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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

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Research Paper


Writing a Research Paper

Purdue University's Writing Lab provides excellent tips for writing a research paper. 

How to Write a Literary Analysis Paper

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