ENG 102 Research Paper Guidelines Purpose The research paper assignment for this course is due at the end of week 7. The reading and writing skills shown in the successful completion of this assignment are the concluding step in the GMC ENG 101/ENG 102 sequence, displaying your skills as a writer, reader, researcher, and critical thinker. Research Paper Directions Your research paper should be an argumentative essay that makes a specific claim about one or more of the course readings. The claim should be made by applying specific schools of literary criticism from the “Critical Strategies for Reading” section of our textbook. Support this claim and argument in a well-developed, well-written, and wellorganized essay of at least 1500-1800 words of text (not counting the works cited page) and must successfully use at least 5 critical secondary sources (primary sources are not included in the research requirement) accessed through the GMC library. The bulleted list below provides general options for paper topics. The entirety of the class reading assignments can be found in the Course Syllabus, under “Course Schedule.” The bulleted list below provides general options for paper topics: • A paper focusing on one of the texts from class • A paper focusing on multiple texts (no more than 3) by the same author • A paper focusing on multiple texts (no more than 2) by different authors (no more than 2) Tips and Reminders Use your textbook as a resource.Reviewchapters 48 (Critical Strategies forReading, page 1439), 49 (Reading and the Writing Process, page 1465), and 50 (the Literary Research Paper, page 1499). There are also examples various examples of student essays in the textbook. Re-read the text(s) you want to base your paper on. Once you have decided on a topic, begin doing preliminary research (you will need to do a lot of research for this assignment anyway). Read what other literary critics have said. This will help you to further narrow down your topic, and even to find some of the sources you will end up using in the paper. Remember that you are a literary critic too—this means you should feel free to question and disagree with the interpretations you read. Make sure your thesis is an arguable one, something that readers might actually agree or disagree with. Don’t be afraid to take a leap and put forward a new, creative, and/or unique interpretation. Remember that any argument can be a good one if you properly support it with evidence from the text. Your paper must incorporate information from outside sources found through the GMC library. Remember that you have three methods for incorporating outside information into any paper: you can quote (use the source’s exact words), paraphrase (put the source’s words into your own words), or summarize (boil down information from a source to a 1-2 sentence summary in your own words). If you need to review these topics, check out the information at the Purdue OWL here http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/1/ Avoid unnecessary plot summary and biographical information. Assume that your reader has already read the work you are discussing, and assume that your reader knows important information about the author’s life already. Remember that sources like Wikipedia, Sparknotes, and other open-web sources are not appropriate for this paper. Conduct your research through the library like a real researcher, rather than relying on Google to find open-web sources that may not be appropriate. MLA formatting for paper style, in-text citations, and the Works Cited is a significant part of this paper. Review the sample essays in our textbook, the Purdue OWL MLA section (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/), and other MLA guides for examples of what your paper should look like. Organize your argument to maximize its effectiveness. Your introduction should include a thesis. Each paragraph of your paper should include a topic sentence that references your thesis. Each sentence in each paragraph should directly support that paragraph’s topic sentence. Finally, don’t forget the little things. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be perfect. Edit and revise your work. Manage your time efficiently to allow yourself the opportunity to read and reread your final paper multiple times. As always, contact your instructor whenever you have questions!