Research Essay Assignment for ENGL 2131

Research Essay Assignment for ENGL 2131

Due Date in GaView

Your research paper must come from any author or time

period represented in Becoming America p. 1-1543 or must be listed in the option 2 topic selections or must fall within the time frame of American Lit. I and be approved by your professor.


Note that there are two options here:

OPTION ONE: Assignment: Combine Literary Analysis

with Historical Analysis (If you select this option, you may

want to do some preliminary research on Historical Literary

Analysis. This is not just a history paper and I caution you to

avoid turning in an old history paper.)


Students will select a period of United States history from

the list below, and then write a research paper analyzing the

period and how the literature of the time reflected its values,

struggles, and ideas. Less than one-half of the paper will

focus on historical analysis because the goal of this paper is

to put the authors in their historical context. The second half

of the paper (or more) will be analysis of prominent authors

(at least 3) and their works of the time.


The research paper must make a connection between the

authors and the time period. How does any one writer

express the ideas and sentiments of the time? Are they

representative of the times or are they in opposition to ruling

attitudes and ideas of the time? How did the authors feel

about the historical events of their time? What themes

permeate their works and how do they connect to history?

Select one of the following times periods established in your

text Becoming America:

1.Pre- and Early Colonial Literature

2. Seventeenth Century English Colonial Literature

3. Revolutionary and Early National Period Literature

4. Nineteenth Century Romanticism and Transcendentalism

An author must be represented in one of these four periods

to be acceptable for this American Literature I research



OPTION TWO: choose one of the topics listed in the

separate folder (There are 30 to choose from.) THE



REQUIREMENTS for Research Papers

Each student must write a literary research paper

of 1500+ words from Option 1 or Option 2.


The paper should present your interpretive ideas anduse

research to support your argument for interpretationof the

work(s) and/or history.


TOPIC PROPOSAL: The first step is to choose a topic and create a topic proposal in which you discuss what you will talk

about, how it is relevant to the work, and what your basic

premise for the paper will be. Do not just say I choose Option One or Option Two. Explain your topic. Your topic proposal should include evidence of preliminary research, a working thesis, and a good basic understanding of the auth

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