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Craft an argumentative thesis statement and then construct an outline for your research

2000 words 6 full double spaced page 

research paper 4 sources at least, 2 from physical book at least

argument thesis below 

Walt whitman drum taps is microcosm of the civil war 

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 1

Research Essay Assignment Sheet:

Length: 2000 words (i.e., about 6 full double-spaced pages minimum. A paper less than 5

complete, double spaced pages may be penalized for not meeting the assignment-length

requirements. Papers longer than 10 pages are not recommended). This word count excludes the

Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography.

Total Final Grade weight: Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography 15%, Final

Research essay 35%.

Due Dates:

Thursday, September 1: Topics assigned in class.

Friday, September 30: Parts 1 and 2: Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography:

Part 1: Craft an argumentative thesis statement and then construct an outline for your research

essay. See below for details on what constitutes an argumentative thesis. 100 word minimum.

Part 2: The annotated bibliography should include a minimum of 4 academic sources located

through the library and/or the library’s website. Please note that at least 2 of these sources must

be physical books that you check out of the library (i.e., Gorgas). Do not use resources designed

for children and/or young adults (this includes all items located at McLure library). Do not use

sources found through non-academic search engines (e.g., Google). If you are unsure of the

suitability of the source, please consult me. 400 word minimum for all of the annotations (with

an 80-word minimum for each entry).

For both parts the minimum word count is 500 words for Part 1 and Part 2 together.

Friday, November 11: Part 3: Final Research Essay:

You will write one literary research essay in which you combine your own reading of a text or

texts which we have covered in class with research from at least 4 academic resources, at

minimum 2 of which must be physical books that you check out from the library. An

argumentative thesis is required for this essay, based on the topic assigned to you in class. Word

count: 2,000 words.

The Rubric used to grade both parts of this project is provided at the end of this document.

What this assignment is: Based on your assigned topic you will write one research essay

exploring one or more of the texts we covered this semester. You may read ahead to research a

text or assigned topic that we have not yet covered. You must only write your research essay on

that specific topic.

In this essay you are required to write a literary analysis Research Essay with an argumentative

thesis statement. You will then support the claim of your argumentative thesis statement with a

combination of close reading and scholarly academic research that supports your argumentative

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 2

thesis statement. You will make claims that support your argumentative thesis and then provide

support for those claims based on your own unique close readings and scholarly research.

Additionally, you should not have more than one entire page, double spaced, of historical

information and/or textual summary regardless of your assigned topic. Do not include any more

than two sentences of biographical information on the author in the entire essay unless you have

approval from your instructor.

Any essay that focuses either exclusively, or primarily, on the biographical information of an

author or authors, or on a historical topic, does not fulfill the requirements of the assignment

(unless the merits of the assigned topic necessitate it) and consequently will receive a grade of 0.

You must properly integrate all quotes within your own sentences. Do not insert quotes without

integrating them into your own sentences. You must properly cite and document all sources

quoted. No block quotes are allowed including from both primary and secondary sources,

including poetry. Make sure that you avoid the first person (the only exception to this is in the

Thesis Statement, per the instructions on formulating that part elsewhere in this Assignment

Sheet). Please keep in mind that this is not a personal response (i.e., reflection) to a work or

works.

Please see the accompanying handout from the Purdue OWL for further details on what is

expected in this paper.

Source Requirement: You are required to use at least 4 academic resources, 2 of which must be

physical books which you checked out from the library. You MUST include a Works Cited

section at the end of your essay, with proper MLA formatting.

Thesis Statement: Your thesis statement should be in the form of an argument and should

imitate the following pattern: “In this essay I will argue that [your argument] in [text or texts that

you are arguing from] because [Reason 1], [Reason 2], and [Reason 3].”

Example Thesis Statement: In this essay I will argue that [Argument:] Henry David Thoreau’s

use of world religions in Walden was because [Reason 1:] he wanted to communicate to readers

the relevance of religion in living life, [Reason 2:] to show that religion can help one relate to

nature, and [Reason 3:] that he wanted to prove to readers that he was well read.”

Match limit: No more than 25% of the entire text of your essay’s body paragraphs may be

quoted material; this quote percentage limit includes use of both primary texts and scholarly

sources. The “Works Cited” list, i.e., Bibliography, is not included in this percentage.

Assigned Topics: Your instructor will assign you a specific essay topic on which you should

write. Note that regardless of your topic, you should focus primarily on the assigned primary

text(s) (i.e., the poem, novel, play, or other literary item) rather than secondary research, such as

scholarly and historical information that you have gathered from academic books and journals.

Note that the 25% limit on quoted material is inclusive of both of these types of sources; that is,

no more than 25% of your entire essay may be quoted from a combination of primary and

secondary material. If you have been assigned a topic, you must only write your research essay

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 3

on that specific topic. If you are assigned a specific topic and you do not write on it, you will not

fulfill the assignment and therefore not receive any credit for this assignment.

Disallowed Topics: Essays should avoid discussing Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Bradstreet,

Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine unless you have something original to say, or you are

writing on a topic assigned to you by the instructor. You should generate your own topic for your

essay, UNLESS a topic has been assigned to you. Topics assigned by your instructor may

include the authors listed above only if the research topic is assigned to you specifically and

directly by the instructor. If you are not assigned a topic that includes these authors, you should

not include them in your essay.

Please note that there will be no revisions of this essay allowed once it is submitted. In other

words, if you submit this research essay and it does not fulfill the requirements of this

assignment, and/or if your paper violates any of the instructions on this assignment sheet, you

will not receive any credit for this assignment. No revisions or re-submissions will be allowed

before or after the due date.

Writing Center Requirement:

You are required to attend a session at the UA Writing Center. See their website

https://writingcenter.ua.edu/ or visit their office in Lloyd Hall 322 to make an appointment. At

your meeting you will be given the option to have the Writing Center email me at

[email protected] . They must submit this email to me by the end of day on November 11 for it

to count. Failure to submit proof of your appointment (the email sent directly from the Writing

Center) will result in a loss of 10 points on your Final Research Essay after it has been graded

according to the Rubric. Emails confirming appointments do not count toward this requirement.

Paper formatting:

Please note that all papers must follow standard MLA formatting, this includes being in Times

New Roman, 12 point font with standard one-inch margins on all sides of the page.

This includes having your name and the page number at the top of every page.

In addition, your essay MUST have

-a title

-any use of illustrations and/or images must be properly cited both adjoining the illustration

and/or image, as well as in the Works Cited page. Illustrations and/or images do not count

toward the minimum page count.

-include an outline of your essay after the Works Cited list.

-include the word count of your essay after the Works Cited list.

-physical copies must be stapled.

-failure to comply with these rules may negatively affect your grade.

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 4

Academic Honesty: All the work you turn in must be original and your own. You may not turn in

work from a paper file, a friend or family member, the Internet, or a tutor. Papers that do not

comply with this policy will be turned over to the Dean’s Office for review. In addition, you should

also consult with your instructor before you turn in a paper written for another class.

Before You Begin That Paper

Adapted by The UA First-year Writing Program with permission from UCLA Dean of Students

Office

1. Be sure you understand your assignment. If you have ANY questions, do not

hesitate to ASK your instructor.

2. Be sure you understand the definition of PLAGIARISM.

According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (Oxford University Press, 2001,

2004. Answers.com 09 Jul. 2007. http://www.answers.com/topic/plagiarism) plagiarism is “the

theft of ideas (such as the plots of narrative or dramatic works) or of written passages or works,

where these are passed off as one's own work without acknowledgement of their true origin.”

Many college writing assignments—from small homework assignments all the way up to

long research projects—will require you to incorporate the words and ideas of others. If your

assignment directs you to consult outside sources, be sure to use and cite them correctly. If

you are not sure how to do this, ask BEFORE submitting the work for credit.

If your assignment says NOT to use outside sources, be sure that you DON’T. College-level

work involves personal growth, and often that involves wrangling with issues and ideas on

your own before you turn to outside sources. Don’t shortchange yourself. Do the

assignment as assigned. If your teacher says “no outside sources,” then be assured that he or

she wants YOUR ideas and not the ideas

you gathered from a Google search or Wikipedia.

Plagiarism also includes “patchwriting,” wherein a passage is copied from another source

and then select words are changed to synonyms of the words in the original passage. This

retains the original source’s ideas, and consequently is plagiarism.

3. Be sure you understand the CONSEQUENCES of plagiarism.

When you plagiarize, you hand in work that is not your own (or not entirely your own). That

means that you sabotage the quality of your own education and your own learning experience.

When you plagiarize, you steal—from yourself and from others. The University assumes that

the grades you earn in your courses represent you own work. When you plagiarize—even if

you “get away with it”—you undermine the value of your own college degree.

When you plagiarize, chances are good that you will get caught. If that happens, you should

be aware that there will be very real consequences, including suspension or expulsion from

the University. Consider the impact on your financial aid, on your plans to attend graduate

school, on your career, on your housing situation, on your family and friends!

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 5

4. Be sure you understand that there are ALTERNATIVES to plagiarism.

• Your instructor will explain in class how you can avoid plagiarism. For additional help,

visit your instructor’s office: make an appointment or drop in during office hours.

• Consult your writing textbook for advice on taking notes, summarizing, paraphrasing,

quoting, citation, and documentation.

• Visit The University of Alabama Writing Center (322 Lloyd Hall).

5. Be sure you understand that UA instructors are REQUIRED to refer possible cases

to their divisional academic misconduct monitor. This does not mean you are guilty of

plagiarism; it means the situation needs further review. For English courses, the monitor is

Tom Wolfe, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The following pages were originally sourced from the OWL at Purdue, and have been edited to

mostly, but not necessarily perfectly, reflect the specific requirements of this class and the

assignments listed above. Note: the following remarks are for informational and example

purposes only, and do not constitute either an implicit or explicit extension, addendum, coda,

qualification, or other form of the above assignment sheet. If there is a contradiction found

between the information hereafter and the information heretofore, then the information

heretofore is correct.

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue https://owl.english.purdue.edu/).

Contributors: Mark Dollar, Purdue OWL.

Summary: This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It

discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

What Makes a Good Literature Paper?

An argument

When you write an extended literary essay, often one requiring research, you are essentially

making an argument. You are arguing that your perspective-an interpretation, an evaluative

judgment, or a critical evaluation-is a valid one.

A debatable thesis statement

Like any argument paper you have ever written for a first-year composition course, you must

have a specific, detailed thesis statement that reveals your perspective, and, like any good

argument, your perspective must be one which is debatable.

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 6

Examples

You would not want to make an argument of this sort:

Shakespeare's Hamlet is a play about a young man who seeks revenge.

That doesn't say anything-it's basically just a summary and is hardly debatable.

A better thesis would be this:

Hamlet experiences internal conflict because he is in love with his mother.

That is debatable, controversial even. The rest of a paper with this argument as its thesis will be

an attempt to show, using specific examples from the text and evidence from scholars, (1)

how Hamlet is in love with his mother, (2) why he's in love with her, and (3) what implications

there are for reading the play in this manner.

You also want to avoid a thesis statement like this:

Spirituality means different things to different people. King Lear, The Book of Romans,

and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance each view the spirit differently.

Again, that says nothing that's not already self-evident. Why bother writing a paper about that?

You're not writing an essay to list works that have nothing in common other than a general topic

like "spirituality." You want to find certain works or authors that, while they may have several

differences, do have some specific, unifying point. That point is your thesis.

A better thesis would be this:

Lear, Romans, and Zen each view the soul as the center of human personality.

Then you prove it, using examples from the texts that show that the soul is the center of

personality.

Literature Topics and Research Contributors: Mark Dollar, Purdue OWL.

Summary:

This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses

research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

What kinds of topics are good ones?

The best topics are ones that originate out of your own reading of a work of literature, but here

are some common approaches to consider:

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 7

• A discussion of a work's characters: are they realistic, symbolic, historically-based?

• A comparison/contrast of the choices different authors or characters make in a work

• A reading of a work based on an outside philosophical perspective (Ex. how would a

Freudian read Hamlet?)

• A study of the sources or historical events that occasioned a particular work (Ex.

comparing G.B. Shaw's Pygmalion with the original Greek myth of Pygmalion)

• An analysis of a specific image occurring in several works (Ex. the use of moon imagery

in certain plays, poems, novels)

• A "deconstruction" of a particular work (Ex. unfolding an underlying racist worldview in

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness)

• A reading from a political perspective (Ex. how would a Marxist read William Blake's

"London"?)

• A study of the social, political, or economic context in which a work was written — how

does the context influence the work?

How do I start research?

• The library:

The Internet rarely offers serious direct scholarship; you will have to use sources found in

the library, sources like journal articles and scholarly books, to get information that you

can use to build your own scholarship-your literary paper. Consult the library's on-line

catalog and the MLA Periodical Index. Avoid citing dictionary or encyclopedic sources

in your final paper.

How do I use the information I find?

The secondary sources you find are only to be used as an aid. Your thoughts should make up

most of the essay. As you develop your thesis, you will bring in the ideas of the scholars to back

up what you have already said.

For example, say you are arguing that Huck Finn is a Christ figure; that's your basic thesis.

You give evidence from the novel that allows this reading, and then, at the right place, you might

say the following, a paraphrase:

According to Susan Thomas, Huck sacrifices himself because he wants to set Jim free (129).

If the scholar states an important idea in a memorable way, use a direct quote.

"Huck's altruism and feelings of compassion for Jim force him to surrender to the danger"

(Thomas 129).

Either way, you will then link that idea to your thesis.

Contributors: Mark Dollar, Purdue OWL.

Summary: This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It

discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 8

Formatting

What about MLA format?

All research papers on literature use MLA format, as it is the universal citation method for the

field of literary studies. Whenever you use a primary or secondary source, whether you are

quoting or paraphrasing, you will make parenthetical citations in the MLA format [Ex. (Smith

67).] Your Works Cited list will be the last page of your essay. Consult the OWL handout on

MLA for further instructions.

Note, however, the following minor things about MLA format:

• Titles of books, plays, or works published singularly (not anthologized) should be

italicised unless it is a handwritten document, in which case underlining is acceptable.

(Ex. Hamlet, Great Expectations)

• Titles of poems, short stories, or works published in an anthology will have quotation

marks around them. (Ex. "Ode on a Nightingale," "The Cask of Amontillado")

• All pages in your essay should have your last name the page number in the top right hand

corner. (Ex. Jones 12)

Tip

If you're using Microsoft Word, you can easily include your name and page

number on each page by following these steps:

1. Open "View" (on the top menu).

2. Open "Header and Footer." (A box will appear at the top of the page you're on.

And a "Header and Footer" menu box will also appear).

3. Click on the "allign right" button at the top of the screen. (If you're not sure which

button it is, hold the mouse over the buttons and a small window should pop up

telling you which button you're on.)

4. Type in your last name and a space.

5. Click on the "#" button which is located on the "Header and Footer" menu box. It

will insert the appropriate page number.

6. Click "Close" on the "Header and Footer" window.

What else should I remember?

• Don't leave a quote or paraphrase by itself-you must introduce it, explain it, and

show how it relates to your thesis.

• When you quote brief passages of poetry, line and stanza divisions are shown as a slash

(Ex. "Roses are red, / Violets are blue / You love me / And I like you").

• For more help, see the OWL handout on using quotes.

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/).

English 209 Research Essay Assignment Sheet Crawford 9

Rubric for both parts: Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography and the Final

Research Essay:

Criterion 1: Assignment, Audience, Purpose (20% Weight):

Exemplary (18-

20%)

Advanced (16-

17%)

Proficient (14-

15%)

Developing (12-

13%)

Unsatisfactory (0-

11%)

Essay not only

follows

assignment

guidelines, appeals

to appropriate

audience, and

maintains a clear

purpose, but does

so in a creative

way that

transcends simply

following the

assignment.

All assignment

guidelines are

followed. Moves

are made

throughout the

essay to appeal to

the appropriate

audience. The

purpose is clear

throughout the

entire essay.

Basic assignment

guidelines

basically are

followed

correctly. The

essay basically

works for the

appropriate

audience. The

purpose is

sustained

throughout the

entire essay.

Essay exhibits a

few of the

following issues:

minor variations

from assignment

guidelines, minor

lapses in writing

to the appropriate

audience, and/or

unclear purpose in

one or more

places.

Essay exhibits a few

of the following

problems:

assignment not

followed, essay not

written to

appropriate

audience, and/or no

discernible purpose.

Criterion 2: Content and Development (30% Weight):

Exemplary (27-30%) Advanced

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