Step 3: Analytical Research Paper (due 4/23 + 4/27)

extra-credit paper topic due Friday March 26 at 11pm in OAKS
project proposal due April 10 at 11pm in OAKS
required draft due Thursday April 23 before 10:30am in OAKS
final version due Monday April 27 at 11 pm in OAKS

The researched analysis will be 12 pages long. It will incorporate some of the material you encounter while performing the research documented by your Annotated Bibliography. However, the paper is not a traditional “research paper” – presenting information that describes a subject – but rather a literary analysis produced in dialogue with others who are also performing literary or other kinds of analyses. Along the way, you may well incorporate some “factual” information that you glean from your research that helps support or demonstrate your analysis, and some of your sources may be primary sources from the Middle Ages or the present. But in general (depending on the topic you choose), the majority of your sources will be critical analyses.

Your paper will include at least 6 research sources (which may or may not be on your annotated bibliography; in other words, you’re not limited, in your paper, to using only items that you included on your annotated bibliography). 3 of these sources must be critical articles or chapters.

(Hence, your paper’s Works Cited pages will comprise at least 6 entries, including the literary text(s) you are using. Remember that your Annotated Bibliography does not serve as a Works Cited page for the paper itself. You must turn in a new Works Cited page with the paper, one that has no annotations and includes only those texts you use in your paper.)

A successful paper will demonstrate the following:

  • a thorough understanding of all texts you address in your analysis;
  • effective integration of (but not complete reliance upon) source material; and
  • a careful, rhetorically thoughtful presentation of your analysis to your audience.

In addition, a successful paper will:

  • be analytical and interpretive in purpose and method, rather than only descriptive;
  • be structured around a clearly-presented thesis supported by sufficient examples and explanation, in a logical fashion;
  • use MLA guidelines effectively; and
  • follow the standard expectations of Modern English grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

As the third bullet point above indicates, I expect you to follow MLA style conventions for all text citations, works cited entries, and paper heading and title – in both the paper and the Annotated Bibliography.  If you feel at all unsure of these, come see me for a quick personal tutorial; it will be assumed, otherwise, that you know how to fulfill those expectations. Reacquaint yourself with them. Papers must be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, in a font such as Times New Roman 12-point.

Papers will be graded in terms of grammar, style, and structure as well as content and argumentative strategies. I’m always happy to discuss your rough drafts, revisions, and research, and any general or specific questions about your writing.

As for your topic, this is where the fact that this is a Senior Seminar once again rears its ugly head. Your topic is up to you. Instead of my doing that first step of the research process by offering you some prompts to respond to, your first step will be pondering and investigating different possibilities. Needless to say, your paper will need to be a response to the class’s focus: a History of Emotion approach to medieval English literature. You may use literary texts we’ve read for class, or you may use other(s). You may make use of different methodologies we’ve encountered (Rosenfeld’s, McNamer’s, Rosenwein’s, Trigg’s and so on), or you may employ an alternative one. The only thing that’s off limits is writing primarily on the literary text you wrote on in your midterm paper.


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