Drama Paper

Drama Paper

Intro to Lit-2203


Length: 2 ½ – 5 pages, MLA format, typed, and double spaced, size 12 font

Turn in: a paper copy and an electronic copy to SafeAssign.


In order for your paper to be fully developed, you must support your thesis with specific evidence from the text, including direct quotations and paraphrases.  Use MLA documentation, and cite your quotations parenthetically.

This paper must be your own work, based on your own analysis and insights.  Be sure to plan ahead and pace yourself; a hastily composed paper is seldom complete or effective, and a late paper drops 10 points for each day it is late.  Be sure to proofread carefully: grammatical and typographical errors will count against you.


*Outside research is not required, but if you do choose to use outside sources, you may only use one.   Do not use internet sources; rely on academic sources, such as journals and scholarly books.



Use numerous quotations and details from the work(s) to support your assertions.

Follow a three-step procedure:  make your point, use a quotation or plot detail to illustrate it, and then explain clearly and fully how this excerpt illustrates your point:


            Upon hearing of her husband’s death, Mrs. Mallard immediately reacts with an intense display of grief.  She weeps “at once, with sudden, wild abandonment” (552).  Although followed shortly by a pleasant awareness of her independent future, this initial emotion is genuine and profound




  1. Compare the wives in any two plays. Be sure your thesis makes a claim regarding the significance of the comparison.
  2. Write an essay examining the theme of gender in Trifles or A Doll’s House.
  3. Analyze the function of one of the following minor characters: Teiresias, Creon, Iocaste, Mrs. Linde, Krogstad, County Attorney. Your thesis should outline the functions of your character in the play. The body of your essay should amplify and prove the points about the character’s function(s), which you have raised in your introduction paragraph. The points you make should be founded in the play’s text or logically derived from the text.
  4. Write an analysis essay in which you single out an element of a play for examination—character, plot, setting, dramatic irony, symbolism, conventions, etc. Relate this element to supporting the play’s theme.
  5. Write an essay arguing whether or not A Doll’s House is a tragedy.



  1. Use present tense when writing about literature

Ex. When Jocasta discovers the truth about the prophecy, she hangs herself.


  1. Never use first or second person or informal language in a formal critical paper.  This especially includes statements such as “I think,” “I believe,” “In my opinion,” “We can see,” “In this paper I will show,” “You can see”…You get the idea.


  1. Give your critical paper a title that reflects the content of the essay.


  1. Make sure that your paper has a thesis sentence and that you support it with specific evidence from the text.


  1. Be sure to quote accurately.  Copy quotations exactly from the text. Enclose any change in the original in brackets [ ].  Use ellipsis to indicate omissions in the middle of a quotation:  Willy tells his boys that “the man who makes an appearance in the business world…is the man who gets ahead.  Be liked and you will never want” (1836; Act I).


  1. Lead in to quotations and put them in context.  All quotations must fit grammatically with your writing.  See LBH for a list of signal phrases.


  1. Don’t fill up space with plot summary.  Assume your reader is familiar with the play(s), and give only those plot details that are required to support your thesis or to put your quotations in context.


  1. You must include quotations, but don’t fill your paper with them.  About 20% of your paper should be quoted.


  1. Be sure that you use correct parenthetical citations and that you place them correctly. A correct citation for each play might look like this:


Oedipus the King– Line number(s)

Jocasta pleads, “For God’s love, let us have no more questioning! Is your life nothing to you? My own is pain enough for me to bear” (lines 140-142).


A Doll’s House, Trifles, Sure Thing– Page number

Nora insists, “Isn’t a wife entitled to save her husband’s life? I might not know very much about the law, but I feel sure of one thing: it must say somewhere tht things like this are allowed” (1699).


  1. Include a work (or works) cited page. You entries will look like this and be listed in alphabetical order by the playwright’s last name.


Sophocles.  Oedipus the KingLiterature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama,


            and Writing,  edited by X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia, 13th ed., Pearson


Longman, 2016, pp.1285-322.


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Last Updated on February 10, 2019 by EssayPro