Essay using text: rubens, melanie, ed. the mercury reader – custom


Essay 1 (10%)

750-800 words maximum



 Specific Instructions:

Choose one (1) of the topics below to write your essay. 

Formulate your thesis and create your outline, which you will submit with your essay.

Cite from the text and make sure all citations follow MLA style; include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay.

Proofread and edit your essay for spelling, grammar, and content before submission

Sources:  You must only use the primary sources listed below. Both are located in the course textbook. Please do not use secondary sources.

text: Rubens, Melanie, ed. The Mercury Reader – Custom Publication. Pearson Custom





Boys and Girls




Both “Dane” and “Responsibility” have male characters at their centre. In David Adams Richards’ short story, the reader learns about a complex yet tragic character through the eyes of Jess, the narrator. In Russell Smith’s short story, James defends his life choices to his mother.  How are these two central male characters in the two short stories similar? Alternatively, you could argue that the male characters are different; if so, how are they different? Use quotations from the short stories in your body paragraphs to develop your ideas.


Both “Boys and Girls” and “Responsibility” deal with family relationships. Alice Munro’s short story deals with the relationship between a father and daughter while Russell Smith’s short story examines the relationship between a mother and son. How are the family relationships in these two short stories similar? Alternatively, you could argue that the family relationships are different; if so, how are they different? Use quotations from the short stories in your body paragraphs to develop your ideas.

You must use direct quotes from the novels/stories to provide evidence for your paper. Essays that have no quotes sources will not earn a passing grade. 

All quoting and paraphrasing must be properly referenced using MLA in-text/parenthetical citations.

An accompanying MLA Works Cited page referencing the novels/stories must be included.

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