Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 03:33 pm
Review the guidelines for the Topic Proposal for the Research project, especially those that concern appropriate secondary sources. First, provide a description (1-2 fully developed paragraphs) of the argument your Topic Proposal for the Research Paper will be addressing. Include any context for, or background about, the topic that will be important to your discussion of the topic. Next, provide a working thesis statement. This must be a statement, not a question. Your thesis statement could, for example, focus on the themes, motifs, style, plot construction, or use of symbolism or imagery in a primary text or texts of your choice. It would be easier and more convenient to limit yourself to material in the course anthology, but you may, with my approval, explore a primary text outside course readings. Then, provide works cited entries for any primary and secondary sources you have found thus far. Last, provide at least one paragraph for each secondary source that explains why you are planning to use it. Explain how it will help you support your thesis statement.
You may also include any questions or problems you are having – what kind of feedback from others would help you?
- This paper will allow you to investigate a single author’s work, or a pair of authors’ works, in greater depth. You may do this on any of the authors we have already or will read this semester. For authors we have not read, you will need to clear your topic with me first.
- This paper should be 1,250 words at a minimum, but no longer than 1,800 words.
- Your paper could focus on the themes, tropes, or use of symbolism or imagery, use of point-of-view, foreshadowing, or characterization in a primary text or texts (short stories or novels). It would probably be easier to limit yourself to material in the course anthology, but you may, with instructor approval, explore a primary source outside course readings.
- After selecting your subject matter, begin researching by using the Library’s literature-oriented databases. You will need to find at least three (3) sources of scholarly literary criticism that support your assertion. You must integrate these secondary sources into your analysis of your primary source(s). Informative and narrative research papers are unacceptable.
What You Should Do
- Make sure to review the grading rubric (see the attached PDF).
- Make sure that write about all texts using what is termed the “literary present tense.”
- Do not use either the first- or second-person voice in academic writing unless it occurs within a direct quotation.
- Only the titles of longer works (books, films, TV series, journals, albums, etc.) should be italicized. Underlining is no longer used. Bold font is not required.
- Your essay’s title (for this class, never title your essay after the assignment itself) needs no special formatting unless it contains the title of another work, which should then be formatted per MLA guidelines, e.g.: A Fifty-Year Vintage in Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” Reconsidering “A Rose for Emily”: the Camouflage of Antebellum Ideals.
- Make sure all papers have an introduction that makes a debatable claim or proposal (your thesis statement), a set of body paragraphs (with each having a single focus), and a conclusion that brings closure to your paper’s interpretative claims.
- Make sure that your paper has the proper header—your last name and the page number—in the header field, not the body, and which uses the same font as the rest of the paper.
- Make sure that your paper has the proper heading: this material begins on the very first line of the page, flush with the left margin, and includes the following:
28 July 2016
- Note that the date is recorded in the European format, Day Month Year and that all months except May, June, and July are abbreviated. Also, there should be no extra spacing between the heading and the title; just hit “enter” and type the title, which must be centered.
- Double-space all work.
- Document all borrowed passages, claims, or ideas—whether quotation, paraphrase, or summary—each time using parenthetical citations that point to specific works cited entries.
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