Assignment Description: The Research Paper

With this assignment, you will synthesize your analysis of the texts we have read along with relevant articles from those shared on Diigo or that you have found on your own.  You will use multiple sources to create a strong, assertive Research Paper thesis statement, along with evidence from the primary sources we have read and discussed throughout the semester.  You will cite those sources properly in MLA style and cite the proper bibliographic information on a Works Cited page.

Possible Topics: In this course, we are reading various World Literature works that engage with the idea of monsters or the idea of what is monstrous.  The types of threats confronted in these texts vary widely, engaging with everything from physical monsters to imagined monsters to the idea of the monstrous in our characters and their societies. 

In your research paper this semester, you should choose one of these questions to consider:

·         ThemesHow do the monsters that appear in these texts help to highlight certain themes better?  What themes are especially well emphasized by having monsters appear in texts?
·         HeroesDo texts that emphasize monsters also emphasize heroes, or are heroes not needed in monster stories?
·         Theoretical Lenses: Choose one of the theoretical lenses for understanding monsters from the Week 1 article “How to approach monsters” by David Gilmore.  Explain how this lens of viewing monster stories helps to understand multiple texts that we have studied this semester.
·         External Monsters vs. Internal Monsters:  Some of the earlier texts we read this semester have literal monsters that heroes must fight; some later texts have regular people act monstrously.  Which use of monsters – either those who are completely different from people or those who are most like people – is more effective at delivering a text’s theme?

Assignment Description:

This paper will require that you perform well the tasks necessary for compelling writing using multiple sources:

  1. summary and analysis of primary and secondary sources
    1. for primary texts you should discuss (a) one or both of the texts Beowulf and the Saga of Halfdan, Brana’s Fosterling and (b) at least four texts from Week 5 on.  Never Let Me Go must be used. 
  2. discovery of a critical problem, question, or debate
  3. discovery of a thesis; development of thesis through argument and comparison and comparison with other views 
  4. composition of a clear, cogently argued paper that cites, analyzes, and correctly documents relevant source material.
  5. the location of relevant source materials
  6. the evaluation of the secondary sources for credibility and relevance
  7. proper use of citation both in your paper itself and also in the “Works Cited” page

Creating the Research Paper:

You should be able to sketch out a debate early on in your project.  Your opening paragraph(s) of the research paper should explain what the debate is which you will participate in.  Then you should create evidence paragraphs and arrange them in the most effective order.  An acknowledgment of the counter-argument(s) should be included as well as a refutation of the counter-argument(s) if your topic is argumentative.  Finally, your conclusion should echo some of the major points you address and address the significance of your project.

How what we have been doing in class and our previous assignments help you create this assignment:  Writing a 10-page paper is a large task, certainly  However, throughout this semester we have been completing tasks to help prepare you for this work.  This assignment really is the culmination of everything you have been doing as you moved through the weeks of this course.  Here, I want to explain how those previous assignments have helped you get ready to do this work:
  • Our course readings and learning modules help you think through the texts’ content and possible interpretations that you could explore further
  • The Social Bookmarking/Diigo assignment helps you find scholarly sources.
    • Look back at the sources you shared and that your classmates’ shared as some of them might be useful for your paper
    • One part of this task was to help you differentiate between scholarly and popular sources.  You should be using scholarly sources in this research paper.
  • In the Research Paper proposal, you proposed some initial ideas, and in the feedback from your classmates and me, you received more ideas about how you could develop your thinking further.


Assignment Requirements/ What I’m looking for:

  1. A thesis statement and discussion of significance of the claims
  2. Use and incorporation of multiple primary and secondary as support for your claims
    1. You must use each of the primary texts that we have read and include at least three scholarly secondary sources as appropriate
  3. An introduction that explains the debate examined in the paper
  4. Clear, accurate evidence from at least three scholarly secondary sources that you use
  5. A logical organization that develops the issue discussed within the paper
  6. Coherent paragraphs that are organized around singular main ideas and that have appropriate topic sentences
  7. MLA citation
  8. A Works Cited page that correctly formats sources
  9. Clear prose without grammatical or mechanical problems
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