Literary Period Analytical Research Paper
Over the course of the next few weeks, you will be researching a literary period, making an argument about that time period, and supporting your argument with multiple texts that you’ve read throughout high school.
Due date for final research paper: Sunday, 5/4 by 11:59pm on Moodle.
There will be no exceptions on this due date whatsoever. Submitting through Google Docs is not an acceptable means of submission; if the paper is not submitted to Moodle by the due date and time for any reason, it will be considered late.
Making an argument about a time period-
You have two options:
1. You can make an argument about the literature of the time period
Based on these texts, what is common about literature during this time? You could potentially write about:
How authors of the time period treated women in their texts
How authors portrayed heroes
How authors portrayed a particular theme, and why that theme was important during the time period
2. You can make an argument about the people of the time period
Based on these texts, what ‘truth’ is revealed about people living during this time? You could potentially write about:
What people during this time value(d)
What fears people had during this time
Your completed research paper will be 4-6 pages in length and will include the following paragraphs:
1. An introductory paragraph with a general introduction to your time period and texts, and your thesis statement (argument about the time period- see step 3 below)
2. A general overview paragraph which gives background information on your chosen time period (you’ll get a handout about this on Wednesday, 4/16).
3. A paragraph per major text (see step 1 below) that gives background on the text itself, and explains how the text supports your argument about the time period. You will be required to research and read critical analysis essays about your two texts, and include quotations from those sources (you’ll get a handout on this on Tuesday, 4/22). Note: you will not need direct quotations from the texts in these paragraphs; your quoted material will come from the critical analysis essays that you find.
4. A paragraph concerning a short work (probably a poem) that you find during your research that helps to support your argument. You will use quotations directly from this text to support your claim.
5. A concluding paragraph which brings your argument sharply into focus.
6. You will also complete a works cited page for your research. This page does NOT count toward the length requirement.
We will work through the following process in class-
Step 1: Choose a literary period and choose texts. You must choose one text that we read this year, and you must choose a text that you read in a previous year.
12th grade options (choose one): Oedipus the King or “The Allegory of the Cave”
Other option(s): The Odyssey
The Middle Ages
12th grade options (choose one): excerpt from Dante’s Inferno, Everyman
You must read (unless you took honors in 9th grade, which means you’ve already read them) one of the following short texts (see me for copies): excerpts from Beowulf, excerpt from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, or excerpt from Morte d’Arthur
12th grade option: Hamlet
Other option(s): Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet
The Modern Era
12th grade options (choose one): Siddhartha, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
Other option(s): The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men
The Post-Modern Era
12th grade options (choose one): Slaughterhouse-Five, The Kite Runner
Other option(s): Black Boy, Angela’s Ashes, Things Fall Apart, To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, Peace Like a River, The Crucible, Night, Lord of the Flies
Please highlight your choices on this sheet. Choices will be made in class on