Writing assignment #2: research and thesis development

Due: March 2, 2017

[NB. Linda Hansen, Acting Head of Bibliographic and Collections Services at the UNBSJ library, will be visiting class on Tuesday February 21st to talk about library research. It is crucial to successful completion of this assignment that you attend, preferably with questions.]

There are two parts to this assignment:

  1. Choose one of the following plays from our anthology: A Doll’s House, The Importance of Being Earnest, or Blood Relations.
    • Develop a workable thesis about your chosen play. Note: you are not writing a whole paper about the play. Rather, you are developing a thesis for a theoretical paper that could be written, but won’t be. Have a look at the handout “Formulating questions,” and/or any of these useful websites about developing an effective thesis.
    • Use one or more literary terms from Abram’s A Glossary of Literary Terms and/or The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (UNB sign-in required) in your thesis statement. Be sure to define the term(s) and properly reference the definition(s).
    • When you are finished, you will have a short paragraph that presents a workable thesis statement, including at least one literary term, and some indication of how your (theoretical) paper would develop in order to prove your thesis.
  2. Once (and only once) you have a workable thesis, compile a bibliography. Again, you are not actually writing the paper and so you do not need to read the resources. This is an exercise in i) doing library research and ii) creating a bibliography of appropriate sources, in correct MLA format.
    • Go to HWK Commons and settle down in front of a computer screen. Look up your chosen play. You will find that there are bazillion references. Start reading titles and abstracts and note any that sound like they might deal with the play in a way that relates to your thesis. You will see lots of interesting articles and books, but you will be able to discard most of them. Note only the ones that seem, on the basis of the title and/or abstract, to pertain to your thesis.
    • Once your research is finished, compile a “Texts cited” page (a bibliography) for your imaginary paper. Use proper MLA format.
    • Your references should include the following items:
      • at least three scholarly articles from academic journals
      • at least three chapters in scholarly edited books
      • at least three academic books
      • at least three electronic resources (not e-texts. Think hypertexts, web-sites on your playwright, &c.)
      • at least three theatrical reviews
  1. You now have two parts, a thesis statement and a bibliography of at least fifteen items. Put them into one document. Proof-read it, more than once, then hand it in and go enjoy the beverage of your choice.

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