Essay 3: Research Paper (due Wednesday of Week 8).
This paper will contain your very best analysis of the work you choose. This is a stand-alone paper, showing the depth of your understanding and perceptions about this work. Again, make sure you focus on the work itself. You may want to look at the structure of the work. (Can it be divided into more than one part? Are there two or three memorable scenes?) You may want to look at the characterizations in the book. (Did one character change throughout the work?) You may want to look at the influence of the book. (What changed as a result of its publication?) Anything that you have in your first paper may be used in this paper, as long as it is relevant to your thesis.
Do not use first or second person in this assignment. All dropbox assignments are formal and should only use third person.
Your final research paper should include at least five sources in addition to the novel, and it should be 6-10 pages, Times New Roman 12 pt. font. Only two of your sources may be from the web. The rest should be from scholarly journals, such as the ones found in the library databases. The paper will be graded on content, conventions, usage of in-text citations, and appropriate tone and language. The Works Cited page will be graded at the same time and will be used to check the in-text citations.
Post your draft to the Writer’s Workshop by Sunday and provide feedback on at least two other students’ papers. You will not have access to the dropbox for this assignment until you have met these requirements for the Writer’s Workshop. Post the final paper to the dropbox by Wednesday of Week 8 at midnight.
Begin your introductory paragraph here. The introduction should contain the title of the short story/book/poem/play you are discussing and the name of the author, preferably in the first sentence. Remember that the introduction is a critical part of your paper. It provides your readers with a first impression of the paper. If you begin the paper with a paragraph that doesn’t really say anything interesting, why would your readers want to continue reading? You have a very short amount of time to grab their attention, so use it wisely. For instance, providing plot summary to an audience already familiar with the text will not give them reason to keep reading. Don’t tell them something they already know. Tell them something they don’t know. Say something interesting, and then refine that thought as you work your way toward the final sentence of the introduction, which should be your thesis. Be sure your thesis is debatable, focused on the text, and devoid of plot summary.
Your first paragraph, and every body paragraph after, should begin with a topic sentence that relates directly to the thesis. For instance, if I am writing a paper on the fact that setting in “Bartleby, the Scrivener” represents the imprisonment of creativity in Melville’s society, I would not begin a paragraph stating that Melville was born in 1819 in New York. That fact is entirely irrelevant to the thesis. However, I could say that Melville wrote the story in 1853, at the end of the industrial revolution, because that fact does relate directly to the thesis. Since part of the thesis addresses Melville’s society specifically, it is important to provide a timeframe for that society. The rest of the paragraph could explain how the industrial revolution changed the perception of the artist in society and how it also changed the workplace environment in a way that inhibited the individual in favor of a more cookie cutter, mass production approach. What you should note is that every sentence in the paragraph should support that topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph, the one that relates directly to the thesis.
After you have completed the body of your essay, you must finish it with a concluding paragraph. While the introduction is the first impression, the conclusion provides the final impression, the one that will linger with your audience far past the actual time of reading. Your conclusion should wrap up the entire essay, and it should do so without any confusion about its intent, which means you should not have to announce the fact that you are concluding the paper (in other words, do not use phrases such as, “In conclusion”). It should briefly touch on the idea of the thesis statement, though it should not contain a replica, or even a close approximation, of that sentence. Be sure to rephrase it significantly. Basically, you want to capture the idea of the thesis, not the actual sentence contained in the introduction. The conclusion should also state the “So what?” factor of the paper. Why is your paper important? Who cares about what it says? This is your chance to make a case why any reader of the story should care about the analysis you provide in your essay. Finally end the paragraph with one sentence that effectively, but smoothly, ends the discussion.
Makamson, Kellye. “How to Properly Write and Format an Academic Paper.” The Complete Collection of Makamson Lectures. Pass Christian: Makamson Publishing, 2012. Print.
Smith, Joe T. “The Pretend Article I Am Using to Demonstrate Proper Formatting.” One Man Journal 11.54 (2012): 832-841. Any Other Database. Web. 16 March 2012.
Turnin, Ontime. “The Complete Guide to Submitting Papers On Time.” The Makamson Paper Project Online. Dept. of English, U of Kellye, 29 February 2012. Web. 16 March 2012.
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