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Literature: What Makes a Good Short Story?

Literature: What Makes a Good Short Story?

Using Susan Glaspell's short story "A Jury of Her Peers," this site explores the elements of good literature through the sections: Constructing Plot, Exploring Point of View, Creating Character, Describing Setting, and Analyzing Theme. Related Resources are also available.


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Jennifer Duncan
Jennifer Duncan (Faculty)
7 years ago

This is an intro to literary investigation, but it has almost nothing to do with Glaspell's text. There's the risk of providing too many brief mentions of other texts which students won't really understand if they've not read those texts for themselves which is disappointing because Glaspell's text could be used to show all of these basic literary elements. This is most like the basic overview chapter from an intro to lit course. 

Time spent reviewing site: 15 minutes
keene (Faculty)
15 years ago
Although this site promises to explore literary elements in the short story "A Jury of Her Peers," it doesn't really deliver on that. It does present basic information for novices about plot, character, setting, etc. However, very little of the discussion of these topics includes reference to Glaspell's story.

Technical Remarks:

Asks questions but provides no feedback to answers. One link says "see what others have said" but there is nothing there.
erin hovsepian
erin hovsepian (Student)
21 years ago
I spent two days searching for a potential site that could involve both the
teacher and the student and I believe this site fulfills the above requirements.
Students are able to read a short story over the internet and once the story
has been read students review the elements of a "good" short story. These
elements are covered in aspects like plot, point of view, characterization,
setting and theme. The above elements are re-examined through examples from the
text and activities such as: student comments, questions and answers, and
developing scenes.

Technical Remarks:

This site is helpful for the teacher as an initial introduction to students
about the elements of a short story and how to asses and possibly write their
own short story. This site is also beneficial to students because it is an
interactive site that has activities that may enhance the understanding of a
"good" short story before the students enter the classroom the next day. It is
a good introduction about elements to short stories that can later be
re-emphasized by the teacher in future lesson plans. This site could be
continually used by teachers if the present short story changes periodically so
students can adapt to on-line learning and use this site more than once as a
reference to short story analysis and writing.