For your research paper due in week 7 (worth 20% of course grade), you will write a literary analysis (with a specific, creative, focused thesis and opinionated argument) that meaningfully discusses 1-2 of the assigned readings this quarter and makes a unified argument with specific assertions and researched support. To support your analysis, you must use at least four secondary sources from the GMC library in addition to the literary work(s) discussed in your paper. The final paper must be at least 1500 words in length (and no more than 2000).
Your research paper must be a cohesive literary analysis of 1-2 of the assigned readings.
Your thesis statement must be clear, debatable, assignment-appropriate, and supported throughout your paper.
Avoid irrelevant biographical information or extensive plot summary. Your paper should prioritize focused literary analysis.
You must use at least 4 secondary sources (in addition to primary sources- the literature itself) that provide critical arguments about the reading you’ve chosen. These sources should ONLY come from the GMC library databases.
You may quote, paraphrase, or summarize your sources, but don’t let your research dominate the paper- you are the driver of the paper’s argument, not your sources. For more information, view the Purdue OWL’s website: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/quoting_paraphrasing_and_summarizing/quoting_paraphrasing_and_summarizing.html
Your paper must be formatted according to MLA style.
You must include a works cited page at the end of your paper. Your works-cited should include entries for both your research sources as well as the assigned literature you’ve chosen to write about.
You must include in-text citations within the body of your paper when quoting or paraphrasing primary and secondary sources..
For more information about MLA style, you should view the How-To Guide: MLA Formatting and Citations page (near the top of our course page, under Additional Course Resources).
All written assignments should be mechanically and grammatically correct with proper punctuation.
Avoid first-person language in formal academic writing.
For more information, view the Purdue OWL’s General Writing Resources page: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/general_writing_introduction.html
The introduction should name all relevant authors/works involved, and include a clear, appropriate thesis statement.
Each body paragraph should have a clear topic sentence that relates back to the thesis. The information in each paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.
The conclusion should rephrase your thesis, summarize key supporting ideas, and offer your final impressions and observations on the topic.
Bear in mind that the structure of a paper- the thesis statement, the introduction, and the conclusion- should all work together. Before you begin writing, I recommend that you write an outline to organize your ideas. Doing this should help you write a more logical, well-organized essay.
5. Research Paper Rubric
20 – Meets Standards
15 –Approaches Standards
10 – Below Standards
0 – Insufficient
The writer provides a thoughtful, valid thesis that clearly states the purpose of the paper.
The writer provides a valid thesis that states the purpose or argument of the paper. Statement may lack some originality, depth, or clarity. Thesis is vague, simplistic, or unclear. Thesis is absent or inappropriate
Analysis and Critical Thinking
Student consistently demonstrates effective critical thinking and thoughtful analysis. Student generally demonstrates effective critical thinking and thoughtful analysis, with minor or infrequent lapses.
Student does not always display effective critical thinking or analysis. Parts of the paper rely on summary, or simply reports what the research is saying on the subject.
The paper makes no real attempt at critical thinking or analysis. Largely consists of plot summary, or repeating what the research says without context.
The paper is organized in a clear, logical manner throughout.
The essay is generally well-organized, with minor exceptions. The essay is generally organized but sometimes contains digressions or a lack of focus, or ideas that don’t clearly support the thesis. The essay does not employ a logical progression of ideas, but seems instead to be a “stream of consciousness” or an “information dump.”
Research and Textual Evidence
The author uses a sufficient amount of specific details from valid research and literary texts that effectively and convincingly prove the paper’s thesis. All required research is scholarly and present in the paper.
The author uses specific details that prove the thesis of the paper. All sources are scholarly and present in the paper, though some may not be used effectively. The author’s details are not specific enough to be particularly effective or convincing. Some required sources may not be scholarly, or are not clearly used in the paper. The author does not consistently use research or textual evidence to support their points. Research is not scholarly, or absent.
All sentences are clear and understandable; the author employs vocabulary, grammar and mechanics that are nearly perfect.
Most sentences are clear and understandable, but a few minor or infrequent errors are present.
Some sentences are not clear and understandable; there are major or frequent errors present.
Many sentences are not clear; major and frequent grammar/mechanical errors present.
MLA format/documentation is present and consistently effective throughout. MLA format/documentation is generally effective. A few minor errors are present. MLA format/documentation is inconsistent, incorrect, or absent at times. MLA format/documentation is either nonexistent or consistently incorrect.