English 202 Research Paper Assignment
Text: The research paper is a documented prose work resulting from an organized analysis of a subject. Your paper will examine particular writers’ works. The stories you have chosen to read will be the focus of your research paper. It is not a biographical sketch of the writer; however, you may include biographical information if it relates to your thesis. It is not a plot summary; I can read the stories for that. Primarily, you are going to take a position about the works and use specific events or quotes from the work to support and explain that position. Your thesis statement will be based upon this position. In addition, you are going to examine what literary critics have to say concerning the work. You must read the work prior to beginning your research.
Format: Research papers must be typed and formatted according to current MLA documentation style. This includes using Times New Roman, 12 point font. You will be expected to list each of your sources in proper MLA format on the Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. You will also use proper MLA parenthetical internal documentation throughout your paper. The MLA Handbook is an absolute necessity. You cannot pass the research paper if your format is wrong!
Length: A minimum of five full pages of text (double-spaced). In addition, you will include a Works Cited page. You cannot pass the paper if you do not have the required length on the paper!
Sources: A minimum of six (6) sources is required. You must have four (4) secondary sources quoted directly in the body paragraphs (there should be at least 1 secondary source per main point). You cannot pass the research paper without including four secondary sources. The literary works you have chosen (short stories) will count as a fifth and sixth source, the primary sourcse. There are many sources available for literary research, and I expect you to use a variety of sources. You should use at least one article as a source, and you can have only one Internet source. Masterplots, Cliffs Notes, Spark Notes, eNotes, Grade Saver, Wikipedia, and Classic Notes DO NOT count as a source. This is not a comprehensive list. There may be other websites that you will not be allowed to use. Please consult me if you have any doubts about whether or not you should use a website.
Process: You will be expected to follow a guided process in your research and writing. I have designed the course to make it easier for you to write a research paper step by step. On the course syllabus, I have indicated dates when topics, thesis statements and outlines, and rough drafts are due. I will be maintaining a file which will indicate whether or not you have completed these steps. Any student who fails to follow these steps in a timely manner and does not indicate a work in progress will not be allowed to turn in a research paper.
If the minimum requirements are not met (minimum length, minimum number of sources, etc.) for this paper, IT WILL NOT BE GRADED!!
Other guidelines to consider:
1 DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE and expect to do well on the research paper without having read the book.
2 Your first two assignments (worksheets #1 and #2) will be completed as we start our library time and will entail your getting to know your author, what critics say the themes of your novel are, and setting up a tentative thesis and outline.
3 Ultimately, your paper will focus on the themes within the novel. It will not be a biographical study or a summary of the plot.
4 Your two biggest enemies will be disorganization and procrastination.
Organization-Have the following materials with you at all times: research packet, handbook, primary source, photocopies of secondary sources
Staying on Schedule-You have been given a calendar with all due dates clearly marked. As you are working on your own in the library, you must be responsible enough to work at a steady pace. No late work will be accepted or checked for any reason. Early checks are always possible.
5 Research papers (both the rough draft and the final draft) must be typed. Computer labs are located on the 2nd floor of the college library and on the 2nd floor of Building G. Because computer classes are taught in the computer labs, you will need to go by the location most convenient to you and find the posted available times for student use. Save your work on your disk. Computer problems and printer problems will not be accepted as an excuse for late work.
6 If you are concerned about your paper, I will be happy to check rough drafts. However, I will only check research papers if you make an appointment (face-to-face or phone) during my office hours. Any paper sent via email will not be checked
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