Short Story Assignment

short story

Below is a great short story assignment I have created for an English class. It can easily be used in other subjects as well.

Please select 2 short stories from the following site to read:

Short Stories



Directions: After each short story you read (so you will do this assignment 2 times) you will need to complete the following questions:

  1. What is the name of author?
  2. Google this author and tell me in 100-200 words about them (DO NOT COPY AND PASTE summarize what you read).
  3. Please summarize the short story (in your own words) (minimum of 150 words).
  4. Did you like the short story, why or why not? (Minimum of 150 words).
  5. Write an essay on the following prompt: Using your summary and research of the author as part of the essay, explain what might have influenced the author to write this short story. Why was happening during the time period, what was happening in the author’s own life, etc. to help explain.  (Minimum of 450 words).
  6. Site your sources at the end of the essay in MLA Format.




MLA Format Reminder:

In upper left hand of paper:

Your Name

Teacher’s Name


Date (28 June 2013) (Just like this do not include a comma)


Title (centered) (No underline or italics)

Introduction paragraph

Thesis statement at the end of your first paragraph

Body paragraphs that tie into your thesis

Conclusion that recaps main points an thesis statement

Works Cited in MLA format

Please click HERE to visit Purdue Owl for more information on MLA format and writing examples.

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11 Responses to Short Story Assignment

  1. Hi Jenni,
    I really like this activity. It is a great way to incorporate the use of MLA. You always have great ideas for lessons. It has been very fun to read your blog entries!

  2. jenniborg22 says:

    Thank you! I think it’s important for students to learn the MLA skill early and continue to use it throughout high school and college.

  3. This is an outstanding lesson for life. Not only do the students have to read a short story, they have to write using a specific writing style used throughout their educational years.

    • jenniborg22 says:

      I try to make every writing assignment use MLA. The more practice students have with it the better off they will be. It really surprises me when I get a group of students who don’t know how to use MLA.

  4. I also like that you give students a choice in which short stories they read and use to complete the activity. I am sure they appreciate it as well.

  5. jenniborg22 says:

    I agree, Ashley. Anytime I can give my students a choice I think it’s a good idea. Students feel better when they have some control over what they are learning.

  6. Pingback: Wednesday Short Story Prompt #14 | We Drink Because We're Poets

  7. darlagrant says:

    I also use the Purdue Owl as resource for my students to help master citation. I have my students begin incorporating quotes in 8th grade, which they have to continue doing through AP, so citation is a big skill for them.

  8. I really like that you give the students some choice in the activity and you clearly set out your expectations for them as well. Nice activity!

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