Analyzing Malcolm Aikman's 'The Columbus Raid'

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Writing Handout L-1 Analyzing a Short Story (10 steps) Step 1: Know the Assignment ― If you are assigned to analyze a short story, you are being asked to identify your personal reaction to the work and develop a clear explanation of your reaction, providing supporting arguments. You may be required to provide support from external sources (books, articles, etc.). These assignments are usually written in the third person, present tense. Remember: An analysis is not a simple recitation of the plot. Step 2: Read ― Read the entire short story, trying to identify the writer’s main idea. Step 3: Review ― Summarize the story in your own words, using no more than two sentences. Step 4: Read the story a second time to analyze how the author has supported his or her ideas. Take notes,…show more content…
evidence (examples, citations) IV. Concluding paragraph Note: Longer papers probably will have more than two body paragraphs. Step 5: Write ― Introduce the work in your first paragraph by identifying the title and author, possibly using the following format as a guide: Malcolm Aikman’s “The Columbus Raid” is a short story illustrating the plight of a young American who volunteers to help a guerilla group during the Mexican Civil War of the early 1900’s. At the story’s heart is a compelling depiction of the protagonist, Tom Mix, whose sense of duty conflicts with his love for one of the guerillas, Maria. Integrated into the plot is Aikman’s real theme of the camaraderie shared by those facing death and the need to sacrifice oneself for the good of many. Aikman achieves this effect through his use of character, plot, symbolism, and setting. Step 6: Support ― Write your body paragraphs following your outline, making certain that each body paragraph has a topic sentence and specific supports. Step 7: Conclude ― Write the final paragraph, restating the thesis in different words. Do not introduce any new ideas at this point. End with a statement that draws a conclusion.

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