Category Archives: Paper #2

Sample Works Cited page for Paper #2

Hi everyone,

I’ve put together a sample Works Cited page that shows you entries for a poem from our textbook, a poem you’re using that’s online, and a newspaper article you’ve found through a database.¬† Please note that this is a sample and does not list four sources.¬†

Your Works Cited page should:

  1. have a minimum of four sources listed in alphabetical order (the poem you’re writing about, and three newspaper articles).
  2. be double-spaced
  3. use a hanging indent for all entries (where only the first line for each entry is indented)
MLA 8th edition

Working on Paper #2 on November 28

Hi everyone,

I hope you found today’s library session with Prof. Anne Leonard helpful.¬† Below is the handout she distributed in class to assist you with finding sources:

Handout on Research

For Wednesday’s class, you should keep working on your paper, using this handout, and refine your thesis and conduct some research.

Please bring hard copies of the sources you’ve found for the paper to class on Wednesday, as well as your annotated poem. If you have a draft of the paper, you may bring that also.

Here’s what we’ll work on in class on Wednesday:

  • refining your thesis and developing the paper
  • brief recap of finding sources
  • review of MLA format 8th edition for Works Cited page
  • work on draft of Works Cited page–entry for your poem and for the news sources you plan on using in your paper

One last reminder that Blog Post #2 needs to be posted by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, November 28th for you to receive credit. 

 

Online Resources for Works Cited in MLA format

To help you compose the Works Cited page for Paper #2, there are different online resources available:

Works Cited: A Quick Guide

Or, you can look at MLA format (8th edition) on the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL):

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html

You can also use a citation manager when you do your research, or export the citations.  There are many roads that can lead you to a correctly formatted Works Cited page!

Prof. Leonard mentioned https://zbib.org as a free citation manager that you might try.

 

Now that You Have a Thesis, Start to Develop it

Hi everyone,

Most of you now have a least a working thesis, or you will by Monday,¬† so it’s time to start developing it.¬†¬†This will involve not only re-reading the poem but doing the research.

We’ll meet outside the library (4th floor of Library Building) for Monday’s class (November 26).¬† Prof. Anne Leonard from the library will be talking about finding and evaluating news sources.¬† If you arrive late, you can find us in the computer classroom on the 5th floor of the library. Go inside the library and up the stairs and make a right.

  1. Read over the poem you’ve chosen.¬† Which lines, images, points, or ideas are¬†most¬†important to the argument you want to make?¬†¬† Circle what looks¬†most important. Add a few more thoughts to these.¬† Annotate your copy of the poem.¬† ¬†Don’t be afraid to use poetic terms to help you explain what you see.
  2. In a Word file, make an outline of the most important ideas or points in an order that makes sense to you. Start developing/writing your points out and listing/adding examples and quotations to the outline.¬† Also save this to a cloud service like com.¬† If you prefer, write this out by hand on paper–maybe take a picture so you don’t have to worry about losing the outline.
  3. Now write out a rough introduction paragraph where you make an argument about the poem where you connect it to the contemporary news event.  Continue to follow your rough outline and start writing the other sections of the paper.
  4. Handling research: even while you are in in the brainstorming phase, you should be looking over your research materials.¬† Pick one to start, then another one, etc.¬† Take brief notes on your sources: always jot down page numbers if you have them.¬† You’re thinking about where the research has points or examples that can help you make your own argument stronger or more specific.¬† When adding information from a research source into your paper, work from your brief notes, so you avoid plagiarizing the research!¬†¬†Of course, you will transcribe a direct quotation word for word.¬†¬† Think, though, about where you can put the research author‚Äôs point into your own words and then support this point with a direct quotation.¬† Always give an in-text citation for quotes or paraphrases.¬†

Sample Student Paper for Poem/Contemporary News Event

Below is a sample of a very strong student paper from fall 2017.¬† This student’s paper was published in City Tech Writer, the college’s journal of outstanding student writing.¬† Dominique’s paper focused on the connection between Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too” and the Charlottesville protests in August, 2017.

Notice how Dominique’s paper quotes from the poem throughout her paper and how she makes connections between the poem and the protests:

Paper 2 Langston Hughes Charlottesville

 

From Topic to Thesis for Paper #2

After you identify your topic for Paper #2, the next step is to figure out how to move from a topic to a strong thesis statement.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say your topic is how Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” connects to New York City’s yellow cab drivers and the increase in driver suicides.

This is still just a topic.¬† You need to identify a specific point of view or angle on this topic so that you don’t wind up writing a paper that is very broad.¬† A strong thesis statement leads to a¬† strong paper.

Here are three examples of thesis statements stemming from this topic.  Which one is the strongest?

In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing” the speaker writes about jobs. This connects to contemporary taxi drivers.

In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” the speaker writes about jobs that help men earn a good living.¬†This is an economic issue that connects to New York City’s yellow cab drivers.

In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” he writes about jobs that were common in the nineteenth century but they aren’t common now.¬† This connects to the recent news stories about yellow cab drivers in New York City taking their own lives because they can’t earn a decent living, due to competition from apps like Uber and Lyft.

Which of these will lead to the strongest paper and why?

Aim to be very specific as you develop your thesis.¬† I will give you feedback as quickly as possible as to whether your topic (poem + specific news even¬†or¬† poem + specific person in the news) is approved, and then I’ll give you additional feedback on how to improve your thesis as we move forward.

 

 

 

 

Moving from Topic To Thesis for Paper #2

After you identify your topic for Paper #2, the next step is to figure out how to move from a topic to a strong thesis statement.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say your topic is how Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” is connected to recent rash of suicides of New York City yellow cab drivers.

This is still just a topic.¬† You need to identify a specific point of view or angle on this topic so that you don’t wind up writing a paper that is very broad.¬† A strong thesis statement leads to a¬† strong paper.

Here are three examples of thesis statements stemming from this topic.  Which one is the strongest?

In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” the speaker writes about jobs.¬† This is an economic issue that affects New York City cab drivers today.

In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” the speaker writes about jobs that enable men to earn a good living.¬† Yellow cab drivers today can’t do that.¬†

In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” the speaker writes about jobs that were common in the nineteenth century but they aren’t common now.¬† This reminds me of the recent rash of suicides by New York City cab drivers, since news articles have focused on the drop in value of taxi medallions and increased competition by apps like Uber and Lyft.¬† Yellow cab drivers aren’t singing, but mourning the loss of their livelihood.

Which of these will lead to the strongest paper and why?  We will spend time in class talking about thesis statements.