1) Research papers should be a minimum of 2000 words. In most cases, your paper should focus on one play. Cite a minimum of six sources (at least three of which are peer reviewed critical articles relevant to interpreting your play).
2)The paper should not be simply a report of what other critics have said, or a report on a historical topic (like pirates or staging practices), however. The heart of this paper is literary (and/or dramaturgical) analysis. You must have a strong central argument about the signicance of the play, and support that argument with close readings of the play's language. The argument of this paper should be based on close analysis of specific passages and observations about patterns and structures in the play, bringing in relevant historical context as needed.
the Proposal and Annotated Bibliography,
you need to
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--select an issue, pattern, or problem in one or our plays or maximum two of our plays.
--carefully reread the play and look at the world choice, imagery, structure, repetition, etc. Examine the details of the text, as they are relevant to your issue and/or pattern.
--once you have begun to narrow your topic, and have some idea about what you want to say, do an MLA search and find out what scholars have said about this issue and play. Identify a debate or discussion that your paper can contribute to. ***The point is NOT to echo what others have said. Instead, you are looking for some sort of “gap” in the scholarship where you can make a contribution. You can make your contribution using
--close readings of the play’s language
--historical information or other texts (such as the homily of the state of matrimony, Hic Mulier and Haec Vir, or the historical documents and texts in the appendices of our introductions)
--theoretical insights into how the scholarly conversation has been framed, and what may not have been considered.
--The proposal is actually a short paper where you identify the topic and provisional thesis or the underlying question that your thesis will answer. In the proposal, position yourself in a scholarly conversation about your topic, citing a minimum of 3 articles or book chapters as part of this “conversation.” You do not have to cite these sources at length, but you can use them to position your argument, using a “they say-I say” approach. In addition to these “conversational” sources, you are welcome to cite more sources to fill in historical context or other information.
bibliography, list the works you have
consulted as if they are in a Works Cited list. Additionally, after
each secondary source, summarize the source in your own words in two
or three sentences. (If an abstract is provided with the article, do
not cut and paste that abstract! Summarize the article in your own
words.) Then, explain
how you respond to this source, or what questions you have about this
source. As Professor Nadeane Trowse
might say, your paper is like a party, and you have invited all of
these “sources” to the party. What
is each of the sources contributing to the conversation, and what
questions do you have about them? Use the “they say/I say”