Research Essay

Focus
Research Essay on a Short Story
Assignment Sheet

Requirements: Five to seven pages in length
Three to five sources, including your primary source (the short story itself)
����������������������� Documented correctly and completely, in MLA style

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The World Wide Web (Internet) is filled with essays, both research and non-research, free and for a fee. Stay away from all of these like the plague!� You may NOT use any world wide web source such as Monkey notes, Cliffs notes, echeat, free essays, 123 helpme, sparknotes, and so on.� You must use scholarly books and articles.� Start at the GPC library homepage when you research.� Do not start at Google or other similar web search cite.

Step 1: Choose a short story from our textbook that you would like to research and write about for this assignment.�� For this assignment, you may choose a story we have read or will read together or one that I have not included in our lessons.

Step 2: You need to decide on an angle or hook for your essay.� What about the story is interesting to you?� Why did you choose this story to further investigate?� Choose one of the following topics.� Please note that I do not want you to focus on the author, but on the short story itself.

� Write about a significant theme (main idea) in the story
� Write about symbolism and/or imagery in the story
� Write about the significance of the setting of a story
� Write about a character or characters
����������� how a character changes and/or develops during the course of the story OR
how contrasting characters further our understanding of a story OR
how a particular character relates to the theme or main idea of a story

Step 3: Write down your own ideas either on note cards, on notebook paper, or typed on a page.� I recommend that you write a very rough draft now, using only your own thoughts/ideas and supporting your points with appropriate quotations from the story.

Step 4: Research what critics have written about the story.� Do your best to locate a few very good sources.� A few good sources are better than many lousy ones that don�t really have anything to do with what you really want to investigate about the story.� Make sure your sources are full text and that you truly understand what each critic is saying about the story.� Do not ever try to use a source that you do not understand!

Step 5: Reread your rough draft.� Now rewrite it and improve it by using the material that you have found while doing your research.� After researching, you may have changed your mind in some respects; this is ok.� Just make any necessary changes to your argument.� You may directly quote, paraphrase, or summarize the critics, but be sure to document correctly.�

Step 6: Revise as many times as you see fit.� Be sure you have correctly used MLA documentation to avoid plagiarism.� This is VERY important.� Proofread several times to correct any mistakes in grammar, punctuation, or spelling.

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