Assignments

Across the term, you will produce a substantial, polished research essay based on primary as well as secondary sources. Your final essay will be a minimum of twelve pages in length and will include footnotes and a comprehensive bibliography. In preparation for your final paper, we will meet to discuss your topic, refine your research and writing techniques, and review the final draft. Short explanations are included here, with more detailed instructions to follow. 

 

Statement of Interest 

Your statement of interest will constitute a short written affirmation of your research topic, including a tentative question you might seek to answer.

 

Analytical Essay 

You will write an analytical essay of two to three pages. The essay will coincide with the content of our readings or with a tentative topic for your research essay and will allow you an opportunity to practice crafting and sustaining an academic argument, to hone your prose style, and to refine your ideas as you work toward the development of a substantive research topic. 

 

Research Plan 

Your research plan will enumerate the perceived tasks of research and writing involved in your project, establish them logically, and identify anticipated dates of completion for each task. Your research plan should become a fluid document, aiding you in establishing your research and writing priorities and integrating the various strands of your research into a common intellectual framework. 

 

Prospectus 

Your prospectus will constitute a one-page document that articulates your topic, your central argument, the reasons that support your thesis, and the evidence on which your thesis will be based. It should represent the crux of the argument you will present in your final essay. 

 

Annotated Bibliography 

The annotated bibliography will identify the existing primary-source material and secondary-source literature available on your research topic. This initial bibliographic canvassing will serve as the beginning of a working document that will compel you to survey the important literature related to your topic. 

 

Preliminary Research Report 

Your preliminary research report will update both your research plan and prospectus, adding some matters for further consideration as you reach the conclusion of your project.  

 

Five Pages of Text or a Detailed Outline 

As you near the completion of your research essay, you will have the choice to submit either five pages of polished text from your essay or a detailed outline of the content of your final essay. 

 

Research Essay 

Your final research essay, a minimum of twelve pages, should include footnotes that conform to the Chicago Manual of Style and a comprehensive bibliography.