Short Story Analysis Worksheet

Attached you will find a very useful worksheet which will help your students in grade 8 classes gather information and analyze the short stories they read in class. After filling these worksheets out, you should take them up on the board or overhead projector, with all students contributing as much information as possible.


SETTING: Briefly describe and comment on the setting in this story.  Is there sufficient detail to allow you to imagine where and when the action occurs?  Does the story keep you aware of the setting with reinforcing details throughout the story?



CHARACTERS:  Indicate in the space provided who the protagonist and the antagonist is.
PROTAGONIST – the leading character in a literary work.  
ANTAGONIST– a character in a story or play who opposes the protagonist.  
CHARACTERIZATION: Briefly describe the main character (protagonist).  Does the main character interest you?  If so, why?  If not, why not?  What use does the writer make of physical appearance, dress, behaviour, dialogue, narration of character’s thoughts – to portray the character as “real” and interesting.  What type of character is being portrayed in the story? (refer to the following chart)



The character remains the same throughout the story, unchanged by what happens. The character changes or develops in some way as a result of his or her experiences described in the story. The character is not drawn as a unique individual, but is marked by only one or two typical characteristics.
PLOT: Briefly outline and describe the plot?  Is the conflict clear?  Does the “trigger incident” occur early enough?  Is the exposition worked in a little at a time, or is it given in one solid block?  Does each incident relate logically to the next?  Does interest  mount as the incidents move toward the climax?  Is the climax interesting? plausible?  Does the climax make clear whether the protagonist wins or loses his conflict?



THEME: What is the underlying thought or attitude towards life which the story illustrates?  Note: this idea, or theme, may be light-hearted or sad; it may say, for instance, that excessive vanity can promote hilarious misunderstandings, or it may say that vanity is a weakness that can lead to suffering and death.



PERSONAL RESPONSE: How do you feel about the story?  If you like it, why do you like it?  If not, why not?