Beowulf

Research Paper: Overview
Throughout the course you will be working to prepare a 1,500 word research paper. To create a research paper the student is expected to come up with a topic of his or her choosing, research that topic using ONLY scholarly sources, and report his or her findings using appropriate grammar and format. The research project and paper is an effort to further investigate a key element of our study. The paper should make use of either empirical or secondary data wherever possible to enhance the analysis. Students are expected to follow Modern Language Association writing style.
What Should the Topic of my Paper be?
The topic of your research is one of your own choosing.

Throughout the course we will be reading many authors and studying various critical schools that scholars use to engage with the readings. As you read you should be on the look out for possible topics for your research. This is a fundamental part of the course! By selecting your own topic you are entering into an area of research of your own choosing. This is the first step to true scholarship.

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I strongly suggest that you write notes on each reading. These notes should include observations you’ve made while reading that reflect the topics covered in week 7: critical schools. For example, if you’ve found the treatment of gender interesting in Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants be sure to note it in reading notes. This is a very rich topic for later research! This process can be repeated with any of our reading and any critical school you find interesting. As always please send me your ideas as they occur to you and we will work on getting the research paper together.

Your paper should:
Contain an introduction paragraph which 1) introduces the audience to the issue being addressed, 2) identifies clearly the writer’s claim, 3) examines why this information is important to the specified audience, 4) announces the organization of the paper.
Offer a thesis statement in the form of an argument.
Offer academic sources to support the thesis statement.
Include evidence of scholarly research such as peer-reviewed academic articles:
Incorporating Sources into Your Research Paper
(Links to an external site.)

Maintain focus on the paper’s thesis throughout.
Organize the material presented in a consistent, rational manner.
Contain a conclusion that reasserts the writer’s thesis statement and reiterates the introduction.
Use transitions to achieve unity between ideas and paragraphs.
Use conventions of standard written English (appropriate diction, no omitted words, grammar, punctuation, spelling).
Follow MLA format guidelines
Please be certain that your treatment of your topic is complete, thoughtful, and well-researched. The topic of the research paper can be any of the subjects covered over the course of the lecture series. Listed below are few “seed ideas” for students that have difficulty getting started. As always, please contact me with any concerns. Be certain your research paper contains all of the following elements:
sound argumentation techniques
coherent source synthesis
correctly formatted MLA-style parenthetical citations
standard grammatical usage
The research project and paper is an effort to further investigate a key element of our study. The paper should make use of either empirical or secondary data wherever possible to enhance the analysis. Students are expected to follow Modern Language Association writing style.
Tips:
Your paper should:
Contain an introduction paragraph which 1) introduces the audience to the issue being addressed, 2) identifies clearly the writer’s claim, 3) examines why this information is important to the specified audience, 4) announces the organization of the paper.
Offer a thesis statement in the form of an argument.
Offer academic sources to support the thesis statement.
Include evidence of scholarly research.
Maintain focus on the paper’s thesis throughout.
Organize the material presented in a consistent, rational manner.
Contain a conclusion that reasserts the writer’s thesis statement and reiterates the introduction.
Use transitions to achieve unity between ideas and paragraphs.
Use conventions of standard written English (appropriate diction, no omitted words, grammar, punctuation, and spelling).
Follow MLA format guidelines.
Please be certain that your treatment of your topic is complete, thoughtful, and well-researched. The topic of the research paper can be any of the subjects covered over the course of the lecture series. As always, please contact me with any concerns.
Sources
The paper must utilize no less than three sources. One of these sources must be the primary text you are using such as our textbook. The other sources must be scholarly journal articles or appropriate books. Be sure that the articles you select to use are peer-reviewed works from respected academic sources.
The best resource for students to use in the research process of this project is the reference librarians of our college library. We will be visiting the library during the semester for a training seminar on finding scholarly sources.
REMEMBER:
Be connected to your topic—you should pursue a topic that interests you and perhaps fits in with other studies you are engaged in.
Specifically state your thesis early and often.
Spend your effort working to prove your argument based thesis. DO NOT waste time summarizing if it is not needed to further your argument.
Acknowledge and refute counterarguments.
Remember to cite when needed. This includes quotes, paraphrases, and summaries you add to the paper.
Make sure your paragraphs are fully developed and have topic sentences and concluding sentences.

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