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Week 11: D8 Research Paper Thesis Week 12: D9 Research Paper thesis + outline +

Week 11: D8 Research Paper Thesis
Week 12: D9 Research Paper thesis + outline + Works Cited
Week 13: Submit Research Paper
Getting Started
Reflect on your favorite pieces of literature assigned this semester. Writing about works you enjoyed will make the process more pleasurable.
Review all the assigned sample papers from your textbook and the assigned videos about literature analysis. These are all listed in the course schedule. Find more sample papers listed just inside the front cover of the textbook.
Read these textbook sections: “Choosing a Topic” (1381-1382), “Developing a Thesis” (1382-1384), “Arguing about Literature” (1384-1387), “Organizing a Paper” (1387-1388), “Writing a Draft” (1388-1391), “Revising and Editing” (1391-1393).
Trust your instincts about what a work means or what an author is trying to communicate. Use outside research ONLY to get facts (ex. the author’s background, or historical context) or to support your opinions about the theme and the way that theme is conveyed.
minimum requirements:
at least one outside (secondary) source
high quality materials (see Instructions for Using & Citing Sources)
MLA format for in-text citation and Works Cited
1) The introduction contains the following:
opening sentence or two (attention-getter or “hook”)
one or more sentences with brief background on the work (title, type of work, author, year)
very brief summary (assume that readers are familiar with the work)
thesis statement (one sentence, usually the last one in the introductory paragraph)
2) The thesis states your opinion about one or more themes of the work you have chosen.
Make an argument compare and/or contrasting the way two authors handle the same element(s) in different works. You won’t make a value judgment about which work you prefer, or which is better; rather, your argument will be about approaches to elements such as these:
theme (ex. love, death, parent-child relationships, work, joy, etc.)
character (ex. experiences, reactions, attitudes)
language (ex. imagery, diction)
– example: The plays Naked Lunch and Trifles confront the way men can miscommunicate with women and can misuse their power over women.”
– example: The poem “To be of use” and the short story “A & P” depict different attitudes toward work, or different work ethics.
– example: The short stories “A Rose for Emily” and “Soldier’s Home” are not set in the same community, but both illustrate the stifling effects of small-town life.
For more examples, see Sample Informal Outlines for Research Paper.
3) The body contains at least four paragraphs, each one dedicated to a single minor claim (a subtopic or specific aspect of the major claim or thesis). Focus on analysis rather than plot summary or author biography. Only provide information relevant the specific point you’re making.
Your paper must quote or paraphrase the primary sources (the literature you’re examining) to serve as examples.
Your paper will quote or paraphrase your secondary source(s) to support your opinions with expert views.
4) The conclusion reviews the ideas covered in the body and wrap up, ending on a powerful note. It does not add new information or go in a new direction.
5) The last page of the paper will be a Works Cited list.
Each item (primary and secondary sources) cited in the essay MUST be on this list, and each item on this list MUST be cited (quoted or paraphrased) in the essay. (This is not a list of works consulted.)
Use MLA 8th edition format.
Length and Format
length: 1,200-1,500 words / 2.5 – 4 pages. Any paper under the requirement will be marked as late until resubmitted to meet the minimum length requirement. Papers under 1500 words might not be sufficiently developed to support your argument.
Set up the document using MLA format. For an example, see
Use only one of these fonts: Times New Roman 12-point OR Calibri 11.
The entire paper must be double-spaced, including the Works Cited page.
Note the format of the date in an MLA header. Example: 1 January 2017.
Use the Insert –> Header feature in Word for page numbering. Your last name and the page number in this header must be in the same font as the rest of the paper. This link explains how to insert page numbers in Word:
Some versions of Word automatically insert an extra space between paragraphs. This link explains how to remove it:
Essays must be in one of these formats: .rtf (Rich Text Format) or .docx. Do not submit any other document type, including .wps,.wpd, .jpeg, or .pdf. Written assignments must be in a format the instructor can open and type onto (e.g. not a PDF) and must be in MLA format. Otherwise, papers will be treated as late submissions until re-submitted in proper format.

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