thesis.
The body of the paper should consider specific points the critic makes, and discuss those points in relation to your own thinking. Each body paragraph should have its own topic sentence. A topic sentence is always a statement, so avoid questions and quotes at the start of a paragraph. Use quotes, details and examples later in back paper, to back up what you said in the topic sentence.
Remember: a literary response paper is essentially an argument: you are arguing that the critic is correct or incorrect, and backing up your argument with evidence from the text.
Your paper will be graded on:
– an accurate understanding of the story (the primary source);
-an accurate understanding and articulation of the critic (the secondary source);
– ability to take a scholarly stand and back it up with textual evidence;
– proper use of standard American English.


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