This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.
Contributors:Mark Dollar, Purdue OWL
Last Edited: 2011-10-19 02:27:10
What Makes a Good Literature Paper?
When you write an extended literary essay, often one requiring research, you are essentially making an argument. You are arguing that your perspective-an interpretation, an evaluative judgment, or a critical evaluation-is a valid one.
A debatable thesis statement
Like any argument paper you have ever written for a first-year composition course, you must have a specific, detailed thesis statement that reveals your perspective, and, like any good argument, your perspective must be one which is debatable.
You would not want to make an argument of this sort:
Shakespeare's Hamlet is a play about a young man who seeks revenge.
That doesn't say anything-it's basically just a summary and is hardly debatable.
A better thesis would be this:
Hamlet experiences internal conflict because he is in love with his mother.
That is debatable, controversial even. The rest of a paper with this argument as its thesis will be an attempt to show, using specific examples from the text and evidence from scholars, (1) how Hamlet is in love with his mother, (2) why he's in love with her, and (3) what implications there are for reading the play in this manner.
You also want to avoid a thesis statement like this:
Spirituality means different things to different people. King Lear, The Book of Romans, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance each view the spirit differently.
Again, that says nothing that's not already self-evident. Why bother writing a paper about that? You're not writing an essay to list works that have nothing in common other than a general topic like "spirituality." You want to find certain works or authors that, while they may have several differences, do have some specific, unifying point. That point is your thesis.
A better thesis would be this:
Lear, Romans, and Zen each view the soul as the center of human personality.
Then you prove it, using examples from the texts that show that the soul is the center of personality.
Writing requires a great deal of information to be included in it. Writing papers on English literature requires more home work to be done than any other topic. It requires using skills you have inherited during previous courses of English literature. Research paper on English literature is supposed to written of highest standard. The topic chosen for English literature research must not be covered or researched before. It should be an original one.
How to write a research paper in English Literature?
It is a significant question before every one who is going to write this area. He first of all has to go by all prominent and available writing on English literature. You must also go through the references and bibliography written by eminent scholars such as those of Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, and many more. Writings by William Shakespeare cannot be forgotten when you review previous English literature writings. English literature paper includes Introduction, your arguments to cover in-depth analysis of topic chosen by you, and followed by conclusion. Your conclusion must be given in such a way that in shows further need for research on that topic.
English literature is the work written in English. When you review the previous writings one thing you must take into consideration that you must not copy it and paste to your paper. You can chose topics from literature reviews of eminent English writers as Christmas carol, The adventures of Oliver Twist, The importance of being Ernest, The jungle book, etc.
You must not also forget using styles in writing research papers. You must follow the specific style suggested by your university/supervisor while writing . APA and MLA are one of the most referencing styles used in referencing sources from where you have chosen matter to include in your paper. Your work must be free to any type of grammatical, spelling, and printing errors. It should be proof read and sense read before going to submit it. Although, it is a tougher task to carry out but take it as a interesting one. In research papers, understanding the key to write is an important task to undergo thoroughly. Once you understand this, your work would get easier and you can write it in a specified time.
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Priya Chetty writes frequently about advertising, media, marketing and finance. In addition to posting daily to Project Guru Knowledge Tank, she is currently in the editorial board of Research & Analysis wing of Project Guru. She emphasizes more on refined content for Project Guru's various paid services. She has also reviewed about various insights of the social insider by writing articles about what social media means for the media and marketing industries. She has also worked in outdoor media agencies like MPG and hotel marketing companies like CarePlus.
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