Write a research paper that compares 2-3 pieces of literature based on a thematic relationship, common historical background, or theoretical approach.

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Write a research paper that compares 2-3 pieces of literature based on a thematic relationship, common historical background, or theoretical approach.The culminating project for this course will be a 6-10 page research essay. The essay should be a comparative study of 2-3 works of literature, grounded in a thematic connection, common historical context, or theoretical perspective. You may choose any works of literature you wish! The objective is to demonstrate your ability to interpret literary texts. Your essay is a place to demonstrate your ability to analyze works of literature. You can show this by discussing theme, language, environment, character, relationship, critical lens, historical context, or any topic that you are passionate about in relation to the texts we have discussed.
Examples of shared historical context might include 19th century women’s writing, literature of the Harlem Renaissance, etc. A thematic connection could be parent/child relationships, unrequited love, mental health, etc. A theoretical perspective would be grounded in one of the schools of literary criticism covered in the Introduction to Theory lecture (or others—there are so many others!). It is possible that your topic will involve an overlap of these categories.
In this research paper, you will create a structured essay based around a unique thesis. You may use your earlier work for this course (poetry presentation, performance review/director’s notes, class discussion posts, etc.) as a starting point for this paper, or you may start with a new idea.

Your essay should make a specific claim (thesis statement) about the texts you are analyzing and support that claim with specific details from the literature, your own analysis of the texts, and (where appropriate) research by other scholars that supports your analysis (secondary sources). Historical documents from the period you are researching could also be appropriate evidence to include. Your argument and analysis should be the primary focus of the essay.
Objective: To demonstrate your ability to interpret literary texts using a particular critical lens or historical context.
Final Essay Requirements:
A thesis statement, clearly stating the claim you are making about the works you are writing about
6-9 pages (not including Works Cited page)
2-3 primary sources (these are your literary texts—poems, short stories, plays, etc.)
3-5 secondary sources (scholarly articles or books supporting your claims about the texts you analyze). These could be biographical information about the author, information about the historical/cultural context of the work, an interpretation of the work from a particular critical perspective, etc.
Demonstrates clear understanding of literary terms, techniques, and contexts.
Formatted according to MLA style
Times New Roman 12 font
1” margins on all sides
In-text citations (of both primary and secondary sources)
Works Cited beginning on a separate page at the end of the paper (which does not count toward the page count of the essay)
You should submit a proposal for your project by March 25.
This proposal should be 1-3 paragraphs (about 200 to 400 words). It should tell the reader which literary works you will be looking at and what you plan to say about them.
What questions do you plan to ask of these texts? Will you use a particular methodology or critical lens in your analysis?
Don’t worry if your thesis shifts between the time you write the proposal and the time you submit your final draft. This proposal is to get you thinking and allow you to get some feedback.
Your final project must be submitted by the end of term.

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