It never hurts to have the assignment written in more than one place, right?
The Research Essay
Choose any text from the syllabus that we have covered, except “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, and perform a close, analytical reading, using the techniques for objective critical analysis that you have learned this semester, explaining the literary techniques and devices used by your chosen author to make their work function as literature. Use secondary critical resources to support and complexify your arguments and points. The task is textual analysis, that and that alone. The commentaries I have been posting all semester are good examples of what I am looking for. This is a research project, but I am most interested in seeing you display your own skill at critical thinking and analysis, and in your demonstration that you have taken the major lessons of the semester—the ability to observe and describe concretely; the ability to form a persuasive argument; the ability to analyze a literary text—and brought them together in your mind for the final project: to objectively analyze the arguments of another, in this case the author of a work of literature.
Compose in MLA format a research essay of at least 1000 words, using a minimum of four secondary sources that address some aspect of the text you choose to analyze. (While you are encouraged to use it, the OED is a primary, not a secondary, source, and does not count toward your minimum.) Source material must be drawn from books and articles in the GSU library or the Galileo databases. Material from non-GSU sources will not count toward the research requirement, and the use of it is discouraged. That said, Wikipedia entries often have links at the bottom to legitimate, academic sources. Feel free to use Wikipedia as a launching point for research, even though Wikipedia entries themselves cannot be used, as they are not vetted. Do not summarize plots or provide biographies of the author. This essay is not about the author; it is about the text.
You are obliged to have familiarized yourself with proper MLA formatting and citation. This information is found easily online, at the OWL Purdue website, and has been covered in Course Content. YouTube has plenty of videos on how to do it, and you will notice that the Galileo databases can easily generate entries for the Works Cited page. Internal parenthetical citation is also required.
By now I expect professionally clean and error-free copy, with no typos or mechanical or grammatical errors. Papers not following these guidelines will be penalized accordingly. Failure to submit your essay in MLA format results in a penalty of up to twenty points. Failure to provide sufficient, relevant source material results a penalty of fifteen points per missing sorce. Failure to properly acknowledge the use of secondary material with internal parenthetical citations and a
Works Cited page constitutes plagiarism and whether it is intentional or not will result in an automatic zero because I will not be able to assess your work, not knowing what is your writing and what is not. No exceptions will be made. Make sure you quote and cite, both internally and in your works cited page.