Stages on the way to your final project

Annotated Bibliography Guidelines

Your annotated bibliography should list at least five (seven if you are working in a pair) works that you are likely to draw on for your final project.  Each work should be annotated with at least 1-2 sentences briefly its potential usefulness for your topic. You may include articles that we have already read for class, but you should include at least 4 works that are not assigned—that you have found on your own, in other words. Please preface your bibliography with a brief paragraph (2-3 sentences is fine) outlining your project. This is not a thesis or a research question (see below), but rather a first effort to draw some boundaries around your area of interest.

More than half of the works cited in your bibliography should come from scholarly sources—either academic (peer-reviewed) journals or academic books. You may use magazines and newspapers, but they should not make up the bulk of your research.

Please either talk to me or consult with Marcia Whitehead, our liaison librarian, if you have trouble finding useful sources.

Please use the MLA citation format for your bibliography, both when you turn in your annotated bibliography and for the works cited list for your paper.


Proposal Guidelines

Your research proposal should be a 1-3 page summary of your probable topic or a description of your project.

For research papers:

In the proposal you will pose your research question—or stake your central claim—and demonstrate (briefly) with specific examples how you plan to answer the question and/or support the claim.

Essential elements of the proposal:

Research question: what do you want to find out?  Is it both interesting and original?  Can it be answered in the scope of an 8-10 page paper?

Approach: How do you propose to answer the question?  What primary texts will you use?  What kind of analysis is most appropriate (i.e., formal, historical, psychoanalytic, etc.)?

Evidence:  What elements of the text will you focus on?  Can you provide a brief close reading of a text in support of your claim or question?  What secondary sources will you use to support your claim?

If as you have developed your topic you have consulted additional sources that were not in your initial annotated bibliography, please include them in your proposal.

For creative projects:

In the proposal you will describe your project, providing a sample bit of dialogue or a sample illustration. You will also give some brief background for the project, indicating the research that you have already done for it, and what you still need to do.

Essential elements of the creative project proposal:

Description of the project: what will you do? Why are you doing it? What is the scope of the project (i.e., illustrate one tale or many, create one pilot episode, etc.)?

Approach: how will you complete your project? What information and other resources will inform you as you do it? Do you have the technical skills to complete it? (If not, how do you plan to acquire them?)

Sample: provide an illustration with commentary, a sample bit of dialogue and indication of where things will go next, a sketch or series of sketches, etc. Indicate where in the project this sample will fit, and how you expect to integrate this into the project as a whole.

As above, if as you have developed your project you have consulted additional sources that were not in your initial annotated bibliography, please include them in your proposal.

The annotated bibliography and proposal are due by email to me by noon on April 17 (this is a change).

Presentation Guidelines

(Presentations will be in class, April 23 and 25)

Your presentation should be a no more than 10-minute presentation on your work to date.  If you are reading, your presentation should be no more than 5 typed, double-spaced pages.  Your presentation should include the same elements as your proposal—a statement of your research question or claim, an indication of your approach, and evidence in support of your claim (or a description, indication of your approach, and sample).  However, the presentation need not be quite so rigidly formatted as the proposal. For a creative project, a presentation of a “rough draft” of your work would be ideal. For a research paper, your presentation should focus primarily on either a demonstration that the research question is indeed a worthy one, or a more detailed analysis of some of the relevant evidence in support of the research claim.  Handouts and visual aids may be used where appropriate. (For example: if you plan to analyze a long quotation, it’s often better to provide it in a handout than to read it to your audience.)

You may either read a prepared paper or speak from notes, but in either case make sure that your presentation is clear and logically organized, and that you speak clearly and understandably.  (This may mean slowing down your normal speech pattern, for example.)

Be prepared to take questions on your work.

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