Write a research paper of AT LEAST five pages. Choose a short story by an author in our anthology that we are not already studying in this course (in other words, somebody NOT on the syllabus) and choose some element of fiction—plot, characters, point of view, setting, or style—about which to write your paper. Please note: for this assignment, we will not be discussing themes. Focus on just one or two of these fiction elements, develop a thesis, and write a researched argumentative paper. Biographical information about the author should ONLY be provided if it is relevant to the thesis of the essay—and even in this case, biographical information should be brief. Make sure that your thesis argues a point and that you support that point throughout the paper. Do not write a book report or simply recap the text—argue a point. Assume that your audience has read the story.
Your essay MUST be in MLA format. For your assistance, this instruction sheet follows MLA style (e.g., 1-inch margins, no title page). You must use the font Times New Roman, 12 pt, double-spaced—again, as you see here. If you have questions about format, ASK. You may use as many research sources as you feel are necessary, but you must use AT LEAST three critical sources that are NOT internet websites or encyclopedias. These should be books or periodical articles that discuss the main work you are studying (in other words, in addition to your primary text). You may use any of the essays in our anthology IN ADDITION TO your three “outside” critical sources. You MUST cite all of your sources using MLA style (parenthetical is preferred); attach a Works Cited list. If you are unclear on any aspect of citing sources, please ASK. If you fail to cite properly within the body of your essay—in other words, if you plagiarize—you will not pass.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to consult with me throughout your writing process, rather than just handing in the paper on the deadline date. You should also use the Writing Studio—in fact, if you visit the Writing Studio for help with this assignment, forward me the email that confirms your visit and you will receive five bonus points! Students who seek guidance produce better papers than those who do not. Please keep in mind that if you fail to meet ANY of the requirements of the assignment—for example, if your paper is only four and a half pages or you use only two critical research sources—you will not earn enough points to pass the assignment, so please follow all instructions carefully.