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Prof. Timm - ENG 102 Writing and Literature: Home

Your Assignment

 Essays without accurate parenthetical citations will not receive a passing grade.


Writing and Literature

ENG 102

Research Paper


Format: Your paper should discuss one or more of the texts we have read this session.  In addition, your essay should refer to (include information from) at least ONE but no more than three outside texts.  The researched reference may be a book, a journal article, or an internet article. Your paper should focus on the details of the text you are analyzing. Do not include your own personal experience.


Length: 6 pages - The required length does NOT include the cover page but does include the works cited page.  This means that you should submit at least 5 full pages of writing.


Topic: You may choose ONE of the following topics.  If you have an original idea for an essay that you would like to pursue, you must email me in order to get your alternative topic approved.



1. Thematic Analysis: Choose ONE of the texts we have read this semester.  Make a list of significant themes in the text. Then, choose one theme that you think is significant.  Write a thematic analysis that discusses why the theme is significant to the plot and character development and how the theme interacts with other subsidiary themes.  Use at least one outside reference to inform your discussion.


2. Character Analysis: Write a character analysis focusing on the development and interaction of ONE character in ONE of the texts we have read this semester.  Discuss the themes associated with this character. Use at least one outside reference to inform your discussion.


3. Setting Analysis: Choose ONE of the texts we have read this semester.  Write a setting analysis that discusses how the setting drives the plot, influences the development and interaction of the characters, and coordinates with the significant themes in the text.  Use at least one outside reference to inform your discussion.


4.  Comparison and Contrast Analysis: Choose a theme that is common to TWO texts we have read this semester.  Compare and contrast the way a single theme OR several characters behave in these two texts.  For example, the theme of "family travel" is common to E.B.White's "Once More to the Lake" and John Weir's " Homo in Heteroland." Compare and contrast the two stories.  Draw a conclusion based on your comparison and contrast. Use at least one outside reference to inform your discussion.


5.  Literary and Historical Context Analysis: Literary works not only tell a story but often reflect the social, political, and cultural dynamics of the time when the work was composed.  Choose ONE of the texts we have read this semester. Find out the year when this text was written. What was going in the author's environment where s/he lived?  What was going on in the world? How do you think these dynamics influenced the text? How are these dynamics reflected in the text? How does your research enhance your understanding of the text?  This is not simply a report of facts and details. The bulk of your paper should be an analysis of the text. Your analysis should be informed by your researched details.  Use at least two outside references to inform your discussion.


6. Focus on Poet Analysis: Choose ONE poet whom we have studied this semester whose work you would like to look at closely.  You should analyze the poem(s) we have read together in class and then you can include one or two more from the same poet that are not on our reading list.  Analyze the poems for content and figurative language. How does the author use language poetically? How does s/he communicate content? What does s/he like to tell us in the poems?  Find common stylistic elements in the poetry. Define the poet’s style as you see it. Do not list biographical details. This is not a report on the poet’s life.This is a study of the poet’s writing style and an analysis of the poet’s texts. You want to analyze one or more of the writer’s works.  The bulk of your paper should address your literary analysis. Your analysis should be informed by your researched details.





Grade: The Final Paper grade is based on the following points:


1.   logical organization

2. analysis that doesn't merely present details of the text or summary but draws a conclusion based on the details – address HOW and WHY questions!

3. effective use of valid, scholarly researched material

4. accurate grammar and sentence structure

5. focused body paragraphs

6. adherence to MLA essay format protocols

7. adherence to MLA parenthetical documentation protocols

8. adherence to MLA works cited protocols


WARNING!! Only research papers that show accurate MLA protocols for citing outside sources will be accepted for credit.  This includes protocols for parenthetical citation and Works Cited protocols.  The exercises you have done and material you have read during the course of this session should help you with these issues.  If you need further assistance, you want to contact a college librarian


You should also read material in the Westchester Community College Plagiarism Information Site.  To get there, click on Course Materials and Resources on the home page. Any incidence of undocumented information from another source will be considered evidence of plagiarism.  According to English Department policy, all evidence of plagiarism must be reported to the Division Dean, who will place a note in the student’s academic record. In addition, the student receives F for the paper and F for the course.


To safeguard students against plagiarism, the final paper must be submitted to the Safe Assign software linked to the course website home page. NO FINAL PAPER WILL BE ACCEPTED UNLESS IT HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO SAFE ASSIGN.


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: You want to submit the paper THREE ways:

1.   Copy and paste paper in to Final Paper discussion forum.

2.   Attach file to Final Paper discussion forum.

3.   Submit to Safe Assign.




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