1. Speak of the author in brief:
• the facts of his biography relevant for his creative activities; • the epoch (historical and social background);
• the literary trend he belongs to;
• the main literary pieces (works).
2. Give a summary of the extract (or the story) under consideration (the gist; the content of a story in a nutshell).
3. State the problem tackled by the author.
4. Formulate the main idea conveyed by the author (the main line of the thought, the author’s message).
5. Give a general definition of the text under study:
- a 3rd person narration
- a 1st person narration (an “I-story”)
- narration interlaced with descriptive passages and dialogues of the characters; - narration broken by (philosophical, psychological, lyrical etc.) digression; an account of events interwoven with a humorous (ironical, satirical etc.) portrayal of society, characters etc.
6. Define the prevailing mood (tone, slant) of the extract. It may be lyrical, dramatic, tragic, optimistic, pessimistic, melodramatic, sentimental, emotional, unemotional, pathetic, dry and matter-of-fact, gloomy, bitter, sarcastic, cheerful etc.
7. Divide the text into logically complete parts and entitle them. If possible choose a key sentence (a topic sentence) in each part that reveals its essence. The compositional pattern of a complete story (chapter, episode): 1) the exposition (introduction);
2) the complication and the development of the plot (an account of events); 3) the climax (the culminating point);
4) the denouement [[pic]] (the outcome of the story).
8. Give a detailed analysis of each logically complete part. Follow the formula: subject – matter – form. It implies that, firstly, you should dwell upon the content of the part and, secondly, comment upon the language means (EM and SD) employed by the author to achieve the desired effect, to render his/her thoughts and feelings.