Helpful hints for Writing a Research Paper: See Topics See page discussing MLA Format (i.e. using proper header, etc. ) See page listing more general hints for a Critical Response
Again, remember that this is a Critical response paper,
NOT a Personal response paper.
It is also an ARGUMENT Paper, not a REPORT Paper. Do not
provide a history of the War of the Roses or a biography of
William Shakespeare . You may, however, analyze specific
works by Shakespeare and explain the ways in
which they demonstrate characteristics associated with period.
Please!! Avoid making comparisons
to Present Day Society !!! Such comparisons almost never
have a basis in actual textual analysis !!
Avoid plot summary! Use quotes from only those
sections of the text immediately relevant to your discussion!
Use past tense to discuss historical or biographical
events, but present tense when discussing literature.
Be very careful when making references to the class
textbook. For example, Christopher Marlowe is the author
of Faustus. Stephen Greenblatt is the general
editor of the text in which Faustus appears.
Marlowe, Christopher. The Tragical History of
Doctor Faustus. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Major
Authors Edition. 9th Ed. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt, et
al. NY: Norton, 2013. 501-35. Print.
(Note: only the first line is flush with the margin;
subsequent lines are tabbed over. It's called reverse
indent, if you want to look it up.)
Do Not Number the Entries in a Works Cited.
When citing verse, use slashes to show line breaks and cite
by line (or act.scene.line for plays).
Avoid plagiarism !! See Policy
On a related note, please be very selective about the
sources you utilize from the internet. The ideal sources are
those found on jstor.org or the Literature Resource Center or
MLA Bibliography--essays that have been previously published
in journals or books and are now available online.
AVOID the Following Sites!! These are NOT ACCEPTABLE
sources (and this is not a complete list, but you should get
the idea) !!!
USE SPELL-CHECK !
Other Mechanical Issues:
DO NOT USE A COVER PAGE !!!!
Use only ONE edition of your primary source. If you
wish to refer to an editor's introduction to another edition,
cite by the editor's name.
Be sure to use quotation marks for titles of shorter
works, such as poems and short stories, and italics for
titles of longer works, such as plays, epic poems and
Do not rely too heavily on secondary sources. The
number of citations to your primary source should be roughly
equivalent to the total number of references to ALL your
secondary sources combined.
Do NOT use secondary source material to summarize plot or
quote from the primary source.
Make sure it is clear WHOSE ideas you are presenting. If
Critic A is quoting Critic B, and you use the quote, your
citation should say (Qtd. in Critic A #). The #, of course,
refers to the page number in Critic A's text.
Avoid unnecessary changes to quotes. Instead of
saying, "Wollstonecraft describes, '[She] felt hopeless'
(24)," say, "Wollstonecraft describes that she 'felt hopeless'
Avoid using direct quotes in either your introduction or
conclusion. Discussion in these two paragraphs should be
Do not use quotes as the subjects of sentences: The quote
"---------" (29) shows that. . . or
"-----------" (87) means that . . .
Don't use "in which" when you mean "that."
Don't use "that" when you mean "who" (i.e. when referring
USE PRESENT TENSE TO DISCUSS LITERATURE !!!!!
Possible Research Paper
Character Analyses of Main Characters in one of the works
Portrayal of the Heroic Code in Beowulf and/or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" as Fabliau
Poetic Justice in "The Miller's Tale"
Allegory in The
Religion in The Faerie Queene
Dialogue between Marlowe and Ralegh
Temptation in Faustus
The Character of Satan in Paradise Lost
Conventions of Epic Poetry in
Portrayal of Godin Paradise
Satire in "Mac Flecknoe"
Satire in Gulliver's Travels
Race and Colonialism in Oroonoko
Gender in Oroonoko
Religion and Morality in Oroonoko
Portrayal of Women in The
Rape of the Lock
The Rape of the Lock
Characteristics of the
Graveyard School in Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country
Churchyard" and "On the Death of a Favorite Cat"
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olauduh Equiano
and the Slave Narrative Genre
Identity in The Interesting Narrative of the
Life of Olauduh Equiano