Research Paper Instructions

You must complete the required textbook readings in preparation for the Research Paper. This will equip you to objectively respond to the readings by compiling information from a variety of sources in order to compose a persuasive analysis of a literary work. You will also learn to follow standard usage in English grammar and sentence structure; proceed independently through the various stages of research and integrate sources accurately and effectively; identify the theme and structure of each literary selection as well as the significant characteristics or elements of each genre studied; and evaluate the literary merit of a work (Syllabus MLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F, G and Module/Week 8 LOs: 1, 2).

 

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In Module/Week 7, you will write a 1,500-word (approximately 5 pages) paper that addresses 1 of the plays from the Drama Unit. At least 6 citations, including the primary source and at least 5 secondary, scholarly sources, are required for this assignment. Before you begin writing the paper, carefully read the below guidelines for developing your paper topic. Review the Research Paper Grading Rubric to see how your submission will be graded. Gather all of your information, plan the direction of your paper, organize your ideas by developing a 1-page thesis statement and outline, draft your paper, and compile sources used. Format the thesis/outline, draft, and works cited/references/bibliography using current MLA, APA, or Turabian style, (whichever corresponds to your degree program); check your Harbrace Essentials Handbook pp. 106–158 (MLA); pp. 159–192 (APA); pp. 193–220 (Turabian), and/or the link contained in the Assignment Instructions Folder, to ensure the correct citation format is used.

The final paper must include a title page, thesis statement, and outline, followed by the research paper, and your correctly documented sources page.

 

You must submit your thesis, outline, rough draft, and works cited/references/bibliography by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 6 for instructor feedback.

 

You must submit the Research Paper by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 7.

 

Guidelines for Developing Your Paper Topic

The “Writing about Literature” section of your Perrine’s Literature textbook (pp. 1–54) and the “Writing” section of Harbrace Essentials (pp. 1–12, 15–16, 18–21, 22–28) provide helpful pointers for writing your literary essay and for academic writing in general. Be sure that you have read this section before doing any further work for this assignment. Take particular notice of the examples of drama essays on pp. 48–54 of your Perrine’s Literature textbook.

 

Choose 1 (ONE) of the prompts below to address in your paper:

  1. Write an essay explaining how Sophocles’ Oedipus exemplifies or refutes Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero. Review pp. 1250–1254 and 1257–1258 in your Perrine’s Literature textbook for the background and overview of Aristotle’s concept of tragedy/the tragic hero and drama. Then, re-read Sophocles’ play, Oedipus; you may review additional audio-visual resources on the play as well.

 

  1. Discuss William Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice as a tragedy. As defined by Aristotle, is it correct to label Othello a “tragic hero” and to classify the play as an Aristotelian tragedy? Review pp. 1250–1254 and 1257–1258 in the Perrine’s Literature textbook for the background and overview of Aristotle’s concept of tragedy/the tragic hero and drama. Then, re-read Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice; you may review additional audio-visual resources on the play as well.
  2. Discuss the author’s perception of death and the treatment of death in Everyman. Be sure to re-read the play in Module/Week 7 before you begin your essay. You may review additional audio-visual resources on the play as well.

 

Finding Scholarly Sources

For your papers, you are only permitted to use academic sources. Resources such as 123Essays, Spark Notes, Cliff Notes, and Masterplots (or similar resources) are not scholarly and will not be permitted in your papers. To find appropriate sources, access the Jerry Falwell Library through the Services/Support link on the course menu on Blackboard. From there, you can use the Library Research Portal to find peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. The Literature Resource Center is an excellent resource for these types of papers.

If you need additional help finding the right sources, you can contact a librarian from the Jerry Falwell Library by emailing your questions to You are also free to visit your local library or do some research on the Internet; however, you must make sure that you have credible sources. If you are uncertain, email the source to you instructor in advance.

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