Literary Analysis Research Paper



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Literary AnalysisResearch PaperExpectations & Requirements

Mrs. Barnett

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What is a literary analysis?

• A literary analysis is not merely a summary of a literary work. Instead, it is an argument about the work that expresses a writer’s personal perspective, interpretation, judgment, or critical evaluation of the work. – This analysis is accomplished by examining the literary

devices, word choices, or writing structures the author uses within the work.

– The purpose of a literary analysis is to demonstrate why the author used specific ideas, word choices, or writing structures to convey his or her message.

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Unit Assignments and Deadlines Step in the process What you will turn in/ do/ etc. Due Date

Step 1: Background Information TKAM Index of Quotes April 19/22Step 2: Choose your topic “What I Know & Need to Know & Where I

Might Find It” Topic Selection Worksheet April 23/24

Step 3: Research your topic/questions /read your provided articles

Literary Criticism Quotes Worksheet Research Notes Sheets with full MLA citation


April 25/26

April 29/30

Step 4: Develop your thesis Thesis statement Worksheet May 1/2Step 5: Paragraph Organizer/ Organize your research

Paragraph organizer Worksheet Outline submitted to May 3/6

Step 6: Write your paper Printed first draft Includes Works Cited page Teacher conference worksheet

May 7 – 1st Lab 145May 7 – 3rd & 4th Lab 213May 8 – Lab 214 (B day)

May 9 – 1st & 2nd MediaMay 9 – 3rd & 4th Lab 213May 10 – Lab 214 (B day)

Step 7: Revise and Edit Revising and editing checklist worksheet Teacher Conference worksheet Peer Conference worksheet

May 13 – 1st & 2nd MediaMay 13 – 3rd & 4th Lab 213May 14 – Lab 214 (B day)

Step 8: Write and submit final copy Submission of the final copy to May 21 – 1st-4th Lab 213May 22 – Lab 214 (B day)

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Requirements of the paper

• 750-1000 words (body of paper-not the Works Cited or Header)

• Use THREE Literary Criticisms (from the eight (8) articles provided)– Must be at least one QUOTE from each

criticism as well as references to them (summarizing/paraphrasing)

• Use at least three quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird

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Step 1: Background Information

• Index of Quotes.

You will be completing an INDEX OF QUOTES on the novel To Kill a Mockingbird’s important passages in the text.

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Step 2: Choose your topic

• Read the text closely several times.

• Brainstorm a list of potential topics.

• Think about what the author is trying to say.  

• Select a topic that has sufficient supporting evidence.

• Complete the WHAT I KNOW & NEED TO KNOW & WHERE I MIGHT FIND IT worksheet.

– Symbolism (of Mockingbird, mad dog, others)

– Racism (its effect on novel, character of Tom Robinson)

– Classism (its effect on characters in the novel)

– Gender issues (How Scout differs from norm of time; other female characters)

– Atticus as a hero or an anti-hero– Analysis of a main character (Atticus,

Scout, or Jem)– Analysis of minor characters and their

significance to novel (try to pick at least three or three types of minor characters)

– Setting and its importance to the novel

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Step 3: Do the Research • Read the articles about your issue using the article packet

provided (which came from GALE database online).– Complete the LITERARY CRITICISM QUOTES worksheet

• Take notes on the NOTES SHEETS. Be sure to cite each source using MLA citation instructions.

• Keep track of PARAGRAPH numbers as you take notes. • Be sure to cite each source you use on your Source Sheet. • EIGHT ARTICLE SOURCES are in the packet. You will be

citing each one used in your research paper PLUS THE BOOK To Kill a Mockingbird.

 GALE Online Database:

At home go to:

Password: student

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Step 4: Develop your thesis

• Write a working thesis.

• Interpret the evidence.– When writing a literary analysis, it is very

important for writers to make sure they express their own personal interpretation of the work. Be careful that the literary analysis is not a summary.

• Complete the THESIS WORKSHEET.

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Step 5: Organize your information into a PARAGRAPH ORGANIZER and a typed TOPIC OUTLINE.

• PARAGRAPH ORGANIZER worksheet will help a writer to organize his/her thoughts and ideas.

• The TOPIC OUTLINE will remind a writer of the order of the thesis, as well as the supporting points he/she would like each topic sentence to have.– The outline needs to be written entirely in

complete sentences and typed.

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Step 6: Write your paper

• MLA Style Guide—In-Text Citation– For your research paper, you will need to

cite where each piece of information came from WITHIN THE BODY OF YOU PAPER!

• Works Cited Page– Thanks to the GALE database, the articles

have information in the correct MLA format online.

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In-Text/Parenthetical Citations

• Citations that go within the body of your paper. • When you hear “parenthetical,” think of

parentheses. ( )• Generally, author’s last name and page or

paragraph number go in these.• You need to cite a source whenever:

– You quote exact words from a source– You paraphrase information or ideas from a source– You summarize information or ideas from a source

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Step 6: Write your paper

MLA Style Guide—Works Cited Page• How to cite your sources at the END of your research

paper, on your Works Cited page. • First, you start on a NEW page after the end of your

paper. At the top, you write the title: Works Cited and center it.

• List your resources in ALPHABETICAL ORDER. Most of your resources will be alphabetized by the author’s last name, because that is the first thing mentioned. However, if a source has no author, then you will alphabetize it by the first word of the name of the article.

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Sample Works Cited Page

• Alphabetized by author’s last name.

• Different kinds of sources require different information.

• A list of source types and examples will be given.

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Step 6: Typing your paper

• Use Times New Roman, 12-point font

• Set typing for double space

• Do not mess with the margins . . . the default settings are just fine, which are 1”. If you do, I’ll know . . . you won’t be fooling anyone.

• Page numbering in header with Last Name on all pages except the title page

• For your title page, use the following format:– Center all information. No fancy fonts, bold, or anything like that. Italicize a

book’s name if used as the title…To Kill A Mockingbird– Give your paper a title– Include your name– Include Mrs. Barnett, English III and your period number– Include the date– Include word count (body of paper-not the Works Cited or Header)

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Step 7: Revising and Editing

• Print 1st copy of your typed first draft of your research paper and staple a TEACHER CONFERENCE form with your information filled out to teacher.

• Print a 2nd copy of your typed first draft of your research paper and staple a PEER CONFERENCE form with your information filled out.

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Step 7: Revising and Editing

• Use the REVISING CHECKLIST SHEET to take another look at your own paper.

• Trade papers with a peer and use the stapled PEER CONFERENCE form to make suggestions for his/her paper.

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Step 8: Revise and submit final copy

• Use the revision you and your peers have made to correct your rough draft.

• Do not throw away your rough draft, as you will turn it in with the final copy.

• You must submit the final copy to and print a receipt.

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Grades: Below is a list of grades you will receive during this unit; please note—you must keep all parts of this project as they are returned because you have to turn them back at the end.

• Assignments Point value

• TKAM Index of quotes 20• Topic selection sheet 10• Literary Criticism quotes 20• Research Notes and Source Sheet 20• Thesis 10• Topic Outline/Paragraph Organizer 20 • First Draft –typed with 2 printed copies* 50 • Final Draft -submitted 200•  • *1 printed copy – Teacher Conference form and 1 printed copy – Peer

Conference form

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