Project #30644 - English Paper (4-6 Pages)

Proper Form for Research Paper


  1. Submit an original research essay (four-six typewritten pages.) The paper must be double-spaced (with proper margins, footnote or parenthetical citations, and bibliographies). This essay should be critical or analytical in nature; it should compare a work we have discussed or that is on the reading list with either another work by the same author(the work should be comparable in its length and literary quality), or with another having a similar theme, similar genre, or one from the same or different historical period. Only one of the works can be one that we have discussed in class. The other work should be one we have not discussed.

An example—Our Nig can be compared to Frances E.W. Harper’s Iola Leroy, another nineteenth-century novel about a female slave.

Another example-Nella Larsen’s Passing can be compared to Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha.  Both works deal with intraracial prejudice and issues of the color line.


The title of your paper should bear a close relationship to its theme.  Craft a descriptive title, as the samples below illustrate. Feel free to pursue any theme relative to the focus of the course; if, however, you wish to research and write on a particular theme, or if you need assistance in focus or approach, you should discuss your ideas with the instructor before you begin.

Note:                       When researching and writing the paper,  keep in mind that this course has

                                    its foundation in literature, not in history, sociology, or any other academic

                                    discipline.  While various other disciplines are useful in illuminating,

                                    analyzing, and interpreting literary works,  the emphasis must be on the

                                    literature itself.  Any paper which does not adhere to this requirement, or

                                    to the principles of scholarship, will be summarily dismissed.

      1.  Title:  Good titles reflect the theme of the paper.


      2.  Thesis:  Every essay must have a written thesis that clearly states the main point

                  of the paper.


  1. Mechanics: The paper must follow the rules of grammar, syntax, punctuation, spelling, paragraphing, and so forth.


  1. Theme and Transitions:  Theme must be logically developed, and all paragraphs

must follow the rules of transition, i.e., connecting ideas smoothly and logically.


  1. Quotations:  All quotations (and paraphrasing) must be cited.


  1. Conclusion: The conclusion must be related to the issues discussed in the paper.

Avoid personalized reactions.

  1. Parenthetical Citation and Bibliography: All material used in the research and

writing of your essay must be documented.  Note the sample Wallace and Baldwin bibliography entries below:

Works Cited

Baldwin, James.  Go Tell It on the Mountain.  New York:  Dell Publishing, 1981.


Wallace, Michelle.  Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman.

                  New York:  The Dial Press, 1978.

Consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Paper, 7th ed. for correct

manuscript style.


                                                                                          Sample Titles

“ ‘Women Talk’:  A Comparative Analysis of Oral Traditions in Selected Works of Maya Angelou and Jamaica Kincaid”

“Abandoned Women in Browngirl, Brownstones and Beloved

“Literacy and Social Class in Charles Chesnutt’s Color Line Stories”

“Humor and Wit in Selected African American Short Stories”

“ Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Caged Bird Reflected in Maya Angelou’s

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings












  1. Formulate a thesis statement. (This should be a complete sentence.)







  1. How much progress have you made in collecting data for or in writing your paper? Describe this progress. State, for example, whether you have developed any parts of the paper, such as your introduction or body.  If not, how do you plan to develop your paper? State how you plan to write it. Will you analyze themes in a story or book? If so, which themes? Will you compare and contrast two works? If so, which elements will you use as the basis of the comparisons?










  1. List at least five sources that will be part of your bibliography (Works Cited). Use MLA format.  At least two sources should be critical articles or books related to your topic.  The critical articles should be from reputable journals, either from online or a print journal. Do not use only Web sources. Wikipedia articles are not considered acceptable sources.   Conduct a search using the library’s database to get started, or use a search engine, such as Yahoo or Google.  You can also use literary references, available in the Reference section of the library. Consult a reference librarian for assistance.




Suggested website to consult for assistance with writing a thesis:






Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 05/12/2014 10:00 am
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