Hello! I am in English Comp. 1 and our professor has given us an assignment to do over the weekend. For the assignment, he has given us 10 short stories to choose from. Out of the 10, I chose "The...

Hello! I am in English Comp. 1 and our professor has given us an assignment to do over the weekend. For the assignment, he has given us 10 short stories to choose from. Out of the 10, I chose "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant. I have already read the short story, and I pretty much understand what's going on in it. But for the assignment, we also have to write an essay on the short story we choose. For the paper, he told us to write a "claim" and to support the claim. THIS IS WHERE I AM CONFUSED! What is a claim? How do I make a claim? How do I make a claim about this short story? And how do I incorporate it into an essay?  My professor didn't explain the assignment very well. And I am stuck.

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litgram1 | In Training Educator

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A claim is a statement that can be proven.  What your professor wants you to do is to come up with a statement about one of these stories that you then prove by supplying textual evidence from the story.  Guy de Maupassant's short story "The Necklace"  is about a woman who idealizes wealth while overlooking the "true" wealth that she possesses. Her husband.   The author uses irony to develop this idea.  A claim would be a statement about this that you develop in a paper.  

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roo14 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

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Thank you so much for your response! You explained it a THOUSAND times better than my professor did. 

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kandi125 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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A claim is an assertion of something as a fact. 

1. How do to make a claim? Firstly, you choose a short story you have read and are familiar with the characters, plot, mood and point of view, etc of the story. Simply you must have a clear understanding of the relationships among the characters and know what is happening in the story. This is necessary to ensure you can form a provable hypothesis or claim about the short story.

2. How do to make a claim about this short story? Based on the events of the story we can make a claim about why the writer chose to write the story, what idea is the short story trying to bring across to the readers, or if the circumstances of a particular character were different would they behave the same. For example, in the case of "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant you could make the claim that: 

a) The writer chose to write the story as an allegory to not only entertain readers but convey a moral.

b) It was cruel trickery of Madame Forestier not to tell Mathilde that the necklace was fake immediately after the formal party.

3. How do you incorporate the claim into an essay? After you have stated your claim and the main act in the story that caused you to form this claim in the introduction, you will elaborate on the specifics that support this claim by citing actions of characters in the story and making plausible inferences about the behavior of characters. Then you conclude by stating whether the examples from the story do or do not support the claim you have made about the story.

Sources:

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roo14 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

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Thank you for your response Kandi! Your step by step explanations were really helpful. I really do appreciate you taking the time out to do that. 

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