ENG 102 Research Paper Guidelines
The research paper assignment for this course is due at the end of week 7. The reading and writing skills shown in the successful completion of this assignment are the concluding step in the GMC ENG 101/ENG 102 sequence, displaying your skills as a writer,reader,researcher,and criticalthinker.
Your research paper should be an argumentative essay that makes a specific claim about one or more of the course readings. The claim should be made by applying specific schools of literary criticism from the “Critical Strategies for Reading” section of our textbook. Support this claim and argument in a well-developed, well-written, and well- organized essay of at least 1500-1800 words of text (not counting the works cited page) and must successfully use at least 5 critical secondary sources (primary sources are not included in the research requirement) accessed through the GMC library.
Research Paper Directions
The bulleted list below provides general options for paper topics. The entirety of the class reading assignments can be found in the Course Syllabus, under “Course Schedule.” The bulleted list below provides general options for paper topics:
• A paper focusing on one of the texts from class (if only writing on one text, it must be a different text than the ones you wrote on for Response Papers 1 and 2).
- A paper focusing on multiple texts (no more than 3) by the same author
- A paper focusing on multiple texts (but no more than two) by different authors
Tips and Reminders
Use your textbook as a resource. Review Chapters 47, 48, and 49. There are also various examples of student essays in the textbook.
Re-read the text(s) you want to base your paper on.
Once you have decided on a topic, begin doing preliminary research (you will need to do a lot of research for this assignment anyway). Read what other literary critics have said. This will help you to further narrow down your topic, and even
to find some of the sources you will end up using in the paper.
you are a literary critic too—this means you should feel free to question and disagree with the interpretations you read.
Make sure your thesis is an arguable one, something that readers might actually agree or disagree with. Don’t be afraid to take a leap and put forward a new, creative, and/or unique interpretation. Remember that any argument can be a good one if you properly support it with evidence from the text.
Your paper must incorporate information from outside sources found through the GMClibrary. Rememberthatyouhavethreemethodsforincorporatingoutside
information into any paper: you
paraphrase (put the source’s words into your own words), or summarize (boil down information from a source to a 1-2 sentence summary in your own words).
sources that may not be appropriate.
can quote (use the source’s exact words),
Avoid unnecessary plot summary and biographical information. Assume that yourreaderhas alreadyreadtheworkyouarediscussing,andassumethatyour reader knows important information about the author’s life already.
Conduct your research through thelibrarylikearealresearcher,ratherthanrelyingon Googletofindopen-web
Remember that sources like Wikipedia, Sparknotes, and other open-web
sources are not appropriate for this paper.
MLA formatting for style, in-text citations, and works cited entries is a significant part of this paper. Review the sample essays in our textbook, and review grade feedback on past response papers for help with this.
Organize your argument to maximize its effectiveness. Your introduction should include a thesis. Each paragraph of your paper should include a topic sentence
that references your thesis. Each support that paragraph’s topic sentence.
sentence in each paragraph should directly
Finally, don’t forget the little things. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be perfect. Edit and revise your work. Manage your time efficiently to allow yourselftheopportunityto readandrereadyourfinalpapermultipletimes.
As always, contact your instructor whenever you have questions!
The teacher emailed me and said “his is such an interesting idea. However, the research paper needs to focus on at least one of our reading texts (story, play, etc). We just need a bit more focus to get you on the right path! 🙂 Discussing how a piece is made is a great (but broad) idea; narrowed down a bit, however, this type of direction could fall within the Formalist critical reading strategy! This would allow you to analyze a literary piece (or two) from our course, analyzing the formalist elements, such as language, structure and tone (including diction, irony, paradox, metaphor, symbol, plot, etc (1360). You might also pair two texts together that share a common element and make a claim about why/how this common element functions within the texts. Texts that you may use can go all the way back to Week 1 (“The Story of an Hour,” A Sorrowful Woman”), any Flannery O’Connor we’ve discussed…and so forth through Week 8.”