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Sample Discussion Posts

Lague 1

Sample Discussion Posts for Discussion 1 and the Mini-Essays

Discussion 1:

For Discussion 1, your initial post to the discussion should be an independent paragraph, about

150 to 200 words long. Start with a sentence that explains what the paragraph is about. Support

that sentence in the body of the paragraph, and end with a concluding sentence that wraps up the

paragraph. Make sure you write about what the discussion requires.

Discussion question:

After you have read through the material and links on this page, go to Discussion 1:

Literary Analysis. Your assignment is to post your ideas about what you have read, what

you understand and don’t understand. Post a question. Answer a question. Whatever it

takes to make sure you understand the idea of a literary analysis. You need to get a

conversation going about the material in this module. You may need to come back to the

discussion more than one time, spend time reading through what other students have

posted, and respond to what you have read.

Sample Post (257 words):

All the material included in sections “Elements of Literature” and “Writing about

Literature” was very helpful and interesting to me. Since I love everything that has to do

literature, I fell in love with all the information provided. As I was reading “Elements of

Literature,” I found some terms that I was already familiar with; however, many others

were totally new for me. Even though I like reading novel and short stories so much, I did

not know the appropriate terminology that is used to talk effectively about what I’ve

read. For instance, I learned the meaning of the term “plot” which is kind of the

backbone of novels and short stories. It was interesting how the plot in a story can be

graphed to follow the action in a story or novel. I suppose play’s plot works in the same

way. Using the appropriate language is very important especially when it comes to

writing about literature and trying to get our ideas across to someone else in the class or

to the professor. The part that shows the proper way of writing an essay in “Writing about

Literature” was very helpful to me, especially the part about how to support the thesis

with quotations because my big mistake is that I tend to paraphrase rather than quote the

author’s work. Writing is something that becomes kind of hard to me because English is

not my first language. However, all the information provided in the module it is going to

help me out while writing about literature.

Lague 2

Remaining Discussions:

The discussions that remain in the course begin with a Mini-Essay about 300 words long. They

require what any essay requires, an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, supporting

body paragraphs, and a conclusion. For the Mini-Essay, a short introduction with a thesis, one

supporting body paragraph, and a short conclusion.

Your Mini-Essay should answer the discussion question that is posed for the assignment. You

should think of it as short version of a literary analysis that will allow you to practice what you

have learned in this module and express your opinion about the literature in question. Here’s a

sample for a discussion question that asks students to discuss the issue of power in the poem

“Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Notice that it has three paragraphs (introduction,

supporting body paragraph and conclusion), that the thesis is at the end of the introduction, and

that the quotations are followed by parenthetical citations giving the line number(s) for each


Sample Literary Analysis Mini-Essay:

Powerful people sometimes forget that all people, rich and poor, powerful and powerless,

eventually come to the same end. It’s a good idea for anyone to keep in mind. If people

want to leave a legacy after the are gone, they should choose one that lasts. Power is

fleeting, though, and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem, “Ozymandias,” expresses that idea.

The poem’s speaker relates an account told to him by “a traveler from an antique land”

(1). He has no direct knowledge of the image he is about to relate, but the story has

caught his imagination enough to pass it. As he tells the traveler’s story word for word,

describing the remains of an ancient Egyptian stature that has been reduced to rubble. He

describes “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone [that] / Stand in the desert. Near them on

the sand, / Half sunk, a shattered visage lies” (2-4), the “wrinkled lip and sneer of cold

command” (5) still visible on the face. The speaker than brings the original sculptor

through the inscription on the pedestal. In reality, the inscription was probably

commanded by Ozymandias himself, the man whose “passions” (6) and mocking hand

and heart (7) were captured by the sculptor’s art. His inscription is meant as a warning to

anyone who would have challenged Ozymandias. It reads, “My name is Ozymandias,

King of Kings: / Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!” (10-11). Immediately

afterwards, the poem’s readers are brought back thousands of years to the present when

the poem returns abruptly to the speaker who proclaims that nothing remains of the statue

(12) and goes on to describe the desert surroundings. Nothing is left of Ozymandias or his

great kingdom.

By the end of the poem, the symbol of Ozymandias’ power has returned to the desert, just

like Ozymandias himself. Therefore, the readers of the poem are left to consider the

fleeting nature of power.

Lague 3

The numbers that belong in the MLA parenthetical citations depend on what type of literary

work you are analyzing. Here are the requirements:

Literary Work Default MLA Parenthetical Citation

Prose (novels, novellas, short stories) Page numbers

For example, page 7: (7)

Short Poem Line numbers

For example, line 3: (3)

For example, lines 3 through 5: (3-5)

Poem separated into numbered sections Section and line numbers

For example, section 1, line 12 (1.12)

Play Act, scene, and line numbers; if lines

numbers are not give, provide act and scene


For example, act 1, scene 6, line 5 (1.6.5)

For example, act 1, scene 8: (1.8)

Prose on a website Paragraph numbers (You will have to count

the paragraphs. The first time you provide a

citation, show that paragraphs numbers are

being use.

For example, paragraph 4: (para. 4)


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