First, you must show how and why your specific points are connected to each other and help to develop the overall focus or argument of your paper.

Second, you must provide evidence for the claims that you are making, which means looking closely at how the words in the story have led you to the claims that you are making.

Third, you must quote frequently from the story to support the claims that you are making, and you must show how and why the passages that you quote provide such support.

Fourth, the focus of your paper must be what the story itself is seeking to express. This means that you shouldn’t talk about how characters in the story might be understood if they were actual people.

For example, you might believe that there must be unresolved personal issues in the past that would help to explain why a person would be as cruel to his family as Abner Snopes is. But such a belief has no direct relevance to understanding how the story portrays Abner because nothing in the story suggests that we should see him as someone who has unresolved personal issues.