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Research papers must be typed using size 12 Times New Roman font. Computer labs are located at your home college and local libraries.

LENGTH: A minimum of 1200 words but not more than 2000 words (double-spaced). In addition, you will include a Works Cited page.

SOURCES: You must use a minimum of sources (4) sources, which will include the primary source (the novel or play itself) and three (3) secondary sources, which must be scholarly articles. Among your sources, include at least one article from a scholarly journal. There are many sources available for literary research, and I expect you to use a variety of sources. Do not use Wikipedia, Sparknotes, etc. Be sure to cite sources correctly!

Guidelines for sources:

Primary Source (the novel or play that is the focus of your paper)

Secondary Sources (literary criticism of the primary source):

Gale Group, Infotrac, JSTOR, or Internet Source –

****Masterplots, Cliffnotes, SparkNotes, ClassicNotes, Wikipedia, and Grade Saver or any essay writing website are not acceptable as secondary sources.

PROCESS: You will be expected to follow a guided process in your research and writing. I have designed the course to make it easier for you to write a research paper step by step. We will discuss how to do research throughout this entire course.

TEXT: Your paper will examine a particular writer’s work. It is not a biographical sketch of the writer; however, you may include biographical information in your introduction paragraph or in the body if it relates to your thesis. It is not a plot summary; I can read the book or play for that. Primarily, you are going to take a position about the work (theme, symbolism, character analysis, for example) and use specific events or quotes from the work to support and explain that position. In addition, you are going to examine what literary critics have to say regarding your primary source.

FORMAT: Your paper will adhere to MLA format. You will be expected to list each of your sources in proper MLA format on the Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. You will also use proper parenthetical internal documentation throughout your paper.

Proofread your research paper well!! Did you include the following in your essay? It doesn’t have to be in this order; this is a suggestion, but you should include the following in a good essay based on a novel:

1. Introduce the title of the book and the author; establish the thesis statement. The thesis statement explains the problem or point of view your paper will explore about the book–what was the theme of the book? what did it teach the reader about life and how to live it?.

2. Provide a short summary of the book–emphasis here on short (do not retell the book). Give some information about the author’s life as it relates to the writing of the book. (Do not write a biography of the author’s entire life–only the parts influencing the writing of the book.)

3. Explain the background of the book and any major issues.

4. Write an analysis of the characters, setting and plot.

5. Discuss any use of figurative language and explain the author’s use of symbolism, imagery and foreshadowing, etc.

6. Develop any conclusions to the points of your thesis statement. Here you will present any of your personal interpretations and any solutions, final opinions, or impressions.

Be sure you use your research articles to back up your information. You have to use at least three sources in the paper, one of which is the novel itself. You can use as many as you need, but not more than 5, please. Be sure to use MLA format with parenthetical citations in the paper and MLA citations on the Works Cited Page or APA in-text citations and a Resource page.

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