Themes and/or techniques of a well-known film director
(e.g., Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino)
The lyrics of one of your favorite songwriters (please note
that not all musical performers are songwriters)
The influence of the American South and its culture on the
writings of one of the following writers: William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor,
Eudora Welty, Kate Chopin, Tennessee Williams, Bobbie Ann Mason, or Zora Neale
The rise of graphic novels (I can offer suggestions for
Symbolism and themes in the comics
Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s use of magical realism
influence of Ireland on one of the following writers: James Joyce, Frank
O’Connor, Lady Gregory, or Oscar Wilde
Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age
Lahiri (or Gish Jen) and the immigrant experience
Alexie and the Native American experience
Baldwin and the African-American experience (“Sonny’s Blues” is in our
plays of August Wilson and the African-American experience
in the plays of August Wilson
in the plays of August Wilson
these are broad topics, but you should not have any trouble finding a subject
that interests you. Your challenge is to narrow the topic to a subject and
thesis that can be fully covered in a 800—1500 word paper.
Supply background information on the topic. Most
of this should come from outside sources.
State a clear thesis. This should be as specific
as possible. Do not try to cover too much here (e.g., an author’s entire life
and works, every revival of A Doll House).
Your topic should be fully covered in a three-to-five page paper.
Offer an in-depth discussion of your thesis,
based on your research into your topic. You should summarize previous research
and present a new idea. Try to find a balance between previous writing on the
topic (the research) and your own analysis.
Remember that plot summary is not the same as analysis. Papers must be
written using MLA-style. You will turn in the following: a thesis sentence, a
one-page summary or outline, a bibliography, and a final paper, with supporting
materials (all of the above plus printed or photocopied secondary sources).
Your paper must demonstrate the following: 1.) thorough knowledge of the topic, 2.)
original thinking, 3.) proper grammar, 4.) good organization and development,
5.) proper documentation (see Harbrace Chapter
39 in the 16th edition; Chapter 40 in the 17th edition),
and 6.) thoughtful selection and use of research materials. The paper consists
Title page with the following information: title of paper, your name, instructor's name,
name of the class, the date. (See Harbrace
40.) It should resemble the one on p. 619 in the 17th edition
Text of paper--typed, double-spaced, numbered. Your paper must at least three full-length
pages (approximately 800 words).
Works Cited (and optional Works Consulted) page on a separate typed
page—three or more valid secondary sources are required. You may use books, magazine articles,
newspaper articles. A paper with fewer
than three secondary sources will not be accepted. Citation and bibliography form must follow
exactly the form outlined in Chapter 40 in the 17th edition of Harbrace and closely resemble p. 633 in
the 17th edition.
Citations--These should be included within the text when appropriate
To be turned in with your paper:
xeroxed or printed copies of source materials which you have cited in
your text, either by quoting directly or paraphrasing. Each copied page should
have the original author’s name and page number clearly marked. The copies
should be sorted in the order that they are used in the research pape
For literary and movie topics: The story/poem/play/film that you are
writing about is the primary source. Everything else that you use (articles,
books, essays) is considered a secondary material. You must have at least three different
secondary sources in your paper, and these should come from a variety of
formats. (At least two of these should be found through Galileo.) The secondary sources can be quoted,
paraphrased, or summarized, but they must be cited using MLA format.
*Sparknotes, Cliff Notes, Wikipedia, and similar sites do not count as sources!
See the library's website for information on citing sources from
Galileo. This is fairly simple. Some of
the online databases tell how to cite their materials. Other resources: Harbrace, The Sundance Reader (also from ENGL 1101), the Perdue Online Writing Lab website (currently linked to our
library’s website), the Tutorial Center, the GHC Library staff, your
I will be glad to read rough drafts (including incomplete ones), but
give them to me early.
The final paper and the copies of your sources should be placed in a
large manila envelope or folder. Do not turn in a loose paper.
Evidence of plagiarism will result in a zero for the assignment—no
revision or excuses allowed.
The final draft must be submitted to Turnitin.com.
Remember to SAVE all of your work in at least two locations (Z-drive,
personal computer, CD, DVD, zip drive).
Thesis statement is due July 19
Outline and revised
thesis statement (if needed) are due July 21
Partial bibliography, aka the
tentative bibliography, with at least
three secondary sources in MLA format, is
due July 25
Final draft plus
packet of secondary sources is due July 28
preliminary steps will be graded and are included as part of your final total