Purpose and Instructions: The literary research paper functions as a capstone project, in that it requires the student’s highest level of writing and critical thinking skills. The student is required to choose a text from the class readings and analyze the text from a variety of perspectives and contexts. The student should draw their own conclusions as to the impact of the topic on literature of the period, as well as the impact of the historical context on the text itself.
A literary research paper is a compilation and interpretation of a text and of critics’ opinions on a specific subject in a literary work. Since the selection of materials is filtered and processed by the writer, the paper reflects the author’s views also; hence, it is both objective and subjective in content. Because the paper expresses the writer’s opinions, s/he must find a topic of interest from a work that s/he has read and examined.
The paper should be 5-7 pages and should be argumentative. The student must take a stance on the text they have chosen and defend it. The paper should include references from the primary text and from at least 5-7 crediable secondary sources. The paper should contain both in-text citations and a works cited page.