Research Paper Assignment
English 4106
Due December 7

You have a number of options for topic:

.   you may expand your short essay on Wuthering Heights , widening the scope of the research and developing the argument futher

.  identify a writer (other than Poe) in one of the "A Writer in Depth" sections of the Bohner/Grant texts.  Develop an interpretation of the authors work through the material provided in the text and then through additional research

.  propose an appropriate topic of your own.  Any proposed topic must be approved by me by November 23.  No paper on a topic other than those above not approved by me by that date will be accepted.

The grading criteria outlined on the syllabus apply.  My expectations for the paper are fairly common expectations for papers of academic critical analysis, but I do emphasize the following:

1.  Thesis:  a well presented argument that provides readers with an interpretation of a text or texts.  The entire paper should be organized and focused
by this argument.

2.  Development:  The primary support for your claim must come from your own critical analysis of the primary text(s).  Develop your argument with clearly
articulated subpoints supported by discussion of appropriate passages from the work(s).  Do not weaken your paper by quoting excessively or
substituting long quotations for discussion.  Remember that your task is to convince readers of your interpretation, and that cannot be done simply by copying
what an author has written.

3.  Research:  Your thesis must be grounded in appropriate criticism.  While you will certainly consult more sources, you must demonstrate your
familiarity with a substantial body of criticism related to your topic by referring to 2 or more critical essays or books chapters beyond what is provided in one of your textbooks as secondary sources in your paper.   Reading critical interpretations should sharpen your own thinking and perhaps bring to light issues you had not considered before.  But do not use secondary sources to "prove" your own interpretation.  Use them instead to demonstrate your awareness of some of what has been said on the subject you're
exploring and to demonstrate for your readers what you are adding to the discussion or where you differ from what other critics have said.

In addition to a search of the library catalog,  you must conduct a search of the MLA Bibliographical Index for articles relevant to your topic.  The Index is
available online through Ingram Library/Galileo.

Do not rely on or cite such sources as Cliff's Notes or similar sources available in print or online.  While such "notes" might help unravel some of the knots
presented by the difficult works we read, they are often unreliable and are always unauthoritative.  Similarly, while a number of respectable journals are
available online now, personal web sites posted to present an individual's views are not reliable sources for research. Do not cite such sources.

4.  Documentation:  Document sources completely and correctly using MLA style.  Use a handbook or The MLA Style Manual
and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 2nd edition, 1998,  available in the Reference section of the library,  PN147 .G444.

5.  The final paper should be 10-12 pages in length, typed, double-spaced with one inch margins all around. Graduate papers should be 12-15 pages in
length.  The Works Cited page should be the final numbered page.  It does not count toward the length requirements, however.