Like poetry, the short story can pack a powerful punch in a limited space. Short stories provide great enjoyment for people who are not avid readers or who are too busy to sit down with a 300-page novel. This activity is designed to introduce you to (or reacquaint you with) this genre of prose literature and to give you some tools to more fully appreciate it.

Choose one of the following short stories to read and analyze critically.

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Rikki Tikki Tavi (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Rudyard Kipling)
The Gift of the Magi (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (O. Henry)

Read your selection and review the concepts and terms in Chapter 6 and the PowerPoint Instead of the critical analysis example at the conclusion of Chapter 6, which examines poetry, use the following categories as a guide in composing your own critical analysis of the selection: Genre: Short Story, Author and Background, Style and Point of View, Rising Action, Complication, Climax and Resolution, Symbolism, Personal Reaction. Minimum length of the critical analysis is one full page. Don’t forget to identify the values stressed in the selection and your own reaction to them.
Be sure to include a convincing, inclusive conclusion at the end of your critical analysis and a bibliography of at least two sources that you used to prepare your analysis, one of which may be the class text. Do not use and cite Wikipedia. Instead, visit the Excelsior College Library to learn about academic sources. The page on Evaluating Information Evaluating Information (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. includes helpful sections on “Print vs. Web Resources,” Evaluation Criteria,” Evaluation Scenarios,” and “Media Literacy.”
Memorial University of Newfoundland has provided this helpful resource: “Writing a Critical Analysis of a Short Story.”  You will find British spelling (Writing Centre instead of Writing Center, etc.), but the information may be very helpful for you as you approach your analysis of “Rikki Tikki Tavi” or “The Gift of the Magi.”  Writing a Critical Analysis of a Short Story (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Write a 500-750 word critical analysis. Follow the APA style

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