research paper help american literature

American Literature Research Paper Assignment


-MLA Format with a Works Cited page

-2000 words (the Works Cited Page does NOT count towards the word count)

-Selection of at least 1 author covered in the course with at least 1 of their works covered in the course as a primary source. You may use 2+ authors or 2+ sources, but at least 1 author and 1 source must be from our course.

-2 outside sources minimum (databases, online articles, etc. *Wikipedia does NOT count as a reputable source.*)

You may use outside sources (databases, books, articles, internet); however, if you plagiarize, you will receive a 0 for the paper. Please refer to the OWL Purdue website in the Research Paper Folder and the other resources provided if you have questions about source formatting in your paper. You’re always welcome to ask me as well.

Plagiarism is where you use someone else’s information either word for word (direct quote) or in a paraphrased or summarized format without giving the source credit. So, punctuating and parenthetical citations along with the WCP are VERY important. Plagiarism is a serious concern. You will submit your essay through Turn It In, which checks for the use of outside sources. A first time plagiarism offense will result in a 0 for the assignment; a second-time plagiarism offense will result in an F for the course. So, basically, don’t steal what’s not yours. Just simply give credit where credit is due.

You should pick a piece of literature that we’ve studied in this class this semester (for example: a selection of Dickinson’s poetry, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Stowe, etc.).You will want to select a fairly important piece.The purpose of this paper is to discuss each of the goals/objectives for the course in one paragraph each, using the piece you have selected to discuss. Below are the 5 Goals for the course. In your paper, you need a paragraph addressing each of these 5 goals below. You are not limited to only 5 body paragraphs in your paper, but you are required to have at least 5.

  • Understand the work as an expression of individual and human values
  • Respond critically to the work(s) (analyze)
  • Articulate informed personal reactions to the work(s)
  • Show an appreciation for the aesthetic principles that guide

within an historical and social context

  • During what time period was the piece written?
  • What is happening in America during the time period the piece was written?What was America like during this time period?
  • What is happening in American society during the time period the piece was written?What was society like?
  • How does what is happening in this historical period or in society reflected in the piece?
  • How does the historical time period or what is happening in society affect how or why the piece was written?
  • What are the values seen in this piece from the time period?
  • What type of piece did you choose? (poem, essay, play)
  • What are some of the literary terms used in the piece? (theme, form, rhyme, feet/meter, other poetry terms or literary elements)
  • What is your reaction/opinion of the piece?
  • What reaction does the piece cause? (sadness, shock, enjoyment, etc.)

or govern the work(s)

  • “Aesthetic” means beauty, so what is beautiful about the piece? (language, imagery, description, etc.) Give examples.
  • What makes the piece a quality work?
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the influence of literature on intercultural experiences
  • How did this piece influence the culture/society in which it was written?
  • How has this piece (or this type of literature) affected literature or our culture today?
  • Are any of these values (religion, work ethic, social values) still present today in our culture today?