Research Paper

(Total value: 20%)

 

Due Date:8/16/11 by 11:59 p.m., in the D2L drop box, on the due date; if the drop box records a submission time of one minute late or more, the paper is one calendar-day late. Expect to lose 10% for each calendar day the paper is turned in late. Must be turned in as a MS Word DOC or DOCX file. Consult the syllabus for all turn-in requirements and associated penalties.

General Guidelines:

        Required word count is 1100 to 1200 words. If your paper falls short of the minimum required word count, the grade will certainly suffer.

        Work in a Times New Roman 12 point font, and use all formatting guidelines established in Lecture 2 and all other lectures.

        Use MLA Style Guidelines.

        Remember to title your essay and neither part should read Research Paper, or Essay, or anything of the like.

        Use a document header, as you should on all assignments, regardless of their length.

        Review the course lectures. I suggest that you read them very carefully.

        Do not use humor in your title or in any other part of the paper.

        Locate a minimum of five scholarly articles, which you must quote and paraphrase from in your paper.

Prompt:

Choose ONE short story, play, or a group of no more than three poems that we have read or will read this semester. Write your paper over your selection, which means that the final sentence of your introductory paragraph must be your paperís thesis. IF YOU CHOOSE POEMS, THE GROUP MUST BE APPROVED BY ME BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR PAPER.

       Using the Temple College library resources, either online or at the physical facility, locate five scholarly sources that relate to the focus of your paper.

       Below I list the criteria for what constitutes a valid outside source for articles.

 

Research Paper Steps:

1)    Very Important: you cannot write over any text, short story, poem(s), or play that you have written about previously in the Fiction Paper or on any Unit Test. If you do so, it will result in a grade of zero on this research paper.

2)    Decide on a possible thesis statement/check with me.(At that point, you will be ready to search for materials in which literary critics discuss your primary text and support your thesis. In other words, it will be up to you to offer examples from your primary text to support the ideas you have chosen to discuss, and you must offer additional support from literary critics; then, you will cite them in your paper.)

3)    Go to the library (either in-person or virtually).

(a) Find out what literary critics have to say about your primary text.

(b) Keep copies of printouts and other material for evidence of content and bibliographical information because you must turn in copies of all sources when the Research Paper is turned in for final grading.

4)    Write a draft.

(a)  Make sure youíve collected enough information to support your thesis, and review the Assignments Calendar of the syllabus to be prepared for all peer revisions.

(b)  Incorporate internal documentation.

5)    Revise and edit your draft.

(a)  Get help from me.

(b)  Get help from Smarthinking.com.

6)    Write your final paper using MLA format.

(a)  Place in pocket folder.

(b)  Place the paper and copies of all sources in pockets.

(c)  Works Cited will consist of a minimum of 5 sources beyond your primary text (from TC library databases only) URLs should be included for additional sources beyond the 5 required sources if the additional sources are Web sources.

(d)  Under no circumstances should Sparknotes, Cliffnotes, Wikipedia or any similar sources be used, for it would have a negative impact on the grade your paper can receive)

 

Organize the Fiction Paper itself according to the following:

The most fundamental point:

 

In this course, students must demonstrate that they have grasped the concept of using literary devices to explain theme.

How to use devices to explain theme:


Begin by using devices and theme in the thesis:

 

Whether you are writing the Fiction Paper, the Research Paper, an essay portion of a Unit Test, or the essay portion of the Post-Assessment, your paper must include a thesis statement as the final sentence of your introductory paragraph; the thesis must actually name all the devices (plot, setting, symbols, and so on) that the paper will use to analyze your primary text, and the thesis must state that the devices are being used to better understand a particular theme.



Example of a possible thesis:

This paper will show that Shakespeare uses symbols, allegory, and character development to illustrate the theme of deception in Macbeth.

The example of a thesis above leaves no doubt that the reader of your paper will understand exactly the literary devices that will be used to explain a particular theme in your primary text. Your thesis should be equally as clear as the example thesis.

 

The specific steps and how to structure them:

 

STEP 1:

An introductory paragraph of biographical information on your author; this paragraph must fall between 125 - 150 words; if the word count does not fall between 125 - 150 words, a minimum of 10% of the paper's grade will be deducted.

Remember that in this paragraph you will be using biographical facts that are all over the Internet, in our course book, and in various databases such as The Dictionary of Literary Biography, so BE CAREFUL NOT TO PLAGIARIZE IN THIS PARAGRAPH; plagiarism can be easily avoided by using short direct quotations, by paraphrasing effectively, and by citing your sources.

Do not treat lightly the possibility of committing plagiarism in this paragraph of your paper; you cannot simply change some words here and there and call it a paraphrase. Effective paraphrasing means putting the information entirely into your own words.

In short, your introductory paragraph should do the following:

       Introduce the name of the author you are writing about along with the biographical information, totaling about 100 words.

       Put most of the biographical information into your own words by paraphrasing your source, and make certain to include appropriate parenthetical citations. For the parts of the biographical information that are not in your own words, you must use some VERY SHORT direct quotations from your source as necessary, and of course, parenthetical citations are required here too.

       Next, include a transitional sentence that names your primary text. An example is something to the effect of "One of Flannery O'Connor's most widely studies short stories is "Everything That Rises Must Converge."

       Finish the paragraph with the thesis statement, which must specifically name all the literary devices the paper will use to analyze the theme of the primary text. The specific theme must also be named in the thesis statement. All of this should put the paragraph at a word count of 125 - 150words.

STEP 2:

This section can be a single paragraph or more than one paragraph that is an analysis driven by one of the following: irony, symbols, allegory, point of view, or conflict.

For example, if you have chosen to analyze symbols in "The Things They Carried," then you could claim that Martha's letters are a symbol for whatever you believe the letters symbolize. Include a reference to or quotation from a point in the primary text where the letters are the focus, and cite your reference or quotation. Follow this with your analysis that explains how/why the letters symbolize whatever you have claimed they symbolize.

Following this procedure would demonstrate adequacy; however, a superior effort would take one additional step, which would be to explain how your analysis of the symbol illustrates the theme that you identified in your thesis statement. If you have more than one symbol to analyze in this section, repeat this procedure for each symbol analyzed. Place much importance throughout your paper on how the devices illustrate theme, for this is a critically important element in determining the grade your paper can receive.

STEP 3:

This section can be a single paragraph or more than one paragraph that is an analysis driven by one of the following: character development, setting, or foreshadowing.

For example, if you have chosen to analyze setting in "Young Goodman Brown," then you could claim that the forest as a setting . . . (whatever you believe the forest as setting helps readers to understand). Include a reference or quotation to a point in the primary text where the forest (whatever you believe the forest as setting helps readers to understand), and cite your reference or quotation. Follow this with your analysis that explains how/why the forest (whatever you believe the forest as setting helps readers to understand).

Following this procedure would demonstrate adequacy; however, a superior effort would take one addtional step, which would be to explain how your analysis of the symbol illustrates the theme that you identified in your thesis statement. If you have more than one symbol to analyze in this section, repeat this procedure for each symbol analyzed. Place much importance throughout your paper on how the devices illustrate theme, for this is an critically important element in determining the grade your paper can receive.

STEP 4:

This section can be a single paragraph or more than one paragraph that is an analysis of theme using plot; this section should be between 200 - 225 words. If this section does not fall between a word count of 200 - 225, a minimum of 10% of the paper's grade will be deducted. Conclude this section with two or three sentences that serve as a conclusion to the overall paper, and avoid the phrase, "in conclusion," or anything of the like.

Adequacy versus Superiority: More about devices, theme, and references to and quotations from your primary text:

 

Devices and Theme:

When writing papers that are driven by an analysis that uses literary devices to illustrate a theme, students often make the fundamental error of doing too little to explain theme.

For example, using a device to illustrate the theme of lonliness is an acceptable approach, but if your analysis does little more than state that the forest is a lonely place, then theme has not been illustrated well.

Remember that a device is simply a tool through which the more important issue of theme is understood better.

References and Quotations From Your Primary Text:

By "references to your primary text," I mean that if you are writing about "The Things They Carried," and you state that Jimmy Cross burned Martha's letters, you should include a parenthetical citation that gives the page number from our course book, which allows the reader of your paper to reference that event in the story by going to the exact page where it occurs. These types of references to your primary text should certainly be a part of this section.

By "quotations from your primary text," I mean that if you are writing about "The Things They Carried," and you state that Jimmy Cross feels guilty about the death of Ted Lavendar, you must locate the place in the primary text where the narrator or Cross states this, and then include the quotation and cite it parenthetically. These types of quotations from your primary text should certainly be a part of this section.

MLA Style Guidelines are a critically important aspect of this course, and your written works are an opportunity to demonstrate your skill level, so paraphrase and quote from your primary text and from scholarly sources.

 

 Other Important Points:

Remember that MLA Style Guidelines is a critically important element of this course, and if you negotiate them at an exceedingly low skill level this paper will receive an unsatisfactory grade at best.

 

Criteria That Determines a Valid Outside Source:

 

       You cannot use magazines, newspapers, websites, or any web-related material that can be reached with just an Internet connection. In other words, you must use the Temple Library interface to use databases to which the Temple library subscribes.

       Your outside source must be an article from a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, and the article must have the equivalent of a works cited section at the end, which might also be titled as one of the following: references, bibliography, sources cited, and so on. Alternatively, there may be no such section at the end, but the article might be footnoted throughout, which is also acceptable if the footnotes give the publication information that is typically found in a works cited citation.

       The article must be a minimum of five pages in length, or it will be considered invalid.

       Do not use articles from anonymous authors, or they will be considered invalid.

 

Additional Sources (optional):

 

Students may use additional outside sources beyond the two valid sources, and they may come from newspapers, magazines or websites, but do not use these to replace the five required valid outside sources. Books are also considered to be additional sources and would not count as part of the five required scholarly articles.

 

*This research paper grade counts 20%.However, you cannot pass this course if you do not submit a research paper!

 

 

Papers that usually do not earn higher than a grade of 60 include:

  1. papers that do not include MLA formatting (Works Cited and parenthetical references) or negotiate MLA skills at a less than adequate level.
  2. papers that do not include source copies and any other pertinent information (If you use print sources, you must include bibliographical material.)
  3. papers that use non-acceptable sources
  4. papers that do not conform to the above-listed requirements (Letter I)

 

Plagiarized papers will receive a grade of ZERO and may result in your being removed from this class.

 

 

Due Date:8/16/11 by 11:59 p.m., in the D2L drop box, on the due date; if the drop box records a submission time of one minute late or more, the paper is one calendar-day late. Expect to lose 10% for each calendar day the paper is turned in late. Must be turned in as a MS Word DOC or DOCX file. Consult the syllabus for all turn-in requirements and associated penalties.