In our first unit, we learned about the elements of fiction; for this paper, you will choose a text and analyze one specific element: setting. You can choose to write about either Glaspell’s play  Trifles or Doyle’s novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. Once you have chosen a text, focus closely on how the author creates his or her setting, remembering everything we learned about different types (temporal, physical/geographical, etc.) and functions of setting.  

This is also a research essay, which means that you need to include secondary sources  (contextual, historical, critical). Your most important evidence in this essay will come from the primary text (quotes, paraphrases, references), but the secondary source material will also be vital to proving your point. For help on how to choose quality secondary sources, check out this week’s presentation. 

Your thesis in this essay should make an argumentative claim about how your chosen author establishes his or her setting, or about how your author uses the setting to accomplish something in the text. A sample thesis for this paper might look like this:  

Sample Thesis 1: In Trifles, Susan Glaspell uses the appearance and arrangement of various household articles to create a disturbing setting that mirrors the mind of the accused woman. 

Sample Thesis 2: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles uses Stone Age ruins to both support the plot of the story and reinforce the theme of the hold that the past can have on the present. 


For this paper, you must include at least three scholarly secondary sources. Scholarly sources include printed books and literary journals, reputable fully-online literary journals, and reputable websites (sites that end in .org or .edu). See this week’s presentation for help on how to choose good sources and use HBU library databases. All secondary sources and your primary text of choice must be cited in the essay and included on the Works Cited Page.  


The paper should be at least 1,000 words long and formatted according to MLA style rules. Use  Times New Roman font, 12-point size. Margins should be one-inch. All papers must be double spaced.


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