Research Essay

This assignment requires you to write a research essay on ONE of the fiction or non-fiction texts we have read this semester. Choose one of the three topics listed below and write a well-structured and formatted argumentative essay, using at least one secondary source to support your argument. Your essay should have the structure and tone of a formal essay. Avoid colloquial language as much as possible.
Your essay should be 1,000 words, double-spaced, with 12 point font, and must follow MLA style guidelines. (4 pages)
Make sure to create an outline for your essay. This outline (you can use the essay-outline template) will help you identify a specific argument about your primary text, sort your argument into manageable points, and decide where to include evidence from your secondary source.
Research Component: Worth 5%
Write an argumentative essay that seeks to persuade the reader of an interpretation of the primary text. Perform research to find one secondary source that supports your interpretation of the primary text.
When you quote or paraphrase from a source, you must cite it properly using MLA format. See our PowerPoint slides and/or:
Your secondary source should be a journal article or a book chapter located through Seneca librarys catalogue or database systems. It can be about the author, the story or essay, other works by that author, a theme or topic found in the text, etc. Do not use sources found on the Web that are not academic; for example, do not use Internet sources such as Wikipedia,, Sparknotes, or Instead, use academic sources: books, academic journals, etc.
PLAGIARISM is the use of another authors work, either through direct quotation OR through general paraphrasing, without citing the source of that work.
Plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment, and may lead to further academic consequences. Plagiarism will be handled in accordance with Senecas academic policy. If you are in doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism, ask a librarian or myself for assistance.
Final Point: Be careful not to let your research dominate your own argument about the text. This essay is about your interpretation.
The goal of the research component is for you to use an academic source thoughtfully to move your argument forward.
As well, you must cite your source accurately according to MLA guidelines.
Your Final Essay Should Contain:
– A clear and concise thesis statement that articulates a specific argument about your primary text.
– Three clearly articulated points that will prove your thesis statement (these will form the three body paragraphs of your essay). Provide each point in sentence form.
– Well-introduced and integrated quotations from your primary text. Include a parenthetical citation for all quotations.
– At least one quotation from your secondary source, copied under the relevant point/body paragraph. Include a parenthetical citation for all quotations.
– The MLA-formatted citations for your primary and secondary sources that will appear in the Works Cited list of your final essay.
– Clear, grammatically correct sentences; it should be proofread and edited for errors (grammar, word choice, spelling).
Topic: Choose any one
1. Each of the stories we have read is set in a distinctive setting whether it is futuristic /fantastical or realistic. Examine the ways that the setting contributes to the theme[s] of a story on our course.
2. The stories and essays we have studied in this course present a variety of narrative voices and personas. Choose a fiction or non-fiction text from the course and indicate how either the narrative voice (for stories) or the authors persona (for essays) contributes to the themes/arguments of the text.
3. The power of communication, or in many cases miscommunication, is a theme that runs through many of the texts we have studied in this course. Select one text (fiction or non-fiction) and examine how the author indicates the power and importance of language and words.

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