Research paper

  • Topic: Annabelle lee by edgar allen poe
  • Style: MLA
  • Number of pages: 4 pages/double spaced (1100 words)
  • Number of source/references: 3

Assignment Description The documented essay gives you the chance to explore in-depth, and present with, confidence, an inspired, elegant, and spirited argument about a topic you research related to either a fiction writer or a poet from our book whose work impresses you most, by marshalling the writer’s primary work and two scholarly resources to support your ideas, using proper MLA citations, and a Works Cited. Your essay must be on a different author/literary work from any previous essays you’ve written on in the course. Each paper you write for the course must be on a different author/literary work. The essay should reveal and discover why the writer shows literary merit and excellence by presenting clear and meaningful interpretations from the research and the literary work. The paper should explore how a specific and relevant context (artistic elements of form, social, cultural, historical, political, psychological, religious, milieus, situations, circumstances, etc.) informs the writer’s work to help the reader better understand, and better experience, or at least imagine, and appreciate the underlying meanings and connections between the writer and the literature. Take care that you don’t produce a report or mere regurgitation of facts found in research. You may find chapter 45 particularly useful for the short descriptions of critical literary approaches that could help to shape your argument: historical, psychological, mythological, sociological, gender, cultural, or deconstructionist. Understand the chapter gives general descriptions of the literary theories and as any theory goes, the theory you may think initially works, may not turn out to work best after you begin researching. Be flexible and consider the approaches as frameworks to help direct your thoughts about the writer and his/her work, as you start researching. Perhaps you may want to utilize a perspective to guide your preliminary research to see if scholars discuss your author and work within a perspective; if you find one approach does not work, simply switch to another angle if you notice sources emphasize your author and work within another context. Knowing these contexts and theories exist also helps you understand references to the language scholars often use in their criticism so you gain a fluency with their discourse. Your Research Project is worth 25% of your Final Grade and averages the following PROCESS WORK: Topic Proposal and Bibliography(25 points) Documented Essay Final Draft(100 points) But how do you go about doing it all?… Learning How to Teach Yourself From the outset, keep in mind one important point: Writing a research paper is in part about learning how to teach yourself. Long after you leave college, you will continue learning about the world and its vast complexities. There is no better way to hone the skills of life-long learning than by writing individual research papers. The process forces you to ask good questions, find the sources to answer them, present your answers to an audience, and defend your answers against detractors. Those are skills that you will use in any profession you might eventually pursue. Steps to Writing the Research Paper To write first-rate research papers, follow the following simple rules—well, simple to repeat, but too often ignored. 1. Identify a Topic by doing Preliminary Research, thinking hard, & asking for help. At the beginning of a course, you will probably not know enough about the major scholarly topics that are of most importance in the field, the topics that are most well-covered in the secondary literature or the topics that have already had the life beaten out of them by successive generations of writers. You should begin by doing some general reading in the field. If nothing else, begin with the preliminary sources such as biographical sources and introductory materials about the author and his/her work (overviews, summaries, biographies, etc.). Such preliminary sources provide a wonderful but sadly neglected resource. Read a few books or articles on topics we are studying if you don’t know who any of them are to better understand who they are so that you can develop and find an interest in someone. Follow up the suggested reading on the course syllabus or the footnotes or bibliographies of the texts you are reading for the course. After that, speak with me (your professor) about some of your general ideas if you get stuck, and the possible research directions you are thinking about pursuing. And you should do all this as early in the course as possible. 2. Create a Clear Research Question. A research question, at least in literature, begins with the word “why” or “how.” Think of it as a puzzle: Why did a writer’s literature or literary work turn out as it did and not some other way? Why does a literary pattern (symbolism, metaphor, tone, form, etc.) exist in the writer’s literature (i.e. why does the writer use a specific style)? How is the writer’s work affected by their connection to their involvement in a literary and cultural movement? How has the writer’s work changed from one period to another/over the course of their life? The question can be general or specific. What makes this work particularly successful in its literary tradition? How is the historical/social/cultural/political situation informing or affecting or related to or relevant to the writer’s work? Is the writer’s life (biography) directly related to or relevant to his/her work? The point is that you should attempt to identify an appropriate context, either: novel trends, developments or outcomes (historical/cultural/psychological, etc.) in the writer’s world/life that are not readily apparent (the “how” questions), or the causes, reasons of the literature/the literary work’s stylistic patterns and aesthetic trends (literary devices) (the “why” questions). Literary scholars and critics—work on both these kinds of questions. In the best published literary criticism, you will be able to identify a clear “how” or “why” question at the heart of the research. At this point, you would want to remind yourself of the critical literary approaches that can best help you angle your argument. (Go back to Chapter 45 to familiarize yourself with the general concepts and how critics approach work.) Is the writer’s work informed by a historical or cultural moments? Do the critics focus their discussions on a psychological approach? Do they seem to talk about the writer’s work by the way it uses particular stylistic trends? Follow the breadcrumbs. Notice how the criticism keeps discussing the writer and his/her work. Follow them. You may originally have wanted to discuss the writer’s personal life, but if the critics don’t, then you’ll need to abandon your original approach and move on. Look at where the critical discussion is actually located and read the perspectives about the writer/his/her work. Learn something new about their work so that you’re accurately informed about why and how their work developed– what were the causes and reasons for their work. Was it a historical situation? Read and see. “How” and “why” questions are essential because they require the author to make an argument. Research questions that do not require an argument are just bad questions. For example, a paper on “What happened during Robert Frost’s life?” requires the author to do no more than list facts and dates—a good encyclopedia entry, maybe, but not a good research paper. “What” and “when” questions are only the starting point for writing research papers. Obviously, you need to have a firm grasp of the facts of the case, but you must then move on to answer a serious and important “why” or “how” question in the paper itself. 3. Do Real Research. “Real research” means something other than reading pulling information off the Internet. Real research means using credible primary sources and secondary sources. After you’ve established a clear and logical approach to take with your author, and you understand what context informs their work, you locate and confirm your secondary sources that support that context. What counts as a primary source and credible secondary source, and what purpose do they serve in your paper? For our purposes and this assignment, your sources include: One Primary Source. An author’s work from our book. EITHER ONE story OR ONE poem If you’re researching a fiction writer, you use one story by that author. If you’re researching a poet, you use one poem by that poet. Two Secondary Sources. Library Research. TWO scholarly, academic articles/periodicals of criticism in print (if the library is safely accessible) and/or from the library’s databases You may not use any websites. Throughout the body of your paper you fuse your sources together, rotating them, in a harmony. As you direct their critical conversation, with your interpretations and explanations after each quote you give, you keep expressing how they develop your original thesis, and thus keep progressing that idea, slowly and carefully—creating complexity. Your goal is to support and develop your thesis/argument by interpreting connections that synthesize the primary literary work and the critical secondary material. The best primary sources (stories and poems) are major works by the author that give you the best scholarly secondary criticism (ample amounts of library resources). Sometimes we want to research something, but there are not any resources, or there are not enough. Confirm, early on, criticism exists on the story or poem before moving forward. If you do not know if criticism exists on your author’s work, then go look. In your preliminary research, you should endeavor to ensure you confirm the story or poem you want to write about has ample amounts of library articles in books and/or on the library databases that are relevant/you would like to use. Critics do not write about every single story or poem and you cannot do research on something that has no critical materials. Before you begin, make sure you can even do research: make sure there’s criticism on the story or poem. Part of being a responsible and creative scholar is figuring out how to assemble enough evidence using the skills and resources that you possess to make a clear and sustainable argument based on powerful and credible sources. 4. Make an Argument. Unfortunately, many undergraduate research papers are no more than glorified book reports. You know the drill: Check out ten books (in English) from the library, skim through three of them, note down a few facts or mark some pages, combine the information in your own words, and there you have it. This will not do. Your paper must not only assemble evidence—the literary work (primary) + the two critical interpretations (secondary) about the author and his/her work—but it must weave together (synthesize) these ideas so that they form an argument that answers the research question. There are no once-and-for-all answers in any scholarly field, but there are better and worse arguments. The better ones have powerful evidence based on reliable sources, are ordered and logical in the presentation of evidence, and reach a clear and focused conclusion that answers the question posed at the beginning of the paper. In addition, good arguments also consider competing claims: What other counter-arguments have been put forward (or could be put forward) to counter your points? How would you respond to them? In fact, consideration of counter-arguments is often a good way to begin your paper. How have scholars normally accounted for an event or trend that spurred the author’s work? What are the weaknesses of their accounts? What evidence might be marshaled to suggest an alternative explanation? How does your account differ from the conventional wisdom? Structure and Organization To help mold the structure and organization of your paper, and ensure the essay maintains a formal essay structure with focused paragraphs and logical ideas; and transition meaningfully, I provide you with a separate printable, hard copy, and downloadable handout: Literary Research Paper Structure. The Literary Research Paper Structure gives you detailed, descriptive paper template to direct you as you develop each paragraph, explaining what information to include, and where to include the information. Using your own outline should give you a significant advantage when drafting. 5. Write Well. Writing well means presenting your argument and evidence in a clear, logical, and creative way. An interesting argument cloaked in impenetrable prose is of no use to anyone. Sources must be accurately and adequately cited and documented using the most recent and recognized MLA in-text citation style. The writing style must be formal and serious. These are only a few guidelines on how to write research papers. You will no doubt develop your own styles, rules, and techniques for doing research, making arguments, and presenting the results of your work. But if you follow the commandments above, you will be well on your way to writing good research papers—and hopefully learn something about an important writer and how their literary style works within a critical (historical or social) context along the way. Documentation Your paper must document and use sources effectively using in-text citation in MLA format. Signal phrases must introduce each quote, paraphrase, and summary. The paper may not pad with ginormous block quotes (i.e. you may not include block quotes). Learn to paraphrase/summarize large chunks of information or quote the absolute necessary (and document). Body paragraphs should show a blend and balance of your primary and secondary sources throughout the essay. Frequently and equally refer to each source. Give close critical examination of each source & ensure a clear contribution and purpose to the argument. Audience and Tone Write in Standard English with a formal, academic tone. Click here for helpful review. Do not use a conversational or informal usage that conjugates pronouns such as the “I,” “you,” “we,” or “they.” Avoid vague references to “it,” “that,” or “this.” Your reader is any undergraduate college student and instructor interested in learning more about your chosen subject. This reader wants new ways of interpreting the subject but is critical of any argument. That is, this reader is a tough sell and will question your claims, expecting ample supporting evidence of several kinds. 6. Specifications. Format The essay must be a minimum of 4 full, (maximum 6) typed, double-spaced pages, excluding the Works Cited (start your Works Cited on a new page, not a new document). Your paper should use formal MLA paper structure. The paper should be typed, double spaced with 1-inch margins. Use only 12-point font and Times New Roman. Number the pages & include your last name in Times New Roman in the upper right-hand corner. Edit and proofread everything you turn in; make your assignment as error-free as you can make it. For information concerning MLA format see a current MLA handbook. Do not use a separate cover sheet. Include a relevant and meaningful title. Academic Integrity You may not use or consult Cliffs Notes, Sparknotes, or any comparable study guide. You may not use ANY web source or conventionally written source. If I determine that you have consulted a study guide on either essay, you will fail this assignment or course. I strongly encourage you to consult with me either in my office or by e-mail as you formulate your thesis. Because of the serious harm plagiarism causes an academic environment, I have zero tolerance for plagiarism: students who plagiarize will likely fail the assignment and/or fail the class. Forms of academic dishonesty include, but are not exclusive of, cheating, double submission, inappropriate collaboration. may result in a range of penalties between a zero on the assignment or failure of the class. Therefore, as I determine necessary, I have the right to verify essays for academic integrity or plagiarism using Turnitin or other such methods. Please review the Syllabus for details on Plagiarism and know that it is your responsibility to find out what plagiarism means. Submission Submit your paper by uploading your file directly to Canvas. Save and upload your file as a doc, docx, pdf, odt, otg, ods, odp, or odf. Papers not submitted to Canvas automatically receive a “0.” How do I upload a file as an assignment submission in Canvas? (Links to an external site.) Grading Along with brief marginal comments, attached to the Canvas assignment is the rubric, which provides you detailed comments and calculates your numeric score. Tips for Your Essay Your essay must address and respond to the assignment description. Most students fail or get low grades because they fail to read the entire assignment, including the grading criteria. Make sure you develop an argumentative essay (i.e., your essay must include an arguable THESIS (Links to an external site.) at the end of your introduction, which you should later develop in the body of your essay through an ANALYSIS of the selected work of art and illustrate with SPECIFIC EVIDENCE). Consider the following formula to help you develop a working thesis for your essay: “In [title of art piece], the author challenges/reinforces traditional notions of gender/female sexuality/standards of masculinity/etc. by [doing blah, blah, blah].” Your essay must contain INTRODUCTION + BODY + CONCLUSION + WORKS CITED. Forget about the 5-paragraph essay; those only worked in high school, when the essays were shorter and less complex. All your paragraphs (Links to an external site.) should be fully developed and include transitions (Links to an external site.). The paragraphs in the body of your essay should contain a topic sentence (Links to an external site.) introducing the topic to be discussed and relating back to the thesis. Avoid “lab talk” (e.g., “In this paper I will prove…”) and phrases like “I believe that” or “In my opinion.” Your reader assumes that everything you write that you do not attribute to another author is your opinion. Do not abuse plot summaries and/or unnecessary long descriptions. Remember that your argument is based on an analysis; you’re not writing a book report, but an argument. Consider including a brief summary in the introduction (a couple of sentences). Later, as Celia Easton points out, “Your job is to remind your audience of passages in the text that provide evidence for the argument you want to create about your text, not to describe the plot to someone who has never read the text.” Select lines, quotes, passages, or specific details to discuss a claim about the whole work. Make sure your essay follows a logical structure and organization. It is not necessary to imitate the chronology of the literary work you are analyzing. Avoid generalizations and oversimplifications, such as “all men think…” or “since the beginning of times.” Incorporate at least twoacademic (scholarly library) sources to develop your argument. Check the assignment for what counts as an academic source. Don’t let your secondary sources dominate your essay. In order to avoid this problem, use a yellow marker and highlight every sentence in your essay stating ideas that are not your own (quotes, paraphrases, and summaries of other people’s works). If you see too much yellow in your paper, chances are your voice and ideas have not been fully developed. Quote only passages that would lose their effectiveness if they were paraphrased. Never use a quotation to substitute for your own prose. Always include a tag line on any quotation in order to introduce it (e.g., “According to author X, …” or “As author Y points out, …”) Cite your sources properly in MLA style. When in doubt, ask. Make sure your essay meets the length requirement: 4-5 pages, including “Works Cited” (at least 4 FULL pages). Read Celia Easton’s “Conventions of Writing Papers about Literature (Links to an external site.).” Check the links included in the online version of the grading criteria for the assignment. Consider coming to my office hours and/or going to the Writing Center (Links to an external site.) for help with your writing. these are the two sources that i turned in for my thesis statement

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