The subject will be the short story called “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston. ( Link to story if can’t find… )

– Do not use AI for any of the writing since this will be going through multiple AI detection programs

  • The essay must be a minimum of four (4) pages long, double-spaced. This means that the fourth page must be completely full or that your essay ends on the 5th page.
  • Don’t use any outside sources.

Introduction Paragraph

Your introduction should include and answer:

  • Introduce the short story.
  • Identify and define some of the principle tenets of New Criticism.
  • Describe and explain how and why you will use New Criticism literary theory and criticism to analyze the short story.
  • Introduce and discuss what literary element you will focus on to interpret the short story, either: plot, character, point of view, setting, theme, symbolism, language, structure, or style. You may only choose one, so please do not write on more than one element.
  • Construct an argument as to how your chosen literary element functions and the important role it plays in the story. This will serve as your thesis statement which should be placed at the end of your introduction.

Body Paragraphs

Your body paragraphs should include and answer:

  • Analyze and argue what your literary element symbolizes and how it functions in the story.
  • Identify and cite key passages in the story that serve as proof and evidence of your thesis statement, analysis, and interpretation of the story.
  • Include a minimum of three (3) examples with their own arguments as evidence of what your literary element symbolizes and how it functions in the story.
  • Identify which literary time period your short story belongs to: Modern or Postmodern.
  • Define and list characteristics of Modern or Postmodern.
  • Identify and argue how and what characteristics (minimum of 2) are present in your short story that make it belong to one or the other.
  • Formulate an overall and concluding interpretation about the story based on your analysis of the evidence of the role of your literary element.


Your conclusion should include and answer:

  • Restate your thesis statement and paraphrase your strongest argument.
  • Determine and explain what you got from the story: what lessons spoke to you most?
  • Examine your story and construct an argument that answers one of the following sets of questions:
  1. If you are writing on “Sweat”, does that story only teach us about the past? Why or why not? Can it teach us important lessons about the conditions in our country today? If so, how so?

Requirements:   |   .doc file