Posted: October 27th, 2022

Discussion Board #6: Student Sample Essay


After reading the SAMPLE ESSAY, answer the following the questions. Remember to use complete sentences.

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If you need a quick refresher on the structure of an essay, be sure to check out the links on the START HERE page.

1. Looking at the introduction, does anything feel repetitious? How could the author possibly fix these errors?

2. Ideally the thesis statement should be presented at the last sentence of the introduction. Looking at the last sentence of the intro, what do you make of the thesis? Does it answer the “so what”? Can anything be improved upon?

4. The first sentence of each body paragraph of your essay should not only support the thesis but state the focus of each body paragraph. Do the topic sentences of the first, second, and third body paragraphs support the thesis? Does all of the information within each body paragraph stay focused on the idea presented in each topic sentence?

5. When looking at the information within each body paragraph and referencing your handouts about incorporating quotations, how can some of the quotes from the story be improved upon?

6. The conclusion of a literary analysis should provide some summary and final thoughts to drive home the idea presented in your thesis. Keeping this in mind, do you feel the author’s conclusion effective?

7. What would you grade this essay (A, B, C, D, or F)?

In order to receive full credit for this post you must:

  • Post your response to all questions. Your answers should be specific and use complete sentences. 

Sample Student Essay

Read the following sample student essay, and then head over to Discussion Board #6 to share your thoughts about it.

Anonymous Ally





30 June 2008


The “A&P” analysis


The A&P is narrated by a first person who is Sammy. Sammy is a 19-year old cashier at the A&P that lives near Boston. Sammy is a teenager who seems to work because they told him to and not because he wants to. He describes his point of view of everything and everyone who walks or is in the store, and tells the truth as he sees it.


            Sammy is clearly intelligent, although still uneducated at nineteen, and capable of creating striking images, such as calling a girl’s hair “oaky” and describing the sunlight as “skating around” the parking lot. He is opinionated, sarcastic, disaffected teenager with a healthy interest in the opposite sex and a keen observational sense. Sammy thought of his community boring with nothing to do. He sees most adults as “sheep” or followers “sheep pushing their carts down the aisle”, all indistinguishable from one another, and symbolizes every costumer. Sammy shows no interest in his job what so ever, he demonstrates that when he says he made up a song with the cash register sounds “hello (bing) there, you (gung)hap-py pee-pul (splat)”(Updike) Since he doesn’t enjoy his job he looks for something to do, he is the kind of teenager who notices everything around him. One day at the store three girls walk in with nothing but their bathing suits he didn’t hesitate to start analyzing them. He drinks in every detail of the girls’ physical appearance, from the texture and patterns of their bathing suits to the different boundaries of their tan lines “There was the chunky one; with the two piece … there was this one, with one of those chubby berry-faces … and the third one, that wasn’t quite so tall. She was the queen.”  He admires how she walked with such confidence even though what she was doing was wrong “She didn’t look around, not this queen, she just walked straight on slowly, on these long white prima donna legs.” (Updike). Everybody was staring at the queenie, but she wasn’t interested in nobody, she just kept going and doing her thing. Sammy was very judgmental while analyzing the girls “… I watched them all the way. The fat one with the tan sort of fumbled with the cookies, but on second thought she put the packages back.” (Updike).


Sammy is so obsessed over the girls that he forgets about his duties as an employee. Queenie, the attractive leader of the three girls, rouses Sammy’s desire from the minute he sees her. Lengel, the store manager, approaches Sammy’s checkout lane. Lengel embarrass the girls for entering the store in bathing suits, citing store policy. The girls are embarrassed, and Queenie protests that her mother wanted her to come in and buy some herring snacks. “My mother asked me to pick up a jar of herring snacks.”  Lengel confronts the girls about their skimpy attire, embarrassing them and angering Sammy. As the girls begin to leave the store, Sammy suddenly turns to Lengel and quits his job, ““Did you say something, Sammy?” “I said I quit”” protesting the way Lengel has embarrassed the girls. Sammy hopes the girls are watching him. Lengel tries to talk Sammy out of quitting, telling him that he will regret the decision later and that his quitting will disappoint his parents “I don’t think you understand what you are saying” Lengel said, trying to make Sammy to not quit.

As Sammy walked out the store it was the end for him. He quit his job. For one thing, Sammy is now outside the A&P, looking in. Even though he left the store of his own will, it probably feels lonely to be shut out of something he used to be a part of. He’s also outside the society the girls are in, a society that might encourage daring acts like wearing a bathing suit in public. As he looked inside and saw that Lengel was in his cash register he said “His face was dark gray and his back stiff, as if he’d just had an injection of iron, and my stomach kind of fell.” There was no turning back for Sammy because they had already replaced him.

 Maybe Sammy had a many reasons for quitting, one of them was to impress the girls, but that didn’t work out because the girls had already left. Sammy felt like he didn’t belong in that store that he wanted to be something more, than the people who worked there “Stokesie married, with two babies chalked up on his fuselage already, but as far as I can tell that’s the only difference. He’s twenty-two, and I was nineteen this April” He saw Stokesie like a grown man when he is only twenty-two, already had kids and he was working at the store. That wasn’t the life Sammy wanted for him. He didn’t want to stay stuck in a job he didn’t like and that he already was bored with it. He used the girls as an excuse to finally get out of there. But Sammy wasn’t sure of what he wanted, he wasn’t sure that what he did was the right thing “… I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter” Sammy’s self-satisfaction has been deflated, and he has learned that he is not able to negotiate every difficulty successfully.

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