BM7 - Introduction to Literary and Cultural Studies - Research Paper Outline
Research Paper Outline: Choose a question on which you would write a research paper of around ten pages in length (based on the specifications given in the Leitfaden zum Abfassen wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten Link "works cited sample page" ) and do the preparatory work that would allow you to actually start writing.
- How to go about it:
- Preferably pick a question that interests you, a genuine question (i.e. one to which you do not already know the answer). --- NOTE: your question must address materials covered in the course of Basismodul 1 "Übung".
- Find out whether other people have already written about this (or related) questions (you can use the MLA Bibliography, for example), and find out what their positions were, whether they agree with each other, or how and why they differ etc.
- Decide what your own position would be in this discussion and how you would support it (using, for example, some of the analytical skills and historical information that you have gained in the course of the Basismodul)
- Then write up your assignment, which must consist of four parts:
- 1) Title. This must state the question that you are working on and perhaps even the particular view on it that you will seek to present. (Scholars often choose a two part title: a subtitle indicating the range of topics they are addressing, and a catchy main title indicating their particular perspective.)
- 2) Abstract. This should consist of two paragraphs: one paragraph stating the question or problem you have chosen to work on, and giving a brief survey of the current state of research on this question; a second paragraph in which you explain, what the goal of your own contribution is, how you will go about reaching this goal, and why your problem is relevant (what difference it makes and to whom). NOTE: max. length: 1 page.
- 3) Table of Contents. This must function as a structural outline, with "chapter headings" that give an indication of the structure of your paper and your argument.
- 4) Bibliography (again according to the specifications of the style sheet) that lists the texts and sources you would use. This should include at least around six titles of critical and scholarly articles or books relevant to your theme.
- Date due: February 28 (winter term) / August 15 (summer term)
For general information and more detailed hints on academic papers, please read our Leitfaden zum Abfassen wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten
You will be asked to discuss the current state of your work on this assignment in the final meeting of our courses.
You may gain up to 100 points in total. These are distributed as follows:
- 20 points: all four components are complete, formally correct and in a plausible order
- 20 points: quality of abstract: (is the problem that you are planning to work on stated clearly? Are the reasons for choosing this problem made clear, have you considered possible alternatives? Do you give concrete indications, how you would proceed, and what possible results might be?)
- 20 points: quality of outline / structure (does your proposed table of contents have an inherent logic, and does it correspond to your description of your project in the abstract?)
- 20 points: Title (Does the (sub-)title match the project described in your abstract? Does the title give a sense of the goals or propositions of the paper?)
- 20 points: bibliography (10 points for formal correctness, 10 points for topicality and up-to-dateness of titles)
- under 50: 5
- 50-60: 4
- 61-70: 3
- 71-80: 2
- 81-100: 1