​Option #1: Reader-Response Analysis

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Read “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez . Reflect and respond to the story by selecting 3-4 major ideas from the story. For each main point that you select, support that point with quotes from the story, and then share your analysis of how and why the main point and evidence/quotes/examples fit together.

Your submission should look something like this:

Topic Sentence: Character X is important because…
Cited Evidence: We see Character X fulfilling this role when he says “so and so” (Marquez, year, page or paragraph number).
Analysis: By making that statement, Character X becomes a major figure in the story because he is so and so…

This format is our basic academic paragraph, and we’ll use this format throughout the course for all assignments. Once you complete this process, look at the paragraph outlines and ask: what is the overarching theme of all of these main points? How do they tie together? Once you answer this question, write a thesis that demonstrates your overarching point—the point evidenced by your 3-4 body paragraphs.

You’ll return to this format in Week 5 to draft your thesis and first paragraphs for your final Portfolio, so really pay attention to the process of constructing those body paragraphs, then using those paragraph outlines to define and craft your thesis.

Remember that reader-response paragraphs are less formal than other types of academic writing. However, as we are working to master APA academic writing, please do not use first person, so no “I” in these paragraphs or in the thesis.

You may also choose to write from one of the following prompts:

  1. Explain how the concepts of good and evil coexist in this story, and which one you think wins out in the end. Use specific lines of text from the story to support your assertion.
  2. Does the fact that Marquez is a South American writer have any influence on the developments of this story? Does its international setting have any impact on the reader’s potential understanding of the story?

For a successful Critical Thinking Assignment, you must:

  • Have a strong thesis statement that you craft after constructing your evidence-based paragraphs.
  • Use specific textual support from the short story in the body of your paper.
  • Proofread for errors in spelling, grammar, and writing mechanics. Vary sentence structure and sentence length to add interest.
  • Follow correct APA guidelines with regard to font style, size, margins, and spacing.
  • Use APA when citing the text; include a reference page citation at the end of the paper for the short story in the anthology.
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