|Term Paper —English 1B Honors (Research Component) Dr. Leiby Fall 2012
For Essay #5 (the Term Paper), I strongly suggest that you revise one of your earlier essays, or perhaps even one of your essay responses on the mid-term exam or the close reading you did in an exercise, reshaping it into a research-oriented paper on literature. The term paper can be either: 1) a revision and expansion of one of the first three short analysis papers (genre essays), incorporating research and fulfilling at least the minimum requirements for the term paper; or 2) you may conduct research on Frankenstein and submit a combined fourth analysis paper/term paper that fulfills more than the minimum requirements for both assignments. For the essay, you must incorporate either literary criticism (in books or articles) or biographical information (from books or articles) into your essay. (You may, of course, include both literary criticism and biography, and while this approach is preferred, it is certainly not required; however, you must do more than just include biography in the introduction of your essay.) While the thesis of your essay might not engage directly with your research, your essay must incorporate research in some significant way.
You might include biographical information, for example, to interpret certain images or symbolism in a literary work, arguing perhaps from a psychoanalytic or feminist perspective that the symbolism relates to some significant event in the author’s life. Or you might compare to your own interpretation the way one or more literary critics interpret a work, perhaps even arguing that your interpretation is more valid. Or you could use points made by literary critics to support your own argument about a literary text. Historical, sociological, or political research might also be appropriate; however, you must include biography or literary criticism as well. (Most research essays on literature incorporate biographical information into at least the introduction of the essay, as well as several different sources of literary criticism throughout the essay.)
I encourage you to add to an already written genre essay, but you may also write the term paper on Frankenstein or on one of the literary texts you did not write on earlier in the semester. You should search both the Internet (do a scholarly search, such as Google Scholar), as well as at least four of ECC’s computer databases (Ebscohost’s MasterFILE and Academic Search Premier, Gale Literary Databases, Literature Criticism Online, and the Literature Resource Center will be the most useful), plus ECC’s Millennium catalog, for literary criticism and biographical information in articles and books by or about the author or work(s) of literature that you have chosen. (Print out the search list results from these six different searches as evidence of your research process and write the key words you used on each list.) Feel free to use another library’s resources. (ECC’s library has a reciprocity agreement with Cal State Dominguez Hills, for example.)
1) The paper must be approximately 6 typed pages minimum, double-spaced (at least
1500 words and 6 full pages of text, plus the Works Cited page), or approximately
7-8 typed pages of text plus the Works Cited page if you choose to submit a
combined fourth analysis paper/term paper on Frankenstein.
2) The paper should have a complete introductory paragraph that includes background
information on the author(s) and literary text(s), an overview of the literary text as it
pertains to your thesis, as well as the thesis (an argumentative, interpretive thesis).
3) The paper should also include well-developed, well-detailed body paragraphs that
provide a close reading of the literary text(s) and incorporate research in some
significant way (at least three academically valid sources are required), and a
complete conclusion paragraph.
4) Use proper MLA style of documentation (updated, 2009); include both in-text
citations and a Works Cited page—don’t forget the literary text(s), as well as all
other sources. Follow the specific MLA guidelines in your textbook and handbook
for each genre (fiction, drama, poetry), cite all outside sources used to avoid
plagiarism, and submit the essay to Turnitin.com
5) Label the final version of the term paper appropriately, as well as all rough drafts, and
submit them together in a two-pocket folder (with your name and course title on
the front cover of the folder); include at least one draft reviewed by a Writing
Center tutor and also include the graded copy of any Analysis Paper utilized.
6) Submit with the essay all materials for the Research Component: at least six lists of
sources with key words used, as well as highlighted photocopies or printouts of
all research materials from which you quote or paraphrase, put in alphabetical order.
The essay counts twice as much as the four analysis papers that you have written earlier in the course. (Essays #1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 all count 10% each; however, another 10% of your final grade derives from the research component of Essay #5.) Therefore, you will receive two grades: one for the essay and the other for the research component, totaling 20% of your final grade for the course. (If you choose to write a combined Analysis Paper #4/Term Paper, then the grade for the essay will be worth 20% and the research component 10%, totaling 30% of your final grade for the course.) Therefore, I recommend that you revise your strongest essay (from the first three you’ve written) and edit it very carefully, as points will be taken off for grammatical and documentation errors. You may utilize all parts of the previously written genre essay. However, you may certainly choose to write on Frankenstein or on a selection you have not written on previously; just be sure to get feedback on drafts (from peers, Writing Center tutors, etc.) and to edit the paper extremely carefully before final submission on December 13, the last day of class.
To fulfill the research component, you must submit with your essay lists of ALL materials that you have discovered in your search, including even titles of books and articles that you ultimately choose not to cite in your essay (simply print out the six lists of your Internet, database, and book searches and write the key words used on these lists), as well as photocopies of pages of books and articles from which you do quote or paraphrase. Highlight or underline on these photocopies the title, author’s name, and any quoted and/or paraphrased material that you use in your essay; organize them alphabetically (in the same order as the Works Cited page) and staple each source separately. You may also wish to include with this material a paragraph or two explaining your research endeavors, especially if your search does not yield much material that you ultimately decide to use in your essay. Remember, for 10% of the 20% total for Essay #5, I will be evaluating the thoroughness of your research; therefore, include with the essay as much evidence of your thoroughness as possible.
Due Dates: You need to complete most of your research for this essay by December 4 and bring copies of the Works Cited page to class on December 4. (Also bring your research materials in case you have any questions about documenting your sources.) Bring the rough draft on flash drive for peer review on December 11. The Term Paper and Research Component materials are due December 13. If you submit Essay #5 late or do not submit the essay at all, you might not pass the course. Submit with the final version of the essay all prewriting and drafts utilized, especially already graded material, such as the graded essay (analysis paper) you’ve revised, as well as all research materials. Place the final version of the essay in one side of a two-pocket folder, with the revised, graded (genre) essay and other drafts (e.g. peer review, Writing Center reviewed) beneath it, and all research component material in the other side. Label and highlight all materials appropriately and don’t forget to write your name and the course title on the front cover of the folder as well.