The Novel Above the Waterfall, analyzing one character

The novel essay is due February 4 by 11:59 PM to SafeAssign. The link to submit to SafeAssign and the Grading Rubric are below this assignment. You may NOT re-use an essay you have written for any previous class. Recycled essays will not be considered and will receive grades of zero.

For this 800-1000 word essay (not including the endorsement, which is the heading, or Works Cited), you will analyze one character in Ron Rash’s novel Above the Waterfall. Choose a main character or a minor character, and discuss this character’s development over the course of the novel. Avoid summarizing the novel–this is not a book report. Some examples of what you could cover in a character analysis are: what function does this character serve in the novel, and why is that significant? For example, is the character a catalyst, antagonist, protagonist, or foil? And, how does the character change over the course of the novel and why? What does this character show about the human psyche? What does this character reveal about society? What does this character reveal about social roles? Does this character fit into a specific role or does this character show that we don’t or shouldn’t fit into socially prescribed roles? What does this character reveal about a particular allusion, symbol, or theme in the novel? ***Don’t attempt to answer all of these questions in such a short essay–these are examples of the kinds of questions you may choose to focus your analysis. Review the “Character Analysis” document above.

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*Your goal is to write a well-organized, well-developed, correctly cited, grammatically and mechanically acceptable essay.

*Include an introduction with an audience attention-getter and a thesis statement.

*Write well developed body paragraphs with ample evidence (details and quotations) cited from the novel and supporting evidence cited from a TCTC library database’s reputable journal article about the novel or about a topic related to the novel, such as the Appalachian Region in NC, methamphetamine addiction, environmental preservation, etc.

*Transition smoothly between paragraphs and ideas.

*Write a conclusion that draws the analysis to a strong close, not merely restates the thesis or content of the earlier paragraphs.

*Websites are not allowed as sources. Please note that TCTC library databases are not websites, so databases are acceptable to use as sources.

***Do not Google information about the author or novel. This, at the least, could lead to a boring, thoughtless essay and, at the most, could lead to a plagiarism charge; instead, use your own thinking skills and research in TCTC’s library databases for one literary criticism journal article about the novel or about a topic related to the action in the novel to support your points. You’ll need to know your T# to access the databases. I highly recommend asking a librarian for assistance; you may chat with one on the TCTC library website, typing in the chatbox under “Got a question?”. Or, you can email our Embedded Librarian, Kultida Dunagin


1. Use the “MLA Formatting Example for 102 Essays” to format your essay correctly (see MLA Document Design and the formatting guidelines described in the “Policies for Assignments and Essays” in Getting Started/Course Info). Also, use the “Essay Outline Planning Guide” to help you plan your essay.


2. Title your essay creatively–do not give your essay the same title as the novel or character you are analyzing.


3. Use present tense (see examples in the textbook reading assignments and the documents “Ways to Quote in an Essay” and “Writing a Literary Analysis”).


4. Write in third person since this is a formal essay. Use “the reader” or “readers,” not I, me, my, you, your, or yourself, as in this example: The reader notices Ron Rash’s use of allusion in Part One when….


5. The first time you refer to the author in a sentence, use his full name: Ron Rash. After that, only use his last name in sentences: Rash.


6. Italicize the novel’s title, Above the Waterfall.


7. To support your analysis in every body paragraph, use quotations cited from the novel and quotations or paraphrases cited from a TCTC library database article.


8. Use MLA style parenthetical in-text citations for all quotations and paraphrases. See MLA Documentation Review on Getting Started/Course Info.


9. Integrate quotations smoothly into your sentences, punctuating and citing them correctly. Do not use long block quotations. Examples of integrating quotations are found in the sample student essays in CL Chapters 2, 3, 5, and 6 and in BCH Ch. 26.


10. Use an attribution to introduce the literary criticism author and his or her credentials and/or article title (if no author is given) when you first include it in your essay. For examples of attributions, read “Integrating Sources” in CL Ch. 6 p. 84, BCH Ch. 14d “Integrating Source Material into Your Writing” pp. 171-75 and Ch. 52a “Identifying Tag in a Quoted Passage” p. 560, and the Unit 1 notes documents “Writing a Literary Analysis” and “Ways to Quote in an Essay.”


11. Do not plagiarize. Please be aware that when you submit essays, they will be run through SafeAssign and will be checked for plagiarism. See the ENG 102 English Department Syllabus and the Policies for Assignments for consequences of plagiarism.


12. Create a Works Cited using correct MLA formatting for your sources: the novel and one TCTC library database article. See CL Ch. 7 for #5 on p. 99 and BCH Ch. 17 for how to cite a book with one author, and use the Citation tool found on the library database article to cite it correctly with the updated MLA 8th ed documentation style. Check the Citation tool’s accuracy with the MLA Documentation chapters in our 102 textbooks. List the sources alphabetically on the Works Cited, and use a hanging indent.


13. Revise the content of your essay, and edit your writing for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and correct MLA documentation before submitting your final essay for a grade. I highly recommend reviewing some of the PowerPoints found on the GrammarBytes website linked above this assignment to help you with grammar and punctuation. Also, double-check your file type, the length of your essay not including the Works Cited, and the formatting before you submit your final draft for a grade.

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