Paper Assignments

As stated in our Class Policies:

Paper Guidelines:
All papers should be double spaced, in 12-point, Times New Roman or Cambria font, with 1” (top/bottom) and 1.25” (left/right) margins. Make sure to include your name, course name, professor’s name, and date on the front page; a title for your paper; and your name and page numbers in the headers of the paper. Staple your papers.

The Short Paper (5-7 pages): You must choose to write about one of the novels we have covered in the first half of the course. You should identify a specific topic of interest to you in the novel and develop an argument that interprets that aspect of the novel. For example, you may wish to discuss the treatment of a certain character or theme, the use of a recurring image, motif, or word/phrase in a given work, but make sure your topic is focused. Remember, this is a short paper that must present a convincing interpretation of the work you have chosen. Outside research is not required for this paper; it should simply be your analysis of the text(s) at hand.

The Term Paper (7-10 pages): This paper still requires you to close read and analyze a novel or film from class, but your choice of text must be different from the choice of your first paper. Outside research is required for this paper (at least two sources). You must cite your sources in MLA format.

For those of you pursuing careers in teaching high school English, you may choose to make your term paper a critical explanation of a unit lesson or teaching idea based on contemporary British literature and art that you would use in the classroom. Since some of our course material may not be allowed in high school classrooms (e.g., Crash), you can choose a text and/or film not covered in class (e.g., The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Siobhan Dowd's Bog Child, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, etc.). If you pursue this project idea, please consult with me first.

Regarding research for the term paper, you should strive to incorporate outside research into this paper and enter into (or create) a scholarly debate on your text. Acceptable sources include peer-reviewed academic (historical, theoretical, literary studies or film studies, philosophical, etc.) books or articles from professional presses or journals. Make use of Booth Library’s in-house catalog of books and check electronic databases via Booth Library’s “Magazine and Journal Articles” link to find academic articles (e.g., MLA International Bibliography, JSTOR, Academic Search Complete, Humanities International Complete, or Project Muse). When using outside research, cite your sources in MLA format.

Grading & Guidelines:
Successful papers will have a strong, clear thesis and well-developed topic. The argument will be clearly and logically developed throughout the paper and will have rich evidence cited throughout the paper to prove your thesis.

All papers should observe the following guidelines:

  • Be free of grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Contain at least 2-3 outside, peer-reviewed sources referenced in your argument.
  • Be double spaced, in 12-point/Times New Roman or Cambria font.
  • Be stapled.
  • Be at least 7-10 pages in length (6 ¾ pages do not count).
  • Contain your name, professor’s name, class name, and date on the front page; your name and page numbers in the right-side header of the paper.
  • Use MLA format for all in-text citations and Works Cited page.

Failure to cite any outside sources or critics will constitute plagiarism.