EGL 1020 / Research Paper Assignment (Dr. Frank Edwards)
Length: 7-8 pages (including Title Page, Informal Outline, Draft Pages, Works Cited Page)
For this assignment, you will explore how a piece(s) of literature of your choice comments on prevailing social attitudes about a particular topic (marriage, women’s rights, race, etc) or historical event (i.e. American Civil War). In this paper, you will be blending historical/sociological analysis and literary analysis.
Steps to Take:
Select a story, play or poem
Say you wanted to write about “The Things They Carry” and its treatment of the Vietnam War. You could divide your topic into several subtopics---soldiers, bravery, purpose of war, etc. You would then research what people felt about these aspects of war while it was happening. Then you should look at how the story presents war. Is it challenging people’s perceptions or confirming them?
Where to begin
Start at the library. You want to make sure you use both of the library catalog and the online databases, looking at both journals and books. The following are a list of online databases, available in the library and through remote access from your home, which you might find helpful.
Possible Sources for Research Papers:
Fiction Writing Assignment: Literary Research Paper (Dr. Madachy)
Create a research-based literary analysis that examines one or more short stories we have read this semester. You may choose to compare/contrast issues (such as themes, characters, or point of view) in two or more texts, or write an extended analysis of a single text. Plot summary is not analysis, and should be avoided. You should only discuss plot details to support specific claims you’re making about the literary texts. You may assume that your readers have read the specific texts you are discussing.
Some possible topics include:
Whatever topic you discuss, the ultimate goal is to help your readers come to a greater understanding about the overall work you’re analyzing. Essentially, what’s the significance of the arguments you’re making?
All essays must provide textual evidence from the text in the form of direct quotes, which must be properly cited according to MLA style (refer to your grammar handbooks for more on MLA documentation). You must also incorporate at least three (3) secondary sources, also properly documented according to MLA style. There is useful information in Kirzner and Mandel’s Literature textbook in chapter 6, including a sample student research paper on pp. 102-108).
All papers are expected to be grammatically correct and create a professional appearance (i.e. your paper should be free of typos and other careless errors).
Approximately 6 pages, plus a works cited page
Major Literary Research Essay / Presentation (Prof. Robinson)
MLA format, 6-10 pages (at least 5 sources)
Using MLA format, type a 6-10 page (1,800 - 3,000 words) double- spaced Research Essay in 10-12 pt. font that asks and answers a research-related question related to a work of literature (poetry, drama, and/or short fiction) in Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing.
Thesis-driven arguments should fully develop a research-related topic using appropriate examples, and quotations. The paper should draw from at least 4 relevant sources beyond the primary text (5 sources). Support from primary source, history, current events—newspapers, magazines, academic journals, books, literature/non-fiction, government publications, websites. Use no more than 2 of the same type of source material. Consider your writing handbook (MLA). See example (Kirszner 34-39). Late papers will most likely not be considered unless under extreme circumstances, due to the class’s final session.
Presentations will be on one or more topics, or essays from the finished portfolio. Include a handout or verbally outline the breadth of the presentation. Presentations will be 5 min., covering the students’ chosen topics. Let me know if any media, i.e., overhead, computer, tape recorder, DVD, or VCR will be necessary.
Example Research Topic: Education
Example Research Question: How does education influence identity?
Example Research Thesis: Education influences/doesn’t influence personal/ideological, religious/spiritual, social/political, rhetorical, and vocational identities by…your argument here.