ENGL 2111 and 2112 World Literature: Research Paper
Sample MLA Research Paper
This sample research paper was created by the Arthur C. Banks Library at Capital Community College in Hartford, CT.
Developing a Topic
Ways to Select or Focus the Topic
What do you want your audience to know or learn about this topic?
Author – What events occurred in the author’s life leading him/her to write this work? What does the author reveal about his/her viewpoints?
Characters - Can the actions & behaviors of the character(s) be explained or rationalized?
Audience - Who is the intended audience? Does the work embody universal human processes and motivations?
Text – What role does language and symbolism play?
Setting or Time Period - What political, philosophical, religious or cultural concerns of the era does this piece represent? What questions does this work raise?
The Research Process
Step 1. Choose your topic (It's always best to select a topic that interest you).
Step 2. Think of key words or phrases to describe your topic
Step 3. Focus your topic and develop your thesis statement
Step 4. List sources that might contain information about the topic
Step 5. Find sources in the library or online and keep good notes!
Step 6. Evaluate sources
Step 7. Develop an outline
Step 8. Write your paper/speech or create your video/Powerpoint
Step. 9. Cite sources