Directions for the Research Paper English 102 Research Paper Topics (Elements of Craft, Authors, & Analyses) Write a 1,500 – 1,700 word research paper that explores one of the three elements of craft listed below and analyze how that element is used in

Directions for the Research Paper English 102 Research Paper Topics (Elements of Craft, Authors, & Analyses) Write a 1,500 – 1,700 word research paper that explores one of the three elements of craft listed below and analyze how that element is used in

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English 102 Research Paper Topics (Elements of Craft, Authors, & Analyses)
Write a 1,500 – 1,700 word research paper that explores one of the three elements of craft listed below and analyze how that element is used in two literary works by two different authors found in your textbook. State a claim/thesis in your introductory paragraph and supporting that claim/thesis with evidence throughout the paper.
Evidence can come from both the literary works (primary sources) and secondary sources. Include six secondary sources (either in quotations, summaries, and/or paraphrases). For each quotation, summary, or paraphrase include an in-text citation in MLA format. At the end of the research paper, include a Works Cited list with all sources used within the paper. Include both the citation and URL information for each entry.
Below are the steps to follow to choose and research the topic for your paper.
Step I: For the Research Paper assignment, choose any one element of craft listed below:
Step II: Once you have decided on the element you would like to explore, make sure to review the informational material within the chapter on your chosen element. Also review the helpful table with examples at the end of the chapter. These tables provide helpful questions to guide you through your exploration of that particular element of craft. In addition, there is a section included titled “Suggestions for Writing” which may also be useful in generating ideas on how to write about each of the particular elements of craft.
The pages for these tables are as follows:
Reading for Character: pages 266-267-141
Reading for Setting: page 297
Reading for Theme: page 421
[Tip: If you are uncertain of which element of craft that you would like to explore in more depth, one way to help you decide is to review each of the tables in your textbook at the end of the chapters listed above before you choose. By reading through these tables, you may discover which element of craft has the most interest for you and hopefully this can spark your curiosity.]
Step III: Next, decide on two authors from the Fiction section of your textbook to use for your research paper. The authors can be ones already assigned in the class, or they can be ones not assigned. The authors can be ones represented within the chapter on the element of craft you have chosen, or they can be authors found in chapters on elements of craft that you do not plan to use for your Research Paper.
Step IV: Once you have decided on the element of craft you will be exploring and the two authors and their literary works found in the Fiction volume of your textbook, make sure that the two authors you selected also fit well into the element of craft you plan to explore.
Your goal is to find authors that seem to you the most interesting to research in the element of craft you have chosen.
Step V: Read and review the literary works within your textbook (Fiction section) of both authors you have selected. These literary works are considered your primary sources for the research paper.
Step VI: Research! This is the step that involves using secondary sources. Six articles are required for the paper. Keep in mind you may read more than that number, but you are only required to include six outside sources within the paper.
Secondary sources are the articles about the element of craft you have chosen, and/or the two authors you have chosen and/or the two literary works you are using for the paper. The secondary sources you find on the databases may also focus on some element of your thesis statement.
Read research articles while you are developing your thesis statement.
Read research article while you are searching for support for your thesis statement.
Read research article while you are outlining and drafting your paper in case you need additional evidence to support your points.
A thesis is based on claims which are logical statements supported by the evidence you present in your paper. The logic of your argument and the evidence you provide determine whether you have effectively proven your claim. Your claim, logic, and evidence are the core components of any argument and the substance of your paper.
What is evidence? The evidence you will use for your paper will come from various sources and should include expert opinions from literary scholars and critics, opinions from reviews, articles, and the literary texts themselves. You can use newspaper articles, magazine articles, books, and scholarly journals (meaning journals whose articles have been peer reviewed).
Research using the LAVC Electronic Library. Use any of the sites listed for Discussion #4:
Artemis Literary Sources
Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)
Literature Resource Center
You may also use Google Scholar.
Also, contact the LAVC librarian if you need assistance in finding additional literature sites.
Evidence you may NOT use consists of material from the following:
Yahoo! Answers
Anybody Out There
Blurt It!
Please ask about a source’s acceptability if you are unsure.
Read while your research. Reading is a part of research, not something you do after you have gathered a stack of sources. The reason you want to read as you research is that one good source leads to another. Writers will often refer to others who have written on your topic. This can lead you toward another interesting and informative essay. Also, you will gradually learn the angles and ranges of opinions of your topic, so when it is time for you to form your own final thesis and claim for the paper, you will be operating with full knowledge of the conversation already out there. And finally, you will be able to compare the sources, deciding which have the best information and arguments to use in your paper.
Follow Steps I through VI above to come up with a strong, solid thesis for your research paper. Make sure you have read through the research and have six different outside sources (secondary sources) to use in your paper.
After Steps I through VI have been completed….
Write an outline.
Write your first, second, and final draft the paper.
Submit the outline and final draft of the paper.
Please note that the literary works of the two authors you plan to use for your paper are NOT outside sources and are instead, considered primary sources. While you may quote from the literary works (if you do, cite the textbook in correct MLA format within the paper and include the textbook in your Works Cited list), any direct quotes you use from the literary works does count toward your 10% limit of directly quoted material. So choose wisely what you want to quote from the literary works. And choose wisely what you want to quote from your secondary sources (literary criticism).
Some questions to consider as you launch into your research paper are the following:
What kind of analysis or combination of analyses do you want to include in your research paper?
Which kind of analysis best fits with the element of craft you have chosen for the research paper?
Do you want to do a textual analysis to support your claim?
Do you want to do a contextual analysis to support your claim?
Do you want to do a comparison/contrast to support your claim?
Research is like entering a conversation on your topic. When you write a research paper using sources, YOU join the conversation that includes experts who have thought about the subject.

Overview of the Research Paper Requirements:
For purposes of the Research Paper you are required to use from your textbook two authors and the literary works found in your textbook by your chosen authors.
You are required to include an exploration of one element of craft in your research paper.
You may use one or a combination of analyses (textual, contextual, and/or comparison/contrast) to put forth your evidence in support of your claim/thesis.
The literary works included in your Research Paper must be found in the textbook Fiction section (Part 2). The literary works are your primary sources.
You are required to use six secondary sources (literary criticism articles) from the LAVC Electronic Database. You may also use Google Scholar. These secondary sources can be related to the short stories, and/or the authors, and/or the element of craft you have chosen to explore.
You may use direct quotations from the literary works in your textbook, Literature: Craft & Voice, but the textbook is not considered a secondary source. Likewise, you may use quotations from the editors of the textbook, but again, the textbook is not considered one of the six required secondary sources for purposes of this Research Paper.
Your Research Paper must clearly state your thesis in the introductory paragraph.
The thesis sentence is probably the most challenging sentence in the entire Research Paper. The ‘claim’ of the thesis is the most important feature in a thesis statement. The claim will be the guiding force for you as you draft the paper. The claim needs to be a perspective that is more than a mere observation. The claim in your thesis statement should be an interesting perspective that you can support and defend throughout the paper.
Research Paper must be in MLA format.
Modern Language Association (MLA) Format Help
The module material provides guidelines for MLA format. The Research Paper must be written in MLA format. All direct quotations, paraphrases, and summaries must have parenthetical citations in MLA format. There are many free online sites that can provide MLA information. You may want to pull out your English handbooks/textbooks from English 101 if you still have them! Another resource is the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University. Students in the past have said that the “MLA Format and Style Guide” available on the Purdue site is user-friendly and helpful. Here is the link:
Make sure that your thesis statement is an ‘arguable’ thesis statement.
You may want to use biographical information in your paper as ‘evidence’ to support your thesis and other points you are making in the paper. Biographical information can be found in databases via articles and essays on the two authors you have chosen. You may also use essays the authors have written as sources for the paper. And finally, you may use interviews conducted with the authors.
You may also decide to use cultural and/or social issues as they pertain to influencing the authors.
As your textbook claims, beginning research is like entering a conversation on your topic. When you write a research paper using sources, YOU join the conversation that includes your analysis of the literary works, ideas from sources you cite, your interpretation of what these other voices are saying, and your presentation of your own views.
Outline required: either topical or sentence outline. Missing outlines or incomplete outlines will result in point deductions. (See previous page.)
Length: 1,500 words (excludes Works Cited list). You may go over the 1,500 word requirement by a maximum of 200 words. ANYTHING over that will result in points deducted from the final score on the paper.
Exceptions: If you need to exceed the 1,700 words, please send me a Private Message with a brief explanation of why you would need to exceed 1,700 words for your Research Paper. Extra word count may be granted.
Remember, editing is a skill. If you find your paper far exceeds the word requirement, revise your paper and look for areas of repetition. Edit out those parts. Look for areas where you may be able to combine ideas and thereby edit out unnecessary words. The outline is a great tool to help you consolidate ideas.
Papers under 1,500 words will have points deducted for not meeting the word requirement.
10% Rule
Adhere to the 10% rule. No more than 10% of your paper can be composed of directly quoted material. Make sure to correctly cite your source in MLA format.
Block quotations: Limit to two (Review the material on block quotations in your textbook. If you have questions about block quotations, post in the Questions Forum.)
Sources: You will be required to use 6 different secondary sources within your Research Paper. You may use your textbook, but it is not considered one of the six secondary sources.
Incorporate into your paper six outside research sources from the LAVC Electronic Library’s databases and/or Google Scholar.
Each time you use one of your six sources you must use an in-text citation in correct MLA format. If the source does not have a page number, section number, part number or other identifying characteristic to indicate the exact location in the article where the quote is located, then simply include the author’s name in either the introduction to the quote or put the author’s last name only in the citation after the quote.
Paraphrases and Summaries: These must be your own words and MLA format. (See module material and your textbook for more details.
Points deducted for not having the minimum of six different sources used within your research paper. (Note: using the same source six different times is NOT the same thing as using six different sources.)
You may use a source more than once, but the source still counts as only one of the six required sources.
Tip about Sources: As you read and research, ask yourself questions about what you think about what the source is saying. Try simply ‘freewriting’ (don’t worry about spelling or grammar – let your ‘freewriting’ be for your eyes only) your thoughts about the source. For example:
What do I agree with here, and why? What do I know that causes me to agree?
What do I disagree with here, and why?
What other context or perspective might be possible on the views expressed here?
What other sources or writers have I found that speak on the same topics, and how do these sources compare?
You are free to use more than 6 sources if you choose. The cap for sources is ten. (If you have a pressing need to exceed ten sources, please send me a Private Message.)
Works Cited: Your Research Paper must include a complete Works Cited list in MLA format. You are required to have 6 different sources. In addition, you will most likely use some quotes from the literary works, and therefore, you will need to include the textbook in your Works Cited list. (Note: Research Papers submitted without a Works Cited list cannot be accepted. No exceptions.)
Include in your Works Cited list both the source citation information and the document URL typically found below the source citation at the end of an article. If you use secondary sources other than articles, essays, interview, etc., include the MLA required information in your Works Cited list.
Include your textbook in the Works Cited list if you quote from the book. Your textbook, even if you use material written by the editors, is NOT considered an outside research source for purposes of this paper.
Start your Works Cited page on the first new page immediately after the last page of your text, and continue the same page numbering system, with your last name and the page number in the upper right hand corner.
Center the title “Works Cited” 1″ from the top of the page. Remember that the title (Works Cited) should be in upper and lower case letters. Also, there should be no quotes around it, nor should it be underlined or put in italics. It should not be in bold or blue or a bigger font than the rest of your paper.
Each entry starts at the left margin (which is also 1″ from the left side of the paper). When an entry takes more than one line, indent all of the content on the second line and subsequent lines five spaces so readers see only the alphabetized last names as they scan down the list.
Double-space between entries and within each individual entry.
Submissions: Attach both your outline and research paper in a Microsoft Word document only. Please do not use ANY OTHER FORMATS. Microsoft Word .doc or .docx documents only. No exceptions. If you look at your file and it says something like ‘wps’ – it will not be accepted. You are highly encouraged to ask any questions you may have about submissions, at least three days prior to the due date.
Microsoft Word Only
Both the outline and the essay must be submitted in Microsoft Word .doc or .docx only.
Some tips if you do not have Microsoft Word: In your word processing program, go to the “file” menu to see if you have another word processing program that you can “save as” to Microsoft word format.
Or, you may use a computer on campus that has Microsoft Word.
Or, you can use the free online web word-processing program that Google provides. The Google docs site is:
NOTE: With any of these other options, you still must save your file to Microsoft Word format.
Please submit your outline and research paper as a single attachment in a Microsoft Word document (any other format will NOT be accepted).
Important reminder: If I cannot open the file, you will not receive credit for this assignment.
Need help with your file format? If you have any questions about the file format, do not have Microsoft Word, or need help with how to save your document in Microsoft Word, please post your question in the Questions site in a timely manner.
Plagiarism and Cheating:
The reminder is taken from the syllabus:??Zero tolerance for either. Plagiarism is defined as turning in work that is copied from another source (without giving the source credit), written by another student (either in whole or in part), or turning in any work that is not written solely and completely by you. Plagiarism is the use of others’ words and/or ideas without clearly acknowledging their source. When you incorporate those words and ideas into your own work, you must give credit where credit is due. Plagiarism, intentional or unintentional, is considered academic dishonesty and is not tolerated. Anyone found to be plagiarizing or cheating on assignments (e.g., copying or giving answers, using ‘crib’ sheets, etc.) will (1) receive a zero (fail) on the assignment, and (2) be referred to the Vice President of Student Services for further disciplinary action, following due process.
As stated in the LAVC Catalog under the section titled “Policy on Academic Dishonesty,” plagiarism: “is the representation of expression of ideas from either published or unpublished work(s) as students own. We encourage students to always cite sources to avoid the appearance of plagiarism. Using text from internet sources without proper citation is considered to be plagiarism.” Translated this means that you must include BOTH the internet source and quotation marks when using text from internet sources.
A much more productive approach (than plagiarism!!) for successfully completing English 102 is to ask me questions if you get stuck on an assignment or if you need more clarification on the directions or you need more guidance on a writing assignment. And most likely, when you ask a question, your fellow classmates will be grateful you stepped up to the plate, as someone out there may surely have a similar question or concern. Please don’t be shy. Even if you have been reluctant in the past to ask questions in class, our online English 102 class is the perfect forum to begin a ‘new’ way of approaching and engaging in your education. Ask questions. Avoid plagiarizing at all costs.
Format: Double-space your paper. (Do not ‘double’ double space between paragraphs.)
One inch margins. MLA Style requires margins of 1″ on all four edges of the page. By submitting your paper as an attachment, the margins and spacing will be exactly as you intended. Papers that are not double-spaced with one inch margins will have points deducted.
Required Identification in Upper-Hand Corner: Include your first and last name, the professor’s name, the class and date in the upper left-hand corner.
Running Headers with Your Last Name and Page Number: MLA requires that each page of your research paper include in the upper right corner a running header that gives your last name and the page number. Note that there is no punctuation between that last name and the page number, nor is the word page used or any abbreviation like p. or pp. included. Each page of your research paper should have your last name and the page number right through and including the Works Cited page. Papers with incorrect headers will have points deducted.
You will be permitted to submit this assignment up to three days late, with one full grade penalty for each day the assignment is late. (See the module material for more detailed information about the Late Policy.) You are strongly encouraged to plan and schedule your time for this assignment, so you turn it in on time!
As always, if you have any questions, please post on the Questions site so that everyone can benefit from the responses. Please ask your questions in a timely manner.
Now that all the logistics, requirements, guidelines, and tips have been provided, it is time for you to begin your journey for this assignment. It is challenging assignment. The hope is that you find the experience fulfilling and you produce a piece of work that you are proud to have accomplished

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