Assignment Outcomes
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to develop theses based upon their own observations while reading original texts as well as the work of other scholars in the field.
  • Students will be able to apply information literacy skills developed throughout the semester.
  • Students will be able to apply feedback from previous assignments.
Relevant Course Outcomes
  • Students will be able to identify and analyze the textual, historical, and cultural contexts of works of literature.
  • Students will be able to read works of literature closely and thoroughly.
  • Students will be able to develop insights effectively through written communication, particularly via essay.
  • Students will be able to identify the steps of the research process and apply information literacy skills in a variety of contexts.

Due: May 17, 10AM
  • Requirement for all options: Adhere to Writing Expectations
  • Refer to the research that you completed for your Course Research Scavenger Hunt
  • Course Research will be turned in through "Assignments" on Blackboard as always; for each option, you should turn in one document with all parts included
  • You may turn in another Library Visit Form to earn 2 extra credit points on this assignment (to earn credit, form must be completed in full)

Resources
Resources - Writing Help
Resources - Research and Citation Help

Example of Previous Essays (these essays were in response to different prompts, but they demonstrate effective writing):


Option 1: Point of Significance
Page Length: minimum of 7 (full pages!) plus Works Cited
Other: Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1 inch margins, double-spaced (with no excessive spacing or extra spacing in header around name, class, etc.), MLA style

Instructions
First, choose a text on which you intend to focus. Anything on the syllabus (up until the last day and excepting Unit 1) is fair game!
THINK: What interests you? What text has stayed with you throughout the course? What text jumped out at you as we have been reading? What do you tend to focus on as you are reading? Is there a question (or questions) that keep coming up to you?

Requirements
  • One page (minimum)
    • Summarize chosen text
      • No thesis required, but summary should follow conventions of effective writing and the course Writing Expectations
      • Outcomes: 1) demonstrate knowledge of chosen text and 2) get summary out of your system as, after this point, it will no longer be needed
  • Two pages (minimum)
    • Identify and define one significant point concerning chosen text
    • Thesis required: thesis will be a sentence identifying the significant point and providing context for it
    • Should follow conventions of effective writing and the course Writing Expectations
    • Outcomes: 1) focus in on one significant point in the text and 2) define what sections of the text are important to that point
  • Three pages (minimum)
    • Defend the significance of identified point
    • Use a minimum of three credible, academic sources to support your defense
      • RESEARCH: Going to the library and/or using a research database (I suggest MLA or JSTOR), find at least three credible, academic sources to help you formulate or support your ideas. These sources might be ones with which you disagree – that can help you formulate your ideas too!
      • Sources should be credible (thus, typically from a respected journal or book)
      • Sources cannot be web sites (they can be sources found in electronic databases)
      • Your textbook is not included in the number of required sources
      • Direct engagement (quotations) from your research and the textbook is required
    • Should follow conventions of effective writing and the course Writing Expectations
    • Outcomes: 1) provide evidence to support why your idea is significant; 2) identify the credibility and usefulness of sources; 3) use sources effectively without letting them overwhelm your own ideas; and 4) demonstrate correct MLA citation style
  • One page (minimum)
    • Identify your research style and name it (i.e. The Citation Miner, The Database Jumper, etc.)
    • Discuss this style, citing specific examples from your research process to support the name
    • Thesis required: thesis will be a sentence identifying chosen name of research style and a brief definition
    • Should follow conventions of effective writing and the course Writing Expectations
    • Outcome: reflect on your own research process
  • Works Cited
    • Under each citation, provide a one to two sentence justification of the choice to use that source
    • Reminders: You will have at minimum four sources (the reading from your textbook and the three required sources)
    • Outcomes: 1) demonstrate correct MLA citation style and 2) demonstrate that choices of sources are deliberate and effective



Option 2: Creative Application
Page Length: minimum of 4 (full pages!) and 4 (full pages!) of additional work plus Works Cited
Other: Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1 inch margins, double-spaced (unless the project requires another type of spacing), MLA style

Instructions
Design a creative piece that is in some way related to or inspired by one or more of our readings.

Requirements
  • Four pages (minimum)
    • Compose creative piece
    • Your project should be serious and should demonstrate a significant point about the text(s) by which it is inspired
    • Outcome: demonstrate understanding of a text or texts through application to a new, creative setting
  • Three pages (minimum)
    • Defend the influence of one or more texts on your creative piece
    • Use a minimum of three credible, academic sources to support your defense
      • RESEARCH: Going to the library and/or using a research database (I suggest MLA or JSTOR), find at least three credible, academic sources to help you formulate or support your ideas. These sources might be ones with which you disagree – that can help you formulate your ideas too!
      • Sources should be credible (thus, typically from a respected journal or book)
      • Sources cannot be web sites (they can be sources found in electronic databases)
      • Your textbook is not included in the number of required sources
      • Direct engagement (quotations) from your research and the textbook is required
    • Should follow conventions of effective writing and the course Writing Expectations
    • Outcomes: 1) provide evidence to support why your creative piece is influenced by a text or texts; 2) identify the credibility and usefulness of sources; 3) use sources effectively without letting them overwhelm your own ideas; and 4) demonstrate correct MLA citation style
  • One page (minimum)
    • Identify your research style and name it (i.e. The Citation Miner, The Database Jumper, etc.)
    • Discuss this style, citing specific examples from your research process to support the name
    • Thesis required: thesis will be a sentence identifying chosen name of research style and a brief definition
    • Should follow conventions of effective writing and the course Writing Expectations
    • Outcome: reflect on your own research process
  • Works Cited
    • Under each citation, provide a one to two sentence justification of the choice to use that source
    • Reminders: You will have at least four sources (the reading from your textbook and the three required sources)
    • Outcomes: 1) demonstrate correct MLA citation style and 2) demonstrate that choices of sources are deliberate and effective


Rubric: Course Research - Option 1
Course Research will be 85% of the full Course Research grade, which is 20% of the overall course grade.
Criteria
A
B
C
D
One-page summary
(10 points)
Demonstrates a clear and in-depth knowledge of the plot, characters, and setting of selected text; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas confidently with purpose, clarity, and an advanced sense of organization
Demonstrates a clear knowledge of the plot, characters, and setting of selected text; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas with purpose, clarity, and an overall competent sense of organization
Demonstrates a basic knowledge of the plot, characters, and setting of selected text; demonstrates general development of ideas and simplistic organization which appears arbitrary
Demonstrates little knowledge of the plot, characters, and setting of selected text; demonstrates a lack of development of ideas and incoherent, haphazard organization
Two-page identification and definition
(20 points)
Defines and communicates a specific, clear, thoughtful, and deliberate thesis that is appropriate in scope for the assignment; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas confidently with purpose, clarity, and an advanced sense of organization; demonstrates notable awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written; emphasizes own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points but not allowing them to overwhelm writing
Communicates a specific, clear, solid thesis that is manageable in scope for the assignment, although it may lack in detail; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas with purpose, clarity, and an overall competent sense of organization; demonstrates an awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written; attempts to demonstrate own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points
Communicates a thesis, although may be generic or self-evident and tend towards having too broad a scope to manage within the assignment; demonstrates general development of ideas and simplistic organization which appears arbitrary; demonstrates lack of awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written (i.e. tends towards the informal); demonstrates little personal voice and allows other voices/scholars to overwhelm writing/voice
Relies on a superficial thesis too broad in scope to manage within a minimum of 12 pages; demonstrates a lack of development of ideas and incoherent, haphazard organization; demonstrates a poor understanding of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written (i.e. is informal); demonstrates no personal voice in writing
Three-page defense
(40 points)
Provides careful and in-depth analysis of a text or texts (primary and secondary), including appropriately-selected direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and supporting points; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas confidently with purpose, clarity, and an advanced sense of organization; demonstrates notable awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written; emphasizes own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points but not allowing them to overwhelm writing; employs correct and consistent MLA citation in-text format
Provides solid analysis of a text or texts (primary and/or secondary), including appropriately-selected direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and/or supporting points; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas with purpose, clarity, and an overall competent sense of organization; demonstrates an awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written; attempts to demonstrate own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points; employs mostly correct and consistent MLA citation in-text format
Provides basic analysis of a text or texts (primary and/or secondary), including potentially irrelevant choices for direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and/or supporting points; demonstrates general development of ideas and simplistic organization which appears arbitrary; demonstrates lack of awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written (i.e. tends towards the informal); demonstrates little personal voice and allows other voices/scholars to overwhelm writing/voice; employs recognizable MLA citation in-text format with errors and inconsistencies
Provides little, repetitive, or faulty analysis of a text or texts (primary and secondary), including a lack of direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and supporting points; demonstrates a lack of development of ideas and incoherent, haphazard organization; demonstrates a poor understanding of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written (i.e. is informal); demonstrates no personal voice in writing; employs unrecognizable in-text citation format with confusing errors and inconsistencies
One-page research style
(10 points)
Demonstrates a clear and in-depth self-awareness concerning personal research style; name present for research style; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas confidently with purpose, clarity, and an advanced sense of organization
Demonstrates a clear self-awareness concerning personal research style; name present for research style; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas with purpose, clarity, and an overall competent sense of organization
Demonstrates a basic self-awareness concerning personal research style; no name for research style; demonstrates general development of ideas and simplistic organization which appears arbitrary
Demonstrates little self-awareness of research style; no name for research style; demonstrates a lack of development of ideas and incoherent, haphazard organization
Works Cited
(20 points)
Employs correct and consistent MLA Works Cited format; meets/exceeds secondary source requirement (3+); sources are credible and relevant; justification demonstrates understanding of what makes a source credible and relevant
Employs mostly correct and consistent MLA Works Cited format; meets secondary source requirement (3); sources are credible and mostly relevant; justification demonstrates some understanding of what makes a source credible and relevant
Employs recognizable MLA Works Cited format with errors and inconsistencies; does not meet secondary source requirement (2); most sources are credible, but lack relevance; justification demonstrates basic understanding of what makes a source credible and relevant
Employs unrecognizable Works Cited format with confusing errors and inconsistencies; does not meet secondary source requirement (1); sources lack credibility and relevance; justification demonstrates lack of understanding of what makes a source credible and relevant
Mechanics
(20 points)
Utilizes the mechanics of writing and grammar both correctly and with effective, deliberate (potentially even elegant) purpose; adheres to course Writing Expectations
Utilizes the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and deliberately, though may contain some errors; demonstrates solid understanding of course Writing Expectations
Tends not to use the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and contains noticeable errors; demonstrates basic awareness of course Writing Expectations
Does not use the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and deliberately and contains noticeable errors; demonstrates little awareness of course Writing Expectations
Rubric: Course Research - Option 2
Course Research will be 85% of the full Course Research grade, which is 20% of the overall course grade.
Criteria
A
B
C
D
Four-page creative piece
(30 points)
Demonstrates in-depth understanding of the text which inspired it; demonstrates notable awareness of the genre of writing
Demonstrates a clear understanding of the text which inspired it; demonstrates an awareness of the genre of writing used
Demonstrates a basic understanding of the text which inspired it; demonstrates lack of awareness of the genre of writing used
Demonstrates little to no understanding of the text which inspired it; demonstrates a poor understanding of the genre of writing used
Three-page defense
(40 points)
Provides careful and in-depth analysis of a text or texts (creative piece and secondary), including appropriately-selected direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and supporting points; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas confidently with purpose, clarity, and an advanced sense of organization; demonstrates notable awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written; emphasizes own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points but not allowing them to overwhelm writing; employs correct and consistent MLA citation in-text format
Provides solid analysis of a text or texts (creative piece and/or secondary), including appropriately-selected direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and/or supporting points; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas with purpose, clarity, and an overall competent sense of organization; demonstrates an awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written; attempts to demonstrate own voice, using other voices/scholars to support points; employs mostly correct and consistent MLA citation in-text format
Provides basic analysis of a text or texts (creative piece and/or secondary), including potentially irrelevant choices for direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and/or supporting points; demonstrates general development of ideas and simplistic organization which appears arbitrary; demonstrates lack of awareness of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written (i.e. tends towards the informal); demonstrates little personal voice and allows other voices/scholars to overwhelm writing/voice; employs recognizable MLA citation in-text format with errors and inconsistencies
Provides little, repetitive, or faulty analysis of a text or texts (creative piece and secondary), including a lack of direct engagement (i.e. quotations), to develop main and supporting points; demonstrates a lack of development of ideas and incoherent, haphazard organization; demonstrates a poor understanding of the genre of writing used as well as the academic setting in which it is being written (i.e. is informal); demonstrates no personal voice in writing; employs unrecognizable in-text citation format with confusing errors and inconsistencies
One-page research style
(10 points)
Demonstrates a clear and in-depth self-awareness concerning personal research style; name present for research style; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas confidently with purpose, clarity, and an advanced sense of organization
Demonstrates a clear self-awareness concerning personal research style; name present for research style; demonstrates the ability to develop ideas with purpose, clarity, and an overall competent sense of organization
Demonstrates a basic self-awareness concerning personal research style; no name for research style; demonstrates general development of ideas and simplistic organization which appears arbitrary
Demonstrates little self-awareness of research style; no name for research style; demonstrates a lack of development of ideas and incoherent, haphazard organization
Works Cited
(20 points)
Employs correct and consistent MLA Works Cited format; meets/exceeds secondary source requirement (3+); sources are credible and relevant; justification demonstrates understanding of what makes a source credible and relevant
Employs mostly correct and consistent MLA Works Cited format; meets secondary source requirement (3); sources are credible and mostly relevant; justification demonstrates some understanding of what makes a source credible and relevant
Employs recognizable MLA Works Cited format with errors and inconsistencies; does not meet secondary source requirement (2); most sources are credible, but lack relevance; justification demonstrates basic understanding of what makes a source credible and relevant
Employs unrecognizable Works Cited format with confusing errors and inconsistencies; does not meet secondary source requirement (1); sources lack credibility and relevance; justification demonstrates lack of understanding of what makes a source credible and relevant
Mechanics
(20 points)
Utilizes the mechanics of writing and grammar both correctly and with effective, deliberate (potentially even elegant) purpose; adheres to course Writing Expectations
Utilizes the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and deliberately, though may contain some errors; demonstrates solid understanding of course Writing Expectations
Tends not to use the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and contains noticeable errors; demonstrates basic awareness of course Writing Expectations
Does not use the mechanics of writing and grammar correctly and deliberately and contains noticeable errors; demonstrates little awareness of course Writing Expectations
*writing that does not meet format or submission instructions will be docked according to the policies outlined in the syllabus