Research Paper (20%): Students will write a research paper that should follow the latest
MLA style guidelines (see “owl” online https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html or Pocket
Style Manual). Students should also carefully read through all the folders and material under the
“Writing Help” folder on our course home page. The paper should have one-inch margins, page
numbers, 12 Times New Roman font, and double spacing. Any paper missing any of these
basic requirements will lose credit.
Topic I chose:
2) Consider the following poems by Langston Hughes: “Let America” (found at this site:
https://poets.org/poem/let-america-be-america-again), “I too sing America” and “Harlem” (the latter two
both found in the textbook). How does Hughes discuss the concept of “The American Dream”? Do his
interpretations follow conventional thinking? If not, how do they differ? What links these poems? Do they
share similar styles or goals? Students should be able to finish the following sentence: “These poems refer
to the American Dream, and they are related because ______.” This will be the basis for your thesis (but it
will need a great deal of improvement and expansion).
Students should remember that these are basic ideas that need significant development. Outside sources should help you to refine and focus your chosen topic.
RESEARCH PAPER GUIDELINES
· Papers should range from 5-7 pages of text—5 pages minimum (this does not
include the title page, citations, or the Works Cited Page). Obviously, any paper shorter
than the minimum length will lose credit.
3) Title Page
· This is a requirement of the assignment
· Titles should reflect the general idea of the research. Do NOT use titles such as “My
Research Paper”. The title should indicate the focus of the paper.
· Since identifying information such as name, date, course, etc. appears on the title
page, do not repeat them on inside pages.
4) Page Set Up
· Papers should have 1 inch margins ( do not depend on your computer’s default)
· Double space your work and use 12 , Times New Roman or Arial font
· Papers should have page numbers and be stapled or clipped
· Students should follow the MLA style manual (Your best resource for the latest
requirements is: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html)
· This may sound obvious, but since this is a RESEARCH paper, it needs RESEARCH. That
means that students need to find out what the experts say about their topics.
· Since this is a LITERATURE course, students need to find appropriate LITERATURE
sources. So for example, a paper discussing love in Romeo and Juliet would look for experts who
provide literary analyses of the play with a focus on love, not a psychological study of love as an
· Students should use a minimum of 3 or 4 secondary (scholarly) sources for the basis of their
research. These are different from primary sources, which students will use also. Students are
always welcome to ask me questions to clarify any confusion.
· At least 2 sources must come from the NCC databases (students are welcome to use more
· Only 2 sources may come from the World Wide Web (this does NOT include articles
found through NCC/subscription databases)
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