The Research Paper Assignment – English 1102
The English 1102 research paper assignment provides two opportunities to students: 1) it allows them to further their knowledge of authors and works read in the class, and 2) it provides experience in the research-based writing that will be required as they move on to upper-division courses in their various majors.
The requirements of the paper are the following. In addition, the library staff will prepare a web site specifically for this class and this assignment with helpful research tools that may be accessed via the GHC library site.
- The paper is due Monday, Nov. 1.
- 5-7 pages of text (papers of less than 5 pages will be given a failing grade)
- 1” margins, Times New Roman font, 12-point type, double-spaced, with the appropriate running header throughout the paper and header information in the top left corner on the first page
- A minimum of six (6) sources. Use web sites very sparingly and get approval for any site you use. Under no circumstances can a student use all web sites as sources. Each unauthorized/unapproved web site will carry a 5-point penalty. You may, of course, use electronically accessed journal and magazine articles as well as books and e-books. Also, no general encyclopedias or Wikipedia. You may use specialized (literary) encyclopedias from the library. The goal is to learn how to use reputable critical and scholarly resources. Your textbook may be one of your sources; if you use your textbook, and most of the topics below will require you to, then you need five additional sources.
- There must be sources cited in the paper (in-text citations). These will be your quotations/paraphrases from the literary work, as appropriate, and from the secondary sources.
- A correct Works Cited page – running header, the phrase Works Cited centered, double-spaced, alphabetized, hanging indent, following current (2009) MLA guidelines without numbers or bullets. (Remember, only sources cited in your paper should be on the Works Cited page.)
- An edited copy of your rough draft/first draft.
- No late research papers will be accepted, and no revisions on the research paper will be allowed.
Topics for Research Papers:
- Kate Chopin was a female author far ahead of her time.
- Research the life of Kate Chopin (1851-1904). Then decide whether the death of her husband in 1882 influenced her when she wrote “The Story of an Hour,” published in 1894 in Vogue magazine.
- Compare/contrast Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman as feminist writers.
- The Salem witchcraft trials – What was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s relationship to this historical event? How might it be reflected in the story “Young Goodman Brown”?
- Research and discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan heritage. Did he accept or reject his Puritan heritage? How did his family background affect his writing? Use “Young Goodman Brown” as your primary example.
- Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories reflect characters with disturbed psyches – compare/contrast “The Cask of Amontillado” with another Poe story you may be familiar with.
- Discuss the gothic elements in “The Cask of Amontillado.” What is gothic in literature? How is “The Cask of Amontillado” an example of it?
- Discuss Edgar Allan Poe’s enduring popularity. Why does he continue to be so popular and so widely read and studied?
- Compare/contrast how “madness” (insanity) is portrayed in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and in “A Rose for Emily.”
- Discuss “A Rose for Emily” as an example of Southern gothic literature.
- Research William Faulkner’s life. Is “A Rose for Emily” in any way related to his life?
- Investigate the American expatriate community in Paris in the 1920s. Who were the members of this group (Ernest Hemingway was one) who were sometimes called the “Lost Generation”? Why were they called the “Lost Generation”? What was their relationship to each other? How did their close affiliation affect their writing? What compelled them to live abroad? What effect did this group have on Hemingway, in particular?
- What is Hemingway’s attitude toward women in “Hills Like White Elephants”? In what way might the story be related to his own life? What were Hemingway’s relationships with women?
- Research and then discuss the Great Depression of the early 1930s. What was its effect on American families? How does this historical setting/time period play an integral role in Tennessee Williams’s play The Glass Menagerie?
- Music plays a role in The Glass Menagerie. What kinds of music were popular in the 1930s? How were these types of music a reflection of the culture/history of the time?
- Research/explore the growth of the American film (i.e., movie) industry in the 1930s. The movies play an important role in The Glass Menagerie.
- Oscar Wilde was a leader of the “aesthetic movement.” Research the movement. What does “art for art’s sake” mean? Who were the other artists in the movement, and how did their work reflect “art for art’s sake”? How does The Importance of Being Earnest reflect the movement’s values?
- Oscar Wilde stated that art was superior to life and that the one obligation was to transform life into art—to be as “artificial” as possible. Research Wilde’s life and consider his life as a work of art. What elements are beautiful? Dramatic? Comic? Tragic?
- Wilde lived during the Victorian era. Who was Queen Victoria? What were the values of the Victorian period? What were the social expectations that prevailed at the time of the play (1895)? For men, what behaviors were required and what behaviors were punished? What behaviors were expected of women? How do you see these values and expectations illustrated in The Importance of Being Earnest?
English 1102 Library Assignment
English 1102 – Library Assignment
(Due Wednesday, Oct. 27)*
1. Find a book related to your research paper topic. After obtaining the book, write a brief summary (1-2 paragraphs) of one chapter and provide the following information about the book:
c. Place of publication
e. Date of Publication
f. Library Call Number
2. Locate a journal article related to your topic. Use Galileo to locate one from a database. Write a brief summary of the article (1-2 paragraphs). Provide the following information:
b. Article title
c. Journal title
d. Volume and issue numbers (as appropriate for the publication)
e. Date of publication
f. Page number(s)
3. Locate one of the following (select depending upon your research paper topic) and do the same as in #2 above:
a. Another journal article
b. A magazine article
c. A newspaper article
4. Read a reference article, such as one found in a specialized (literary) encyclopedia or other scholarly/literary reference book. Summarize the article (1-2 paragraphs) and provide the following:
a. Author’s/editor’s name
b. Article title
c. Name of the reference source
e. Place of publication
f. Date of publication
*Please type your work.