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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Brandon Offline
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Help with Paper - April 18th 2010, 12:19 AM

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My last two threads haven't had any responses and only a small amount of views. Hopefully the title will convince people to respond this time. The last two threads weren't THAT important, but this thread is about my English research paper. It's only 6 pages long, but I've never done a research paper before. I'm not concerned about the length, I'm concerned about the content.

I have to write about either the stories that I've read or the poems. My teacher has suggested a few "possible" research topics, but she said that they're not research topics...but ideas to branch off those ideas to create your own. But here's an example:

Quote:
1. What do some odd characters have in common with us as mainstream ordinary people? Some possibilities may include Bill and Arlene in “Neighbors,” the Misfit in “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”
I've already talked to her twice about the research papers and I've literally gotten nothing out of it. I'm just as confused as ever. With your experience, possibly, what would be general topics that are good for research papers when dealing with literature? I searched Google and couldn't really find what I'm looking for.

I'd appreciate some responses!
   
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re: Help with Paper - April 18th 2010, 12:32 AM

This caught my attention, but I don't understand what your instructor is asking. Lol



When all your friends have come and gone,
And the sun no longer shines,
And the happiness for which you long is washed away like an ocean's tide,
When all the hard times outweigh the good,
And all your words are misunderstood,
When the day seems lost from the start
You must follow your heart,
You must follow your heart.


   
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re: Help with Paper - April 18th 2010, 03:01 AM

I just did a research paper on the voice of the narrator in the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. My teacher gave us this much advice: start with the thesis statement. To start the thesis, figure out a research question you want to answer.

- My question was: Why does Chief Bromden (the narrator) work well as a narrator?

There were a few questions I could break this into, like...

- What role does he play in the story?
- How was he constructed by the author? What was Kesey trying to do?
- Why is his point of view ideal?

...and I answered each of them.

The point of a research paper is to sound like you know what you're talking about. It is ideal (for a high school paper anyway, lol) to use 10+ outside sources when building your paper. There's a website called Purdue Owl that tells you all about MLA format - although you may have been instructed to use APA? MLA is the literary standard I think? But I know there are sites that help you with APA too.

You're supposed to present an idea and sort of put a literary piece into context.

Some other ideas may be:

- comparing characters in two books

- giving a historical background to a book
---like if it's set in late-18th century America you can cite the Independence movement and how its presented in the novel
-----even if it's not explicitly stated, you may be able to pick out some areas where it may have influenced the content of the book

- "in retrospect"
---sort of like, "back when this book was written, lalala"
---"but now, blahblahblah"

- the author writing him/herself as a character in the book
---sometimes there is a character "suspiciously like" the author who created them
-----even if that's not specifically the case, the author could have a pattern of sculpting similar characters or just making the same character archetypes appear in several of their literary works; that might be interesting to further examine

All you really need for a paper is a link between two literary works from different authors, the same authors, or a work and real life. While it's easiest to compare/contrast two items (and I would recommend you do so on your first paper), you can also analyze or interpret when coming up with a topic.

For analysis- taking a closer look at a book's symbolism
For interpretation- figuring out what a book's symbols might mean, maybe even relating it to a specific philosophy or something

Hope I helped.

Good luck!
   
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re: Help with Paper - April 18th 2010, 03:01 AM

Haha, very nice way to get attention B-dawg lol.

Anyways, research papers in English courses is always something I've laughed at, mainly the idea of it. I'm unsure on this because I've only done research papers for science courses but for English courses I guess it would involve doing an essay with academic sources.

For the quote I have never heard of that story but I'd say if possible, compare the characters' views on a topic and also compare it with the views humans take on that topic, which is where the research would come into play. You could also see if the views humans take is universal across cultures, especially if the characters are of different cultures. For example, if character A approves of individualism, provide a rationale for that and then see if human A also approves, especially if they're members of the same culture. So if human A was part of a traditional Asian culture, they would likely not approve. This is a possible way to see if the book is consistent with mainstream modern views on a topic. Your paper then would focus on a few topics from the book.

I'm just at a loss for how you'd try to explain why differences/similarities occur between characters and humans because that's beyond the scope of an English course, that's history, psychology, sociology, etc... .
   
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re: Help with Paper - April 18th 2010, 09:35 PM

Dammit! I was so sure I was onto a pure gold topic!! Curse you! *shakes fist*
   
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re: Help with Paper - April 18th 2010, 10:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainOnMe View Post
Dammit! I was so sure I was onto a pure gold topic!! Curse you! *shakes fist*
"You're a mean one Mr. Grin.. er, B-dawg". I feel your pain also lol.
   
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re: Help with Paper - April 19th 2010, 04:09 PM

Quote:
This caught my attention, but I don't understand what your instructor is asking. Lol
You and me both.

Quote:
I just did a research paper on the voice of the narrator in the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. My teacher gave us this much advice: start with the thesis statement. To start the thesis, figure out a research question you want to answer.

- My question was: Why does Chief Bromden (the narrator) work well as a narrator?

There were a few questions I could break this into, like...

- What role does he play in the story?
- How was he constructed by the author? What was Kesey trying to do?
- Why is his point of view ideal?

...and I answered each of them.

The point of a research paper is to sound like you know what you're talking about. It is ideal (for a high school paper anyway, lol) to use 10+ outside sources when building your paper. There's a website called Purdue Owl that tells you all about MLA format - although you may have been instructed to use APA? MLA is the literary standard I think? But I know there are sites that help you with APA too.

You're supposed to present an idea and sort of put a literary piece into context.

Some other ideas may be:

- comparing characters in two books

- giving a historical background to a book
---like if it's set in late-18th century America you can cite the Independence movement and how its presented in the novel
-----even if it's not explicitly stated, you may be able to pick out some areas where it may have influenced the content of the book

- "in retrospect"
---sort of like, "back when this book was written, lalala"
---"but now, blahblahblah"

- the author writing him/herself as a character in the book
---sometimes there is a character "suspiciously like" the author who created them
-----even if that's not specifically the case, the author could have a pattern of sculpting similar characters or just making the same character archetypes appear in several of their literary works; that might be interesting to further examine

All you really need for a paper is a link between two literary works from different authors, the same authors, or a work and real life. While it's easiest to compare/contrast two items (and I would recommend you do so on your first paper), you can also analyze or interpret when coming up with a topic.

For analysis- taking a closer look at a book's symbolism
For interpretation- figuring out what a book's symbols might mean, maybe even relating it to a specific philosophy or something

Hope I helped.

Good luck!
Yeah we use MLA. I know most of what you've said, but it opened my eyes a little bit (since I'm doing my research paper on Of Mice And Men). Thanks for your insight.

Quote:
Haha, very nice way to get attention B-dawg lol.

Anyways, research papers in English courses is always something I've laughed at, mainly the idea of it. I'm unsure on this because I've only done research papers for science courses but for English courses I guess it would involve doing an essay with academic sources.

For the quote I have never heard of that story but I'd say if possible, compare the characters' views on a topic and also compare it with the views humans take on that topic, which is where the research would come into play. You could also see if the views humans take is universal across cultures, especially if the characters are of different cultures. For example, if character A approves of individualism, provide a rationale for that and then see if human A also approves, especially if they're members of the same culture. So if human A was part of a traditional Asian culture, they would likely not approve. This is a possible way to see if the book is consistent with mainstream modern views on a topic. Your paper then would focus on a few topics from the book.

I'm just at a loss for how you'd try to explain why differences/similarities occur between characters and humans because that's beyond the scope of an English course, that's history, psychology, sociology, etc...
I could use this for my research paper. I'll look for views when I'm reading my book. Take some notes and such.

And we already discussed about the smart move with the title last night...in the chat room.

Quote:
Dammit! I was so sure I was onto a pure gold topic!! Curse you! *shakes fist*
Then my thread has been a success! Fooled YOU!

But here's another question that I have. These are the descriptions of the research paper:

Quote:
Referring to and quoting the secondary sources and primary texts, amply discuss some aspect of one or more of the literary works that are represented in our text. You may discuss the style and themes of an author’s work(s), character development of comparable characters in different works, settings or symbolism, or compare and contrast elements in separate works or even separate works by the same author.

Do you think she means that I can discuss the theme in my research paper, along with analyzing the characters (probably main characters), talk about symbolism, or show how it's all directly related, or is that off topic?
   
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re: Help with Paper - April 19th 2010, 04:11 PM

Do both then you can't fail? I did my exam on Of mice and men, but it was years ago now lol





   
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