Symbol and Figurative Language 

Write a two-paragraph discussion around one of the following prompts.

  1. What is theme in a story? Describe in detail a section from the story that supports your argument. (Choose one from Joyce, Sedaris, and Lahiri.) 
  2. Literature uses language in a way we do not see it used in everyday conversation. Describe how symbol or figurative language is used in the story. (Choose one from Joyce, Sedaris, and Lahiri).

Also, comment on two peers’ posts (preferably on a topic different from your own).

Use MLA in-text citation for textual evidence and prepare a Works Cited list for your sources (including the textbook).

Example on How to write an Effective Discussion Post?


  • Essence: Your post (and response) should be substantive (of substance) as well as substantial (of certain length). That is, in your post, you should be saying something of essence that gives your reader a clear sense of how you approached (or received) a certain reading. At the minimum, your own posts will be at least two full paragraphs (each containing 5-7 sentences).
  • Thesis: Your post should have a clear statement of thesis–a statement that presents a strong argument about a text/author/period/genre. The argument should be well-developed and supported by textual evidence or research.
  • Focus: Rather than trying to summarize the whole text, your post should strive to make some specific/unique contribution to the discussion. In other words, you will provide your interpretation of a reading that you truly feel is central to the understanding of a text, and that you feel like others might not notice it if you didn’t mention.

 Grammar, Mechanics

  • Language: Your post reflects the level of your engagement and seriousness. Therefore, you should compose them in grammatically correct sentences and logically complete paragraphs.
  • Vocabulary: Also, as a student of literature, your posts should display your knowledge/mastery of pertinent literary/critical vocabulary.

 Peer Comments

  • Your peer commentaries should be a minimum of one solid paragraph.
  • You should also maintain the same level of engagement and originality when you provide comments to your peers. You should make comments that add something new to the discussion and take it to a different level. Just saying “good job” or “I like how you say it” is not enough.
  • You should cite new textual evidence to comment to your peers as well. These quotes/references should not be already used by others.
  • Always address your peer by their first name and re-introduce the text and/or author and the main idea of your peer’s post to establish the context for your response.

 MLA Formatting 

  • In-text citation (with author’s last name and page number) will be a standard practice for any work done in this course.
  • Work(s) Cited list of all reference materials used at the end of each discussion post/written assignment. Yes, even for your primary source (or, textbook, myLearning resources, etc.).

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