Professor McNeil
English 202
Due: beginning of class,
November 20, 2012
Fall Semester 2012
Introduction to English Studies
Research Paper Assignment

Assignment: Write a research paper (4-6 pages, about 1,200-1,800 words) in which you discuss some topic or theme in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.

The paper must be typed, double-spaced, and on one side of the page. Leave no more than a 1 1/2-inch margin on both sides of your page, number your pages, and fasten them together (staple or paper clips; staple is best).

Guidelines for writing the paper
All essays in general require a topic and a thesis. In this assignment (and most English paper assignments) you are essentially writing an "argumentative essay." In other words you are making some specific claim (your thesis) about a subject and then "proving" that claim with "evidence" and supporting details in the body of your essay.

Topics and theses are related but NOT the same thing: topics are much more general than theses.
  Some possible topics

You are also required to do outside research on this paper.

In addition, in order to receive credit you will have to pay a visit to the Writing Center or meet with the class intern. For this meeting,  I would like you to have a written draft of your paper, with a clear indication of your topic and thesis. You might also which to bring along any research materials you have consulted for your paper. I would also encourage (but not require) you to visit the Writing Center when you are preparing your outline. I myself will plan on being available at the Writing Center to help you with written drafts before the due date.

You must incorporate secondary material as your research in your paper. Please feel free to use the "secondary" readings I assigned to you during our discussion of Jane Eyre (Carol Senf, "The Prison House of Victorian Marriage" or Eric Solomon, "Jane Eyre, Fire and Water" ) as you secondary research material. Also feel free to look use other secondary sources for you paper. I provide a bibliography of useful or interesting scholarly works related to Jane Eyre that you may use in addition to or as a substitute for the two readings already assigned to you. (Many times you can also find a useful bibliography of secondary material in the back of a given edition.) It might be best, though, first to reflect and brainstorm on the topics and works that might interest you before embarking on your research at the library.

Helpful hints in writing the paper

Read the passage(s) you intend to use very carefully before you begin to write your paper.

State your thesis right in the introduction of your paper. It's best to get to your point in the first or second paragraph.
Support your thesis with specific details of the poem (or whatever) you are using.  It's best to be as specific as you can about your work's actual phrasing, imagery, word choice, plot details, characterization, etc.

 Make sure that you document all quotations and references to other peopleís work. Short quotations can be included in the body of your text in double-quotation marks with a citation in parentheses: "Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had: he and I, the parson and clerk, were alone present" (Bronte 552).

Long quotations of three lines or more of writing should be a) indented 10 spaces b) written out as verse (if poetry) c) single-spaced d) not in quotation marks e) with ending punctuation before documentation:

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them or laugh at them if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex. (Bronte 178)

When you do refer to an outside source in your paper, give its full title, author, and publication details in a Works Cited list at the end of your paper (use MLA style guidelines). Donít use footnotes in the paper itself.

Avoid plagiarism (stealing the words or ideas of another) like the plague. In this class acts of plagiarism incur a zero and could also result in course failure or expulsion from the university.

Lastly, please give your paper a title, and please proofread your paper carefully before turning it in.