The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature

Research essay outline:     For the research paper , you have a choice of any piece of fictional literature (short story, poem or play) from our anthology to use as a primary source, and may choose one of the three following types of research essays, in which you will apply your research to the primary source of your choosing: 1.      Use biographical information about the author, poet, or playwright to show how events in that person’s life helps us understand some aspect or aspects of the primary source you chose. For example, you could look at the sorrowful events in Edgar Allen Poe’s life and demonstrate how they influenced the themes in his poem “The Haunted Palace” or Ernest Hemmingway’s war induced PTSD and his short story “Soldier’s Home” 2.      Use research about the historical, social, and/or gender roles at the time that a piece is set to help explain what you see as an essential aspect of the piece. For example, you could look at why Mrs. Mallard, in Kate Chopin’s “A Story of an Hour” felt imprisoned by the institution of marriage by researching marriage roles for women at the time, documents written that include women’s roles, especially wives roles, and the society’s expectations for, and limitations placed on, women of Chopin’s day. 3.      Look at a particular aspect of a piece, such as characterization, symbolism, setting, or plot in a short story or play, or imagery or figurative language in a poem or two.   Research essay guidelines:   The draft must be a minimum of four pages, typed or word-processed, double-spaced, using MLA format and MLA in-text, parenthetical citation. You must refer to (summarize, quote and/or paraphrase) a minimum four sources. Use MLA, parenthetical in-text citation in the body of the essay. Include a separate Works Cited page in MLA format. Sources used in the body must include at least three texts from our library’s databases, periodicals (newspapers, magazines, academic or scholarly journals, etc.) or three of the aforementioned and ONE valid source from your own online search (such as an article, essay, or statistics from a valid website) Sources from periodicals that you get online but that also exist in print form will not be counted as the internet source.

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