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The Literary Research Paper Process

This prezi will outline how to find sources, cite sources in MLA format, and how to construct your research papers.

Danielle Hill

on 24 April 2017

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Transcript of The Literary Research Paper Process

Step One
Reading the Text
Before you can write a paper you must first read your literary work.
As you read you will take notes on:
Quotes from the text you might use
Literary Elements
Character Development
Author's Purpose
Be sure to write down the page numbers of your examples in your notes!
You will reference your notes when you start to write the paper.
Step Two
Choose a Topic and Form a Research Question
Step Three
Finding Your Sources
When finding sources ask yourself these three questions:
What am I looking for when I'm finding sources?
Develop research strategies and a list of resources
Narrow your topic and its description
Pull out key words and categories
Bring your topic and keyword list to a local research librarian, teacher, support professional on resources available text books, reference works, web sites, journals, diaries, professional reports
International conventions of copyright govern the use and reproduction of all material
How do I know if a source is credible?
Ask yourself these questions:
Who is the author?
How recent is the source?
What is the author's purpose?
What type of sources does your audience value?
Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources!

But how do I keep all of my information organized so I know what I've found?
When Writing Notes:
Make sure the information is expressed in your own words (unless it is a quotation)
Use good sentence structure: this will save you time when you start to write the paper.
Be sure to include the exact page number you found the fact or quotation on.
Documenting Sources:
At the top of your notes about a source be sure to include the complete information of books, magazines, films, etc.
These will be used for entering in-text citations and when compiling the bibliography

MLA Citations
Why do we have citations?
To document where we got our information

To give credit to the person who’s quotes or ideas we are using

What do I have to cite?

If you took the idea or information from another person’s work it has to be cited.

What information needs to be in the citation?
Author’s name: Last, First
Title of Essay or Article
Title of Source
Edition Number
Editor’s Name

Where published
Name of Publisher
Date Published
Page Numbers Info Found On
Date You Found It

Author (Last name first).
Title of Book
. Place of
Publication: Publisher, Year.

You try:
Author: Elie Wiesel
Hill and Wang Publishing Company
New York, NY

Should look like this:
Wiesel, Elie.
. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 1960.

Essay or Article in a Book
Author (Last name first). "Title of Essay or Article."
Title of book
. Ed. Editor's name. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Pages.
You Try:
Author: Lotta Kiikerri
"Shakespeare's Great Works"
Poets and Their Marks
1st Ed
Editor: Michael Geist
University Press

Should look like this:
Kiikerri, Lotta. "Shakespeare's Great Works."
Poets and
Their Marks
. 1st Ed. Michael Geist. Cambridge: University Press, 1980. 260-280.

Newspaper Article
For citing a newspaper article without an author and from a daily newspaper:

"Title of the Article."
Name of the Newspaper
Date: Pages
*Only include URL if the website cannot be easily found.

Last name, First name. "Article Title."
Website Title.
Publisher of Website, Day Month Year article was published. Web. Day Month Year article was accessed. <URL>.

Should look like this:
Cain, Kevin. "The Negative Effects of Facebook on
Social Media Today RSS
N.p., 29 June 2012. Web. 02 Jan. 2013.

Works Cited/Bibliography
Separate page from rest of paper
Title “Works Cited” centered on page
Includes all works you cited and/or used in your research. Hanging indentation Alphabetical Order
Double Spaced

In Text Citations
When use a direct quotation or paraphrase a individual idea from a work
MLA: list the last name of the author and the page number in parentheses

For Example:

Second-language learners develop more quickly when learning the L2 before puberty (Connor 113).

Citation Machines

Son of a Citation Machine

Citation Machines can make mistakes or you can type info in wrong!
It is just as important to proof read your citations as it is your paper!

When in Doubt Think:
The Literary Research Paper Process
I've read my literary work, found my sources, and written their citations. Now what?
Start Planning the Paper!
What's the point of a literary Analysis paper?
To carefully examine and evaluate a specific work of literature or a specific element from that work

Your essay must:
cover the topic you are writing about.
have a central idea (stated in your thesis) that governs its development.
be organized so that every part contributes something to the reader’s understanding of the central idea.

Step Four
Planning and Writing Your Paper
Part One: Form Your Thesis
The thesis statement tells your reader what to expect
It is a restricted, precisely worded declarative sentence that states the purpose of your essay

Sample Thesis Statements
Gwendolyn Brooks’s 1960 poem “The Ballad of Rudolph Reed” demonstrates how the poet uses the conventional poetic form of the ballad to treat the unconventional poetic subject of racial intolerance.
The fate of the main characters in Antigone illustrates the danger of excessive pride.
The imagery in Dylan Thomas’s poem “Fern Hill” reveals the ambiguity of our relationship with nature.

Part Two: Pre-writing
Review your notes about your literary work
What quotes or examples from the text support your thesis?
Find at least three

Part Three: Outlining
Use a logical order
What order can your put your main ideas in so that your paper makes the most sense?
Present clear evaluations
How will you explain your ideas?
How do these ideas relate to your thesis?
Provide specific support
For each idea you need to have a quote or specific example from the text
You will need to explain why you choose the quote and how it relates to your argument
Your outline must be in complete sentences and include all in text citations.
This will save you time during the drafting process.

Part Four: Drafting
Once you have a completed outline it is simple to add transitions to piece your sentences together in paragraph form.

Try to make your Rough Draft look like your final paper!
Remember it is always easier to edit and take away unneeded information than it is to add new information!
Part Five: Editing and Revising
Make sure that all of your examples and facts are correct
Each quote should be spelled and punctuated as it is in the text
Edit for grammatical errors
Edit for style
Do all of your sentences make sense?
Is there a variety of sentence lengths?
Are all words used correctly?
Do you have enough elaboration of each idea?
Make sure your paper is in MLA format

What Belongs in the Draft?
Purpose in to gain the interest of your reader
To bring immediate focus to your subject you may want to start by using:
a quotation
a provocative question
a personal anecdote
a startling statement
or a combination of these.
You need to give background information relevant to your thesis and necessary for the reader to understand the position you are taking.
You must include the title of the work of literature and name of the author!
Your Thesis should be the last sentence in the introduction

Body Paragraphs
At least 3
Where you explain your ideas and evidence
Textual evidence consists of summary, paraphrase, specific details, and direct quotations.

Topic Sentences
Tie the details of the paragraph to your thesis statement.
Tie the details of the paragraph together.

Usually the first sentence in a body paragraph

Gives your essay a sense of completeness
The concluding paragraph might:
restate the thesis in different words
summarize the main points you have made
make a relevant comment about the literary work you are analyzing, but from a different perspective
Do not introduce a new topic in your conclusion.

Giving the Paper a Title
Needs to be catchy to get attention
Needs to describe the approach you are taking
Only stating the title of the literary work is never acceptable!

Assume you are writing the paper for people who have:
Read the work
Have the same amount of education as you
Have not thought about the work the way you have

Never spend your entire paper summarizing the work!

Using Textual Evidence

Use only what directly relates to your thesis!

If a key event or series of events in the literary work support a point you are trying to make, you may want to include a brief summary
You must explicitly connect your summary to your point.

To put someone else's words into your own words.

Specific Details
Various types of details from the text lend concrete support to the development of the central idea.
These details add credibility to the point you are developing.

Direct Quotations
Below are guidelines that should help you use quotations effectively:
1. Brief quotations (four lines or fewer of
prose and three lines or fewer of poetry) should be carefully introduced and integrated into the text of your paper. Put quotation marks around all briefly quoted material.
2. Lengthy quotations should be separated
from the text of your paper.

Direct Quotations
3. If any words are added to a quotation in order to explain
who or what the quotation refers to, you must use brackets to distinguish your addition from the original source.
4. You must use ellipsis if you omit any words from the
original source you are quoting. Ellipsis can be used at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the quotation, depending on where the missing words were originally. Ellipsis is formed by either three or four periods with a space between each period.
Example (omission from beginning):
This behavior ". . . makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

1. When the quoted material is part of your
own sentence, place periods and commas inside the quotation marks.
2. When the quoted material is part of your
own sentence, but you need to include a parenthetical reference to page or line numbers, place the periods and commas after the reference.

3. When the quoted material is part of your own
sentence, punctuation marks other than periods and commas, such as question marks, are placed outside the quotation marks, unless they are part of the quoted material.
4. When the original material you are quoting already
has quotations marks (for instance, dialog from a short story), you must use single quotation marks within the double quotation marks.

No Matter What Textual Evidence You Use Always Remember to Cite Your Source!
MLA Format
1 inch margins
Times New Roman 12pt. font
Double Spaced (including Header and Title
Heading is in the upper right corner of ALL pages
Contains your last name and page number
Header is in the upper left corner of the first page only!
Contains your name, class name, teacher name, and date on separate lines
Title is one line down from header and centered
Do not underline, bold, italicize, or enlarge the font the title!
Remember to take your word processing program off of center when typing the rest of your paper.
Works Cited Page is the last page of paper
Sample MLA Paper:

*Only include city with Newspaper Title if it is not included in the name of Newspaper.

Newspaper Article (Print)
Last, First M. "Article Title."
Newspaper Title
[City] Date
Month Year Published: Page(s). Print.
Should look like this:
Bowman, Lee. "Bills Target Lake Erie Mussels."
Pittsburgh Press
7 Mar. 1990: A4. Print.
Newspaper Article (Web)
Last, First M. "Article Title."
Newspaper Title
Month Year Published: Page(s). Website Title. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.
Should look like this:
Bowman, Lee. "Bills Target Lake Erie Mussels."
Pittsburgh Press
7 Mar. 1990: A4. Google News Web. 16 Mar. 2010.
Journal Article from an Online Database
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the article.”
Title of the journal,
First name Last name of any other contributors (if applicable), Version (if applicable), Numbers (such as a volume and issue number), Publication date, Page numbers. Title of the database, URL or DOI.
Should look like this:
Brian, Real, et al. “Rural Public Libraries and Digital
Inclusion: Issues and Challenges.”
Information and Technology Libraries,
vol. 33, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 6-24. ProQuest,

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