Overview of Unit 4’s Research Paper
For the research paper, you’ll place your own observations within the context of other scholarships. In short, you will enter into an academic conversation with others who are interested in your topic, thereby participating in the construction of knowledge. To enter this conversation, you need to follow this process:
The topic is based the previous essay attached
Determine which resources address your topic of study. Gather those sources in a way that allows you to hear the various “threads of conversation” taking place within your topic. You will create an annotated bibliography that includes ten sources, five of which are annotated, and a paragraph describing how you will use the sources in your paper. Your final paper will incorporate at least six outside sources from specialized resources.
From these six sources, you need to have at least one book, either from the library or bookstore, or an ebook from Netlibrary. You must also have at least three GALILEO sources. The remaining sources may be public Internet sites; however, they must be valid and scholarly. Wikis, blogs, discussion boards, or sources in the style of Cliffs Notes will NOT count, although you can certainly use them to generate ideas.
Refine your topic.
Write the research paper (1500-2000 words) as a response to that conversation. Your primary audience is your class and instructor, and your secondary audience is the scholars who may be interested in your contributions to the literary body of knowledge.
Does the process seem overwhelming? Don’t worry-your instructor and your peers will guide you through each step of the way. As a matter of fact, for this particular part of the course, you will provide the texts and writings for the class. As we work step-by-step, you will be able to see your topic and the research process unfold before your eyes.
Writing the Research Essay
The research paper is your opportunity to enter into the conversation to which you have begun listening. So far, you have gathered sources and then organized them. As part of your annotated bibliography, you listed those sources and then introduced them by establishing some of the relationships among the sources. Now, take at least five of your sources and focus on ONE of the threads of conversation that you identified. You will enter into the conversation by drafting some of your own sense of this thread.
Do you agree or disagree with the other scholars?
What do you agree with or disagree with in their research?
What claim might you make?
What are your reasons for the claim?
What evidence from the text would you provide?
What counter-arguments might you anticipate?
How will you address these counter-arguments?
A humanities-based research paper often follows this format:
The theoretical approach that offers a different perspective
The writer’s refutation of counter-arguments
While you may choose to use a different model, you might keep this one in mind, as well as the models that are offered in your book.
Actually, you’ve already completed much of the work for this model: You already have a rough draft of the literature review in the introduction that you wrote for your annotated bibliography. Similarly, your answers to the above questions will help you formulate your own claim, reasons, and evidence.
In fact, if you have not done so already, write your claim and reasons right now. Your claim and reasons will function as the thesis of your paper. If you identify a particular theoretical approach that supports your claim, you may want to review that material and include it in your paper. Your evidence will then be the selections of the text, as well as the scholarship of others, that you use to support your argument. Your final draft should be from 1500-2000 words.
Use MLA format in the final draft!
To review information on literary analysis and criticism, return to your textbook to reread chapters that are applicable to your topic and to your needs.
Once you have finished an initial draft, after your instructor, your peers will then review it.
It was my hope that before you submitted it to me for review that you asked for reviews from family, friends, and others. The most productive way to ask for a review is to develop your own set of questions and concerns about your paper. Your questions may follow this format:
What you like about your paper
What you don’t like about your paper
Your goal for the paper
Your achievement of that goal
As you ask someone to read it and respond to your questions (you can do this until you’re ready to submit the final draft), remember that you have the best sense of where your paper is headed and how well you have reached that goal. Make any changes you deem necessary to the draft in preparation for the Essay Review assignment.
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