The Great Gatsby Research

English 102 Research PaperMr. Fried Fall 2020Since the importance of research papers, and the fundamentals of doing a research paper, are written very clearly in any writer’s handbook it would be repetitive of me to go over the basics again, especially since you all, in order to get placed in this class, successfully completed your research paper in English 101.The purpose of this sheet is to go over my specific requirements so you have a better idea of what I expect from a college freshman’s research project.The most important thing to keep in mind is that this paper, like the first two formal papers, is to be a CLAIM paper. This means you will have a thesis or claim in the introduction of the paper. Do not overcomplicate the task: state your claim, then substantiate it in as logical and convincing a manner as possible. For this paper, your task is to read either Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, or The Nickel Boys by Coleson Whitehead. After you have read the work, your job is to formulate a thesis rooted in what your work says about American culture. You can focus your thesis on why your chosen work should be required reading in typical high school and college curricula.The minimum requirements for the paper are as follows. The paper must be at least1500 words, which is approximately five or six (double spaced 10/12 font). It must be written according to MLA guidelines. As for citations, you must cite from at least three different and distinct secondary sources in the paper. This is separate and distinct from using the primary document as evidence. One book is one source, no matter how many times you cite from it. Each article in a magazine is a different source. Unfortunately, plagiarism is a reality with which all English instructors must contend. Any evidence of plagiarism obviously means failure on the paper and in the course. If you do not pass the research project, I cannot pass you for the course. Obviously, Failure to hand the paper in also results in automatic failure of the course. The paper is due on December 17, and must be posted on Blackboard by midnight. Emailed papers are not acceptable, unless we arrange for that due to an emergency. That being said, you incur a risk by emailing the paper; you should do so knowing that unless I actually receive the paper, it is not acceptable. I fail students each semester because they do not hand in the paper on time.As I’ve stated to you in class numerous times, the purpose of this paper is to see how well you, the student, can think for yourself and use textual evidence to make an argument. Having a paper that is comprised almost entirely of what OTHER people had to say about your claim, while it does show me you can organize, is not evidence of your critical thinking skills. Therefore do not overburden your paper with long quotations of secondary sources to fill space; use your citations very judiciously! Those who only use documentation to enhance their arguments will be rewarded. That being said, textual evidence is extremely important! So, quotes from your chosen work are a positive force in helping you make your point.As someone who has written countless papers during his academic career, I know that sometimes no matter how many times one proofreads a paper, sometimes there are bound to be some mistakes that are overlooked. That being said, it has amazed me throughout my teaching career to see how unpolished formal work is when handed in by students. Your grade will suffer accordingly if your paper has careless, easily correctable mistakes. It is certainly not cheating if you have a friend “peer edit” your paper. Ask if he/she sees any mistakes, and ask he/she if there are any portions which don’t make sense. Also, please remember that deadlines count. Any rough drafts not handed in, and any late papers may lead to failure. Since this is the last paper, and it is due on the last class, it is unlikely that you will be able to get late papers to me by the appropriate deadline for me to hand in my grades. I will not give you an incomplete, unless you have had to cope with a ducumentable emergency. Please remember that you are college freshmen, and despite what your friends tell you, students ARE expected to possess a certain level of writing proficiency. That means following the rules of standard written English is required. Please take advantage of our school’s writing center.It is only logical that the quality of your research will be evaluated. This means that using you must be careful using web-based research. Common sense is key; for example, anything that is a “dot com” will have an agenda. Of course, some dot coms are very acceptable, like Newsweek, The New York Times, etc. However, avoid personal web pages. “Dot org” and “dot edu” sites are generally academic and sound sources for research. You may not use Wikipedia as a source! Academic sources are the expectation!

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