Research Project Assignment
The final due date for this assignment is Thursday, February 28, 2013, but the dropbox will be open throughout this course. I strongly suggest that students do not wait until the final week to try and accomplish this project at the same time as they are trying to complete the Week 8 work. It is better to start early and work a little bit at a time on this until it is completed.
Instead of a writing a research paper, students will have the opportunity to find and assess outside resources while they produce an Annotated Bibliography. An Annotated Bibliography is a listing of resources on a particular topic that describes the information available in each resource and discusses how that information might be useful to a researcher.
Please see the sample Annotated Bibliography that I have uploaded. While this is much longer than the project which you are producing, it should give you a good idea of what I am looking for. Skim through it to get a feel for what information should be included in the annotations.
Assume you are being asked to write a hypothetical (make-believe) research paper on the literary symbolism in a work of short fiction. You can choose to focus your research upon either “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” or “The Minister’s Black Veil.” In order to prepare this hypothetical paper, you need to find three (3) scholarly, reliable outside sources.
Literary symbols are those elements of a story or poem that convey more than just their literal meaning. For example, in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” Faith, the hero’s wife, wears pink hair ribbons, and they represent the fact that Faith is neither entirely pure—she would wear white—nor entirely profane—she would wear red. As a married woman, she is somewhere in between the two extremes.
• Choose one of either “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” or “The Minister’s Black Veil,” stories we’ve already read. Read the story you choose again and pay close attention to the symbols to be found in it. These authors are famous for their symbolism, so you will not have trouble finding some! If you are in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask me.
• Find three (3) scholarly, reliable outside sources in support of a research paper about the literary symbolism as it is found in the story you chose.
• Read these articles closely to ensure that you have a clear understanding of what they say about your topic. Yes, you can expect me to go to them and read them for myself.
• Prepare a properly formatted and insightful Annotated Bibliography for these three sources in which you briefly, in 1 or 2 sentences, discuss the particular information presented in the article and, in another sentence, explain how that information will be useful in preparing your hypothetical paper.
• Remember that your primary source, whichever of the stories you plan to write about, will be included on the Annotated Bibliography. Your annotation for that work will simply state that this is your primary source. (If you look at the sample, you will be able to identify the three primary sources that I was using: Byron, Lewis, and Wordsworth.)
• Of the three (3) sources, only one (1) may be from the Internet, and no “.com” sources will be
accepted. You may use “.edu,” “.org,” or “.gov” sources. You do not have to use any Internet sources if you do not want to. Before you settle on an Internet source, make sure that it complies with our two key words: scholarly and reliable. If it does not meet these criteria or if it is “.com” you will not get credit for it.
• If you do not choose to use an Internet source, your third can be a source accessed in print. Both FDTC’s library and the public library are excellent resources for research, and the librarians will be more than happy to help you.
• At least two (2) of your sources must be from Electronic Databases that may be accessed through FDTC’s library website.
• To find Databases, go to the FDTC Homepage, to the Library tab. On the drop-down menu, you will find options for Off-Campus Access to electronic databases and an option for eDatabases. Once you are in the Databases, choose the tab for Arts and Humanities. I can highly recommend any of the following databases:
InfoTrac Expanded Academic
InfoTrac One File
Literature Resource Center
MLA Directory of Periodicals
Scribner Writers Series
• Remember that dictionaries, encyclopedias, book reviews, and plot summaries are not appropriate research for this assignment. You should be looking at literary criticism, articles that discuss and analyze specific aspects of a given work.
• Once you are in a Database, read the instructions, choose options, and use the search box just as you would for a Google, Bing, or Yahoo! search. If you do not find what you are looking for, try again using different key words. Be prepared to skim through several articles before you find the ones you want to use.
• With the wealth of resources available to you and considering how many hundreds of critics have written about each of these stories, I will not for any reason accept the excuse “I can’t find anything.” The information is there; go forth and find it! I guarantee that your biggest problem will be choosing which articles to read from the many, many that you will find.
Dr. Peggy Bailey
13 April 2007
Revelations Through Unreliable Narrative
Amit, Marcus. “The Self-Deceptive and the Other-Deceptive Narrating Character: The Case of
Lolita.” Style 39.2 (2005): 189-205. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost.
28 Mar. 2007.
In this article, Marcus Amit differentiates between “self-deceptive and other-deceptive narrating characters” and maintains “that some texts constantly cause the reader to hesitate between conflicting interpretations of the narrator as belonging to one of these two types” (187). Application of these theories to all of my primary texts will support my assertion that each of these texts features unreliable narrative and will assist in my assessment of the function of those unreliable narrators.
Amoros, Jose Antonio Al. “Possible-World Semantics, Frame Text, Insert Text, and Unreliable
Narration: The Case of The Turn of the Screw.” Style 25-1: (1991). Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. 29 Mar. 2007.
Amoros’s stated intention for this essay is to “form a theory of unreliable narration based on the world structure of the narrative text and on its relations to the ideas of frame text and insert text” (par 6). Applying Wayne C. Booth’s theory and definition of unreliable narrative to Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, Amoros provides a lengthy and informative explication of Booth’s theory which is helpful to my efforts at applying that theory to my primary texts.
Booth, Wayne C. The Rhetoric of Fiction. (Publication information is unavailable because
I have not received my copy of this book. I am informed that it was shipped on March
31, 2007, and delivery is guaranteed no later than April 13, 2007.)
This book is the one in which Booth explicates his theory of the function of the unreliable narrator in literature as a function of interaction between the reader and text that is driven by the historical and social contexts of the reader. Because it is quoted liberally by the scholars whose work I am reading, I believe that this work will provide me with a strong foundation upon which to base my discussion of unreliable narrative.
Byron, George Gordon, Lord. Don Juan. The Romantic Period. Eds. Jack Stillinger and Deidre
Shauna Lynch. New York: Norton, 2006. Vol. D of The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. 6 vols. 670-734.
This poem is one of my primary sources.
Daly, Kirsten. “Worlds Beyond England: Don Juan and the Legacy of Enlightenment
Cosmopolitanism.” Romanticism 4.2 (1998): 189-201. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. 4 Apr. 2007.
Kirsten Daly’s stated purpose in this article is to examine “how the tenets of benevolent Enlightenment cosmopolitanism were retained, negotiated, and reformulated in the Romantic period”; she aligns herself with scholars who hold that “for many Romantic writers the Enlightenment was an important legacy with which they continued to engage in thoughtful and provocative ways” (190). Although Daly’s focus is upon cosmopolitanism, her observations on the ways in which Don Juan’s narrative voice represents Byron’s own beliefs supports my ideas of the poet’s intention in utilizing the device of the unreliable narrator.
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