1. K~la
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    K~la Senior Member

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    Research Essays

    Discussion in 'Research' started by K~la, Feb 5, 2008.

    Anyone have any advice on research essays? I have to write one on a novel yet use evidence from extra research and try to incorporate it in the entire thing but not sure how to go about it. My prof isn't very informative or helpful.:confused:
     
  2. (Mark)
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    (Mark) Contributing Member

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    With most research essays about novels, I've found that you read the book, and then try to isolate the main themes presented in the body of work. Then, you discuss those themes and what they might mean. Try to find evidence of symbolism in the story, or talk about the way it is written and why you think that the writer chose that writing style. For the extra research part, just look up essays written by people about the book, assuming it's something well known enough to have been analyzed, and then use those as sources.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    To add to what Connolly suggested:

    Examine the theme(s) of the novel and the influences (social/economic/political) at the time. What influences may have affected the writer...his experience growing up, death of a family member, etc. Mentors, education, jobs/career and such that may have influenced the course of the novel. Any interviews or essays written by the novelist about the novel, or his writings in general. Compare it to contemporary novels or authors. At what point in the author's career was the novel written?

    These are my suggestions based on little guidence being given by the professor.

    Terry
     
  4. K~la
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    K~la Senior Member

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    That's good advice, but I probably should have been more specific about what I'm supposed to do. My essay is on "The Secret Garden" but I have to research gothic architecture, magic, sublime v.s. beautiful, and so on. I already have tons of info and get the grasp of the themes and symbols in the novel. I can manage to write down my own ideas and present proof from the story itself. What I'm having trouble with is using the quotes from the outside research.
     
  5. (Mark)
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    (Mark) Contributing Member

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    Inject the quotes into your own writing, and use them to help support your arguments. For example...

    "I used to eat it all the time."
    -The Hamburglar

    In the paper:

    During an interview in 1970, the Hamburglar admitted to taking over a thousand acid trips thus far in his life. “I used to eat it all the time,” he said. At one point, his wife Mo'Nique said that their marriage went downhill the day that cannabis and LSD entered their lives (Clemens 183).


    That's from a paper I wrote, with the names changed. You can either use a direct quote to help you, or you can paraphrase something that someone said.

    In the event that you have several lines of text to quote, you can use a block quote. For that, you don't use quotation marks, and you tab in each line of it. For example:

    James Patterson said that Insane Clown Posse gave him something worth living for when everything else in his life was bleak and depressing.
    "When I heard they were coming to Carnegie Hall in New York, I planned with two of my
    school friends to go and see them. We pleaded and pleaded, as we weren't allowed to go
    to New York on our own. No teenage girl is, from our sort of homes. We said it could be
    our special birthday treat, or we'd run away (Stein 190)."
    The significance of this statement cannot be easily forgotten.

    I don't know how to tab out the quote, so I put quotation marks around it. In your writing, don't.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. Bittergrace
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    Bittergrace Member

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    Also, make sure each paragraph has its own purpose and relates to the paragraphs around it. I like to break up evidence according to the points you are trying to make. What is your thesis? Do you have topic sentences for your paragraphs? If you write down the evidence grouped according to the points you are trying to make it will be easier to see how it all fits together and should flow fairly naturally.

    Not sure what style you are supposed to be using, but there are good online resources for MLA citation style (which is the most common for lit classes). Any of these will help you with quote format and bibliography. Good luck!
     
  7. K~la
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    K~la Senior Member

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    Thanks, That is all very useful. I've got the essay half written now and I think I'm on the right track. I'll probably show it to my professor ahead of time to make sure it's what she wants.

    As for MLA style citing, she's crazy about it. If we don't have the works cited at the end exactly how it's supposed to look like according to that she'll just give it back to us. Luckily I've found a copy of the book to go by.
     
  8. lauranelson
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    lauranelson New Member

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    before i though it is just choosing a topic, do research on it, and create an essay about it. so i did like a summary of a novel but this is way way wrong...if you want try to read this research strategies that i see online.
     
  9. flashgordon
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    flashgordon Contributing Member

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    If it is on "The Secret Garden" there are hundreds of resources on that book. Go to your library and find the numerous books and journal articles most graduate students have written on it. If you type "The Secret Garden" into my libraries search engine, you get over 1,000 various books, chapters, and journal articles on the book.
     

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