Proposal and Annotated Bibliography

Proposal, Annotated Bibliography, Final Research Paper

Future Dates to Remember

November 7: Brainstorming discussion of possible research topics and format of proposal

November 14: Humanities Librarian, Holly Jackson, will provide a classroom visit and help you identify sources to be consulted and to be basis of annotated bibliography. Find your sources today!

November 28: Workshop Proposals and annotated bibliography

December 5: Option submission for Proposals and Annotated Bibliography

December 12: Due Proposal, Annotated Bibliography, Final Research Paper


The proposal describes the research essay you plan to write. The document often resembles forecasting introductions and is meant to help shape your argument, organize the paper, and facilitate the completion of your research and writing. Your proposal must include these four components:

· your research question

· your answer to that question (your thesis)

· a close reading of a passage you will be using in your paper to support your thesis

· a course of action to pursue your thesis

Here are questions/prompts to consider while writing your proposal. Read these carefully!

Describe your research question.

· Formulate a research question that encompasses your objective(s) for the paper.

· Ask yourself: what problem(s), issue(s) or question(s) are to be investigated?

Justify your thesis statement.

· So what? Why is your research question worth pursuing?

Execute your argument’s relevance to reading a specific part of the play or a specific text related to the play.

· Identify a passage that embodies the concepts that drive your research interest.

· Provide a close reading of the passage. Remember that your close reading should not be a plot summary or a modern English paraphrase of the text. Assume your audience is familiar with the literature and its overall plot and characters. Instead, pay close attention to literary details such as symbolism, metaphor, alliteration, and elements such as tone and voice.

· Note: Even the most theoretically invested argument, if it is to work with a literary text, engages with the author’s employment of language. I am interested in how you function as a reader and observer of the language of the text prior to including secondary sources.


· Are you working from a specific theoretical position? What is it?

· Are you using theorists who are specifically seminal figures in that school of thought? Who are they?

· What key concepts are central to your argument? How do you plan to define them?

· Begin your research by keeping in mind the key terms, concepts or theories useful to your project.

· Which journals or books came up in your search? Which research search indexes have you visited?

Annotated Bibliography

Identify in MLA works cited format 3-5 articles or books you will consult while writing your paper. In 5 sentences, isolate the stated goal of the source and identify a few of its key findings. Connect the brief summary of your source to your topic.

Final Research Paper

Your final project takes the form of a 10-12 page (2,500-3,000 words not counting works cited) research essay that advances a new thesis that is well-supported by and in dialogue with approximately 10 recently-published secondary sources and at least one primary source relevant to the course.

Components of the Rubric


· Clearly determines research interest, theoretical approach and/or materials to be investigated.

· Answers the “So What” question innovatively and perceptively

· Clearly displays understanding of social, theoretical, and/or philosophical contexts used to analyze a specific aspect of revenge literature or theme


· Effectively draws from primary source read in the class

· Responsibly engages with and uses secondary material to prove thesis

Textual engagement

· Displays skills of observation, description and analysis beyond paraphrasing summaries

· Closely develops the evidence from primary and secondary texts to further clarify and/or prove argument

Logic of organization

· Organization is employed to enhance argument and provide useful connections between ideas.

· There is a clear organizational plan, driven by the effective use of research and argumentation.


· Student clearly displays mastery of academic conventions in writing and in documenting research

· Applies MLA formatting for in-text citation and works cited page

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