In short story essay writing, you can help jump-start the creative juices needed throughout the writing process by taking advantage of these unique prompts and turning them into topics.
You can also try different things, like reading, watching movies, listening to music when looking for inspiration.
Our team as my homework help has compiled an illustrative guide on how to write a short story as well as examples to take you through.
Table of Contents
Definition of a Short Story Essay
A short story essay is an essay that focuses on a specific topic or theme, usually derived from a work of short fiction.
This is a common type of assignment in both high school and college.
A short story objective is to apply a message or moral lesson behind the piece of literature to the reader’s life.
Close reading, analysis, interpretation and explanation are required in order to establish connections between characters, events, themes, symbols, motifs, and other components within the narrative arc.
The ultimate objective is to use these connections gain better understanding of the narrative structure and authorial intent, and then to make meaning from it all for oneself.
Purpose of Writing a Short Story Essay
The basic purpose of any short story essay is self-development that is to learn more about oneself by exploring how literature shapes one’s personal experiences and vice versa.
In this sense, creating meaning out of texts can be highly therapeutic.
Grappling with ideas and interpretations helps us better understand our internal worlds as much as our external ones through encouraging dialogue between ourselves and others that may include peers, instructors, and so forth. This can lead to constructive conversations that inform collective action when necessary or simply provide comfort when not required otherwise.
Moreover, we also gain essential skills by learning how to write a successful short story essay. You also learn other writing skill such as how to write an argumentative essay or how to write a cause and effect essay.
Example of such skills include; critical thinking, which allows us to access deeper knowledge beyond what’s immediately visible on surface level, problem solving abilities, improved communication capabilities, stronger creative expression via literary devices utilized throughout the writing process, and the increased confidence needed when tackling new subject matters at hand.
How to Write a Short Story Essay
A. Brainstorming Ideas & Selecting the Topic
The first step in writing any short story essay is to brainstorm ideas and select a topic that stands out from the rest.
Consider, experiences, events, characters, or themes that have personally resonated with you in some way. It may be emotional, intellectual, or spiritual. Use them as springboards for further exploration through writing.
B. Outlining the Story Structure
- It’s time to begin outlining the structure of the story before any actual writing takes place once an idea has been chosen. Therefore, it’s important to note that planning is key!
- Start by sketching out plot points with main goals and conflicts; develop characters (background stories and motivations). Set the tone by introducing imagery and or metaphors.
- Establish relevant themes as you think about how each scene could naturally move forward. Furthermore, set up narrative arcs accordingly.
- Then, connect everything together at the end on the basis of how you prefer the protagonist to end up (if that’s the case). All of these factors are significant and must be considered when developing the schedule for this short story essay project.
C. Writing the Narrative/Descriptive Elements
It’s time to make connections between pieces of the outlined plot through descriptive language such as words related to senses, colors, sounds, and smells that we know what needs to happen within our story structure.
Moreover, the reader should be able to obtain a deeper grasp of character motives while also building the greater context surrounding the narrative components contained here.
D. Crafting an Engaging Introduction and Conclusion
After completing the majority of the task, which includes researching sources and providing additional information required to complete the paper writing, the composition style should represent the work put out throughout the entire process.
So far through the introduction, hook readers and pull them through the body and conclusion. Furthermore, tie up loose ends and tie everything together elegantly, while making a remark on larger implications discussed in the piece itself and doing so persuasively.
How Do You Address (Cite) a Short Story in an Essay?
Using MLA Formatting Bibliography
The full name of the author and title of the work should appear in parentheses when citing a short story written by an author, Dahl,
For example, “Lamb to the Slaughter,” then, at the end of your essay, include a bibliographical entry for each source you used. Make sure they follow the guidelines of the Modern Language Association. These entries usually include, in this order: Author’s Last Name, First Name
“Title of Work.” Title of Container/Anthology, edited by Editor’s First Name If applicable, list the last name or other editors, followed by a version number such as 2nd ed., publisher location (city, state abbreviation, colon, publisher name, comma, year published period).
Using APA Formatting Reference List
Reference list entries come after the text is done in the American Psychological Association format which is different from the MLA format.
This follows a slightly different set of rules, therefore, when citing short stories, the APA style writing guide convention calls for listing the author’s last name, first initial, and then the title, with single quotation marks following. In the collected anthology, any pertinent publishing information is italicized, and the date is included in square brackets.
Short Story Essay Topics
A. Romanticism and Realism in Literature
Romanticism vs. realism is a topic often explored in literature. Readers can identify which school of thought an author follows and why they chose to do so (that is, to make a political statement or explore their own emotions, by examining how characters, settings, and plot points are handled within short stories).
For example, in “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character’s psychological journey from optimism to disillusionment has elements of romanticism. While in “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl, themes of justice and retribution are employed to explore the harsh realities of human nature in a straightforward way.
B. Gender Roles in Literary Texts
Gender roles have been around since the beginning of time, however there are still numerous variations to these generally accepted conventions worth discussing today. This is especially true when you consider that certain gender expectations play a big role in how characters develop in stories, both old and new.
Compare Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill,” in which the main character tries to find her place in a changing world by relying on gender stereotypes, to H. G. Wells’ classic horror story “The Red Room,” in which the female protagonist succeeds where her male counterparts fail by defying convention, despite the odds.
C. Exploring Concepts of Human Nature
Human nature has long piqued the curiosity of authors who wished to learn more about the complex causes underlying our daily behaviors and desires. Human behavior and mental processes remain an evergreen source yet because everyone has an individual way of dealing with the same situations.
When writing short story essays, students can talk about a wide range of topics, including fear, hope, faith, love, relationships, belief systems, and even death.
D. Investigating Connotations of Symbolism
Symbols are powerful tools that authors use when writing stories because they can show deeper meanings than words alone. This is actually so if the symbols have personal meanings for the author. This allows the author say more without having to explain every single detail.
In Charles Dickens’s “The Signalman,” for example, the railroad setting stands for danger and foreboding, while the hero’s attempts to figure out what’s going on help him understand the relationship between life and death, which leads to a happy ending. In contrast Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” employs a lot of symbols to demonstrate that individuals aren’t always honest with themselves. For example, a forest or darkness might represent purgatory both physically and metaphorically.
E. Moral Ambiguity Within Drama
Dramas are hard to write because the goal is often to make readers feel something. Nonetheless, moral ambiguity adds another degree of complexity to stories, making it more intriguing to investigate how characters come to make the decisions they do as their story arcs progresses.
With this in mind, consider Roald Dahl’s classic “Lamb to the Slaughter,” in which the main character’s supposed innocence hurts those around her, or Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill,” in which the situation isn’t resolved until the end, leaving it open to different interpretations that could lead to different conclusions.
F. The Effects of Historical Context on Fiction
It’s important to remember that the historical context of a piece of literature, even something as simple as a short story, is a big part of what the audience expects and how the author sets the tone.
Literature has such a wide reach that it can tap into the collective consciousness. This implies that themes from a specific historical period may reveal a lot about society’s beliefs and conventions at the time the work was created. Examining what has remained constant throughout history allows us to draw parallels with our own age reflections of the past.
Short Story Essay Examples
“Cup of Tea” by Katherine Mansfield
In her short story “Cup of Tea,” Katherine Mansfield explores the idea of class differences and how they shape our lives in subtle ways. We get a feeling of how the main character comes to grips with the restrictions that her station in life imposes on her via her inner fight to accept the social standards that society has imposed on her.
Tea, which has long been associated with British high society, is used as a symbol to get these deeper messages across without saying them outright.
“The Red Room” by H G Wells
“The Red Room,” a classic horror story by H.G. Wells, is set in an old castle known for strange things that happen there and scary stories about it. However, behind the surface comes a far deeper message about the fears and doubts that plague us all including the bravest of us.
It helps readers to understand how complicated (and sometimes dangerous) human psychology can be, even when the odds seem impossible to beat by adding things like supernatural forces, or mental states.
Lamb To The Slaughter Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter” relies heavily on themes of justice and retribution and provides commentaries surrounding topics like loyalty and trust between partners. Mary Maloney, as the title suggests, takes matters into her own hands, eventually killing her husband, Jack.
Thus, narrative serves to investigate duality in nature, with some themes implying that, while things are black and white, there is still room for morality, which left open the interpretation debate.
A Cup of Tea: A Short Story Essay
In “A Cup of Tea” by Katherine Mansfield, a young woman named Rosemary is confronted with the realities of class in British society while out shopping for a teacup.
Through her experience at the store, she comes to grips with how her place in social standings limits her alternatives and restricts her capacity to make choices that would otherwise be freely available if she were born into a higher social class.
The meaning behind a cup of tea is like a metaphor for this way of thinking, since it represents both the elegance and delicacy of the upper classes and a sense of acceptance and belonging.
Rosemary implies that she has come to accept these restrictions placed upon her despite their unfairness by choosing not to purchase the teacup, yet still manages to find comfort in them due to their familiarity.
Summary & Conclusion
Short stories are a great way for authors to explore ideas about society, human nature, and morality in a concise way that still leaves a lot of room for readers to make their own meanings.
We can figure out what the author is trying to say or show us by looking at aspects such as plot, characters, and symbols.
In addition, we can learn more about how these pieces fit into larger contexts by comparing different examples from different genres such as romance and horror.
Moreover, citing them correctly (using MLA or APA format) makes it easier to understand when referencing works when writing an essay. In conclusion, writing short story essays is an excellent approach for people to develop their creative skills by writing about topics that are important to them.
This article provided an overview of a wide range of viable topics and explained the fundamental steps one requires to produce a good piece. A good-form topic could be almost anything, as long as it has literary value and follows the rules well.
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