Write an essay that explores the life and work of an important or noted writer in the English language. Y

Literary Paper: Biographical Research

Literary Paper Assignment: Biographical Research

Assignment:         Write an essay that explores the life and work of an important or noted writer in the English language. You must choose a writer who is in our textbook, and b) is no longer living, and is IN OUR TEXTBOOK. For this essay, you will need to research and learn about the life of a writer of your choice; you will also need to research critical views of the writer’s literature and read works by this writer. This essay should inform about the biographical facts of the writer’s life and literary career, and then use that knowledge to discuss how two or three  “works” by that writer reflect the personal experiences, philosophy, or beliefs of the writer.

Your purpose is to briefly show at least one way in which the writer’s life influenced the writer’s work: this is your claim, or argument

Note: no two students can choose the same topic for this assignment, so you should be sure to look through the text carefully and have more than one choice for topic. (In addition, I will not approve Shakespeare as a topic for this assignment.)

This essay can be broken into two parts:

  1. A report on the life, education, and career of the writer (historical biography)
  2. An argument for a particular and specific “influence” the writer experienced from some aspect of his or her personal life. Your goal is to show how some personal element of the writer’s life influenced the literature he or she wrote. This idea, this “influence,” will be your “argument,”


  1. 2000 words + Formal MLA Outline and Works Cited placed in paper pocket folder, include rough draft, copies of sources.
  2. Follow MLA guidelines for format and documentation
  3. Use a minimum of 6 appropriate, scholarly sources:
    1. include primary and secondary sources
    2. use both traditional and internet sources
    3. sources must be legitimate academic or scholarly sources: no “general public” research sources will be accepted
  4. Your essay must report on the life of the writer, and relate the life of the writer to at least  two of his or her works.
  5. Plagiarism = “0” = Failure for the course.


  • Students must read original works by their chosen writer for this paper: you must read the stories and poetry written by your subject! Any paper that fails to demonstrate this first-hand knowledge with the writer’s own works will fail.
  • Students must submit this project on time in order to pass this class.