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Research paper based on reading

The final paper will be a well-written research paper of 10 full pages (double-spaced, Times New Roman 12, MLA format).

For this assignment, you are called to come up with your own original thesis that is based on one or more of the readings from following books.

Jazz by Toni Morrison

The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West

Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos

The paper should present an interesting and creative argument that demonstrates engagement with the readings and themes (like comparing the description of different cities from different book). You are not limited to talking about the city but you must use at least one of the texts. Aim for a sophisticated analysis that engages with the text(s) in a deep and meaningful way. You are generally encouraged to make connections among various texts by putting the different literary pieces in conversation with one another.

You are also required to use at least THREE (3) academic sources. These include scholarly articles published in academic journals as well as scholarly book publications. Please note that newspaper articles (including Op-Eds), blogs, textbooks, critical editions (such as book “companions”), websites like Sparknotes, Wikipedia, government websites, and loose information on the internet are NOT academic sources.

A well-known and useful database for academic articles in English literature is JSTOR (accessible through the library’s website). Others include the MLA International Bibliography, and Project Muse. If you are unsure whether something constitutes an academic source, you can always check with me. Also, keep in mind that there are library resources designed to assist students with their research.

You may use primary texts (such as other poems, short stories, or novels), but you have to indicate that in your proposal.

The paper is due December 3.

Final Paper Proposal Due in 12 hrs.

Before you begin to write your final paper, you are required to write a short 250-300 word paper proposal. In this proposal, you will discuss the topic of your final paper (a clear thesis is not required yet) as well as how you plan to pursue it. You will mention the primary texts (novels, plays, essays, short stories, poems, etc.) that you plan to use and explain how they will contribute to your final paper.

In short, you will briefly explain how your idea arose and what you hope to achieve with this paper. Details may change as you begin to write your final paper, but you are NOT allowed to change topics after your proposal has been approved.

Evaluation Criteria / Characteristics of an “A” Paper:

  1. Does the paper present a clearly stated specific thesis that references a primary text and articulate the significance of the work?
  2. Does the paper make use of well-chosen (scholarly) exterior research and specific passages from its primary text(s) in its argumentation?
  3. Does the paper argue in a sophisticated manner, focusing primarily on analysis and explanation through the interpretative application of theory to text, rather than plot summary and/or restatement?
  4. Does the paper’s organization contribute to its overall meaning? In other words, does the paper build to a specific point in its conclusion?

In conclusion, this assignment including a proposal which is due in 12 hours and a research paper which is due Dec. 3rd.

Last Updated on November 17, 2019

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