04 Aug What is the philosophy of Boethius?
CHOOSE A TOPIC READING WHATS WRITTEN BELOW TO HELP YOU IT MUST BE SOMETHING YOU CAN ARGUE – Research Paper Proposal due:
Research Paper Proposal Requirements: – 20 points
State the topic you have chosen.
What theme/s of this topic will you be exploring? (ex: if you are writing the
character of Myrna Mynkoff, you might be interested in themes of activism,
feminism, education, etc.
What will the focus of your research be? (ex: If you are writing about modern
slavery, your research might center on incarceration statistics, or socio-economic
May 18 Annotated Bibliography Requirement – 40 points –
May 21 Peer Review: – 20 poiints
May 25 Final Draft Due – 120 points
5-7 pages – not counting Works Cited
5 outside sources (minimum)
Below are topics for the Research Paper with potential links to the Argumentative
essay. These are suggestions only. You are not required to link the two papers.
1. The novel’s name is a quotation from satirist Jonathan Swift. Is A Confederacy of
Dunces satirical? What does it satirize? (Make sure your thesis is not too broad.)
Argument: Do meme’s make the internet a better place?
2. What is the philosophy of Boethius? Why does Toole have Ignatius adopt that
philosophy? How does it affect the novel?
Argument: What are the most important things Students should learn in
School? Should prisons offer incarcerated people education?
3. In what ways does Toole’s biography inform A Confederacy of Dunces? Does it
change the experience of the reader?
Argument: Can You Separate Art from the Artist?
4. What is modern slavery, and how is it represented in A Confederacy of Dunces?
Argument: What is your reaction to the days of protest that followed the
death of George Floy?
5. Southern Gothic characteristic of intergenerational conflict is present in A
Confederacy of Dunces. How does Tool use Ignatius and Mrs. Irene Reilly’s
relationship in the text?
Argument: Is it harder to grow up in the 21st Century than it was in the
past? (Your parent’s or grandparents’ generation?)
6. Analyze one or more characters. Examine what function they have in the story?
What do they represent? How do they move the story along? Why did Toole paint
them the way he did? What are their relationships with each other? With Ignatius?
Argument: Is fear of “the other” poisoning public life?
When do you become an adult?
Argument: Should parents say “no” more often when their children
ask for new things?
Argument: Do you ever find gender expectations or norms confining?
George, Santa Battaglia, Claude Robichaux, Miss Annie, Lana Lee, Darlene, Mrs.
Levy, Trixie, Myrna Minkoff, Angelo Mancuso, Burma Jones, Mr. Levy, Mr,
Gonzales, Dorian Green.
You will be writing an argumentative Research Paper, as opposed to an analytical one.
Your paper will have an introduction and a thesis statement. This means your topic must
be arguable. You are not only providing an expertise on your topic, put you are trying to
persuade the reader that your interpretation of the topic is correct. You do not, however,
have to provide a counter-argument.
“A research paper is the culmination and final product of an involved process of
research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition. It is,
perhaps, helpful to think of the research paper as a living thing, which grows and changes
as the student explores, interprets, and evaluates sources related to a specific topic.
Primary and secondary sources are the heart of a research paper and provide its
nourishment; without the support of and interaction with these sources, the research paper
would morph into a different genre of writing (e.g., an encyclopedic article). The research
paper serves not only to further the field in which it is written, but also to provide the
student with an exceptional opportunity to increase her knowledge in that field. It is also
possible to identify a research paper by what it is not.
A research paper is not simply an informed summary of a topic by means of
primary and secondary sources. It is neither a book report nor an opinion piece nor an
expository essay consisting solely of one’s interpretation of a text nor an overview of a
particular topic. Instead, it is a genre that requires one to spend time investigating and
evaluating sources with the intent to offer interpretations of the texts, and not
unconscious regurgitations of those sources.
The goal of a research paper is not to inform the reader what others have to say
about a topic, but to draw on what others have to say about a topic and engage the
sources in order to thoughtfully offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand”
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