Consider any one of this semester’s American authors: Anne Bradstreet, Jonathan Edwards, Henry David Thoreau, Willa Cather, Walt Whitman, Paul Dunbar, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Tillie Olsen, Hisaye Yamamoto, Maya Angelou, and Angie Cruz.
Focus on 2 or more works by the author of your choice. (Choices must not include more than one work covered in class this semester.) Begin the research process by asking yourself the following questions: What makes this author and his/her works worthy of our attention? What prevailing message/theme is present in the author’s works? How do you believe this message/theme should be interpreted? Are the works and/or characters realistic or symbolic? Is there a reoccurring image or any notable literary techniques/figurative language utilized by the author? How does the historical, social, or political context in which the works were written have specific bearing on one’s interpretation of the texts? How does the author present aspects of American culture including class, gender, race, values and religion, and geography?
Research paper guidelines/timeline: 1. Analytical Research Paper assigned Mon., Nov. 9.
2. After considering the above questions, focus in on an aspect of interest regarding your author/works, and conduct background reading and notetaking to narrow down your aspect of interest to a specific thesis statement and preliminary broad outline. Your thesis statement should reflect your perspective on some aspect of the works and /or the author’s literary style. Submit thesis statement/broad outline for approval by Mon. Nov. 16 via the Google drive folder. *Refer to the Caldwell University library resource documents in “Content” to assist you in obtaining sources for your research paper. Additionally, you may contact Caldwell University librarian Victoria Swanson via email for research assistance.
3. After your thesis has been approved, continue to research and organize support points into a more detailed outline, and begin composing body paragraphs. Body paragraphs should consist of your own analysis/perspective supported by those of at least 4 scholarly critical sources found in the Caldwell University databases. *Refer to the “Paraphrasing” and “Methods to Introduce Quotes in Your Writing” documents in “Content.”
4. Schedule an individual conference with Professor Whelan for a time between Mon., Nov. 16 and Weds., Nov 25. regarding your research progress. *Conference attendance is calculated into your semester attendance average.
5. Submit your research paper draft via the Google drive folder by Mon., Nov. 30.
6. Submit your final copy of your research paper by Mon., Dec. 7.
7. Your completed research paper should reflect the following organization:
a. Introduction providing background context leading up to your thesis statement (last sentence of introduction)
b. Body paragraphs providing support for your thesis through your own analysis, critic perspective, and text evidence. Support for your thesis should be conveyed through your own words along with quotes, paraphrases, and summaries from critics and the works themselves.
c. Conclusion paragraph restating thesis, recapping support, and offering insight regarding the significance/implications of your chosen author’s works. * The research paper should be 6-8 pages in length and adhere to MLA guidelines, including use of #12 font, 1 inch margins, title page, in-text citations and a Works Cited page. *Refer to the “MLA 8th Edition Style Guide” document in “Content.”