• June 4th, 2018


Guidelines for Assignment 4: Extended Scholarly Research Paper

Assignment 4 is an extended scholarly essay. This assignment provides students with the opportunity to either analyze an assigned work in greater depth or explore themes and concepts across two or more works read in class. The paper can be an expansion of a previous short essay or something new.

In this paper, students will demonstrate knowledge of how to find, use, and properly cite (according to MLA style format) an appropriate number of scholarly books and articles to support their argument or thesis (at least 6 I would think, but it depends entirely on the topic). Students are encouraged, as much as possible, to formulate an original thesis representing their own perspective or point of view, but substantiated with evidence from the text and from secondary sources. A literature review–an objective summary of how other scholars have approached the subject or topic–such as what was done for Assignment 3, can comprise part of the paper.

This paper should be 10 pages with a Works Cited page, but I will accept fewer pages (8) if the topic is original and exceedingly narrow.

While it’s not all that original, but you could compare and contrast Milton’s L’Allegro/Il Penseroso, or discuss (might challenging but totally original) what I have mentioned in class a few times, the Christian contemptus mundi tradition (see attached) in Augustine, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Hamlet, Il Penseroso and Paradise Lost. It’s perhaps a stretch, but I might write a paper on that myself! You can write about Melancholy in Hamlet and in Milton’s Il Penseroso.

4/14: I have attached Hamlet paper topics to this assignment.

You do not have to write about Milton or Hamlet. You can go back and compare the OT with the Iliad if you want. My only requirement is that the work must be part of assigned reading—I don’t want a paper you wrote last year for another class turned in for my class.




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