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MY Final Essay: Analysis of a Play
Purpose: This assignment will enable you to discover how a playwright’s use of elements such as character, dialogue, setting, plot, and time period work together to enhance the themes of a drama. You will conduct a close reading of your chosen drama and discuss the playwright’s use of these devices in his or her structuring and composition of the scriipt. You will also incorporate at least one scholarly source into your analysis. Applying a close reading and composing a literary analysis will prepare you for the many texts that you will read, summarize, and discuss in your future studies and in the workplace.
Task:
Write an essay that explores how and why key elements such as character or symbols from the drama of your choice (Simply Maria, POOF! or “Thanksgiving”) relate to one or two of the themes from Unit 1 in a particular way, using at least one scholarly source. Review what you learned from Unit 4.1 Discussion – Exploring Themes in Drama. Some important contexts you may to consider are:
o The dialogue
o The setting
o The plot
o The cultural context
o The time period in which the drama was written (vs. the one in which it is set, if applicable)
• Review the pages Sample Play Analysis: Andre’s Mother and the Starting Your Drama Analysis Essay as guidelines for how to approach your analysis.
• Your essay should incorporate details and quotes from the play (using parenthetical documentation with the playwright’s name), integrate them logically and grammatically, and you should use your own words to elaborate on the function and meaning of the details and quotes you use as evidence.
• Apply what you learned from (LO 2) Unit 4.2 Discussion – Applying a Lens to Your Drama Analysis by incorporating at least one quote or paraphrase from one of the Research Resources for Your Drama Analysis Essay. Be sure to include an in-text parenthetical citation as well as a bibliographic citation in MLA format for your Works Cited page.
• Be sure to maintain an appropriate academic tone (no slang, second-person [“you,” “we”], contractions, etc.)
• Leave time to submit your draft to Free Tutoring at Tutor.com for review. Your tutor can help with thesis and content development, organization, grammar, and mechanics. Don’t forget that you can submit your draft to Tutor.com multiple times during the revision process!
• Please refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab for MLA formatting and style guide.
• Submit your final paper in the Unit 4 Essay: Analysis of a Play (under “Assignments”). Remember, your instructor will be able to see your Turnitin results – both your similarity percentage and any phrases or language that appear elsewhere, either online or in TurnItIn’s database of prior student work, so ensure that your work is scrupulous in its citations and adheres to the standards of academic honesty. Only appropriate scholarly sources are needed or encouraged and should be correctly cited. Plagiarism, as always, will not be tolerated. Please ask if you have any questions about citation or academic honesty.
When writing your essay, the goal is to demonstrate what spin the play has on one or two particular themes. Be specific about the ways the theme is used and how the play’s use of time period, character, dialogue, and setting develop a deeper meaning to the theme. Provide details, including cited direct quotes from the play. Don’t forget that you must comment on the quotes you use to explain why they are significant.
File submissions: Please submit your file as a DOC.X or PDF file.
Grading Criteria:
• The specificity and development of your synthesized ideas about the drama
• Your supporting claims, logic, and organization
• The quality of your writing, to include paragraph development and organization: topic sentences, conclusions, transitions, etc.
• Your engagement with the text (how you explain your examples, your choice of supporting quotations)
• Length Requirement: 750-1,000 words
THEMES YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM:
Love (filial, maternal/paternal, romantic, or platonic)
Alienation/Otherness
The American Dream/Nightmare
The Quest for Identity/Coming of Age
Conformity/Rebellion
MAKE SURE YOU PICK A DRAMA FROM THE SELECTIONS ADDED IN THE FILES ITS CALLED DRAMA SELECTIONS
“Simply María, or The American Dream” (1988) by Josefina López
“POOF!” by Lynn Nottage (1993)
Master of None, “Thanksgiving” (2017)

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