Monthly Archives: November 2014

Research Paper


Looking at specific laws that have shaped this country, examine the social oppression that certain groups have faced because, even though America claims different, we are not actually “equal.”   Focus on the experiences of those deemed “other” in this country, and decide—historically, socially, philosophically, judicially—why these groups have been treated as second class citizens and, more importantly, how certain things have changed while, arguably, others have not.

Use Tom’s trial in To Kill a Mockingbird and the murder mystery and it’s revelations in Snow Falling on Cedars, along with the fictional and real life Mississippi Trial, as the platforms for your discussion on otherness as it relates to ethnicity.  And ask yourself, “are there any cases similar to what happened back then going on in the 21st century?”  If so, what happened and why?  If not, what judicial machinations now exist that has eliminated the racial strife America was once famous for?

For crimes against women, look at Wolf’s essay and The Accused.  When it comes to sexual assault, what protections exist for women now that didn’t before?  Or are women just as vulnerable and victimized as they have been at any point in history? And what do these assessments say about how society views the human female?

At the same time, establish why Picoult’s tragic love story in The Pact becomes, in many ways, more about these young people being male and female—a possible predator and victim—than about children in pain. Is the prosecution of Christopher warranted? And does the book’s climax provide a sense of moral justice, social justice, or a failure of both?

Throughout your paper, infuse Emerson to defend/balance your arguments.  And consider this: when “Self-Reliance” was written, did Emerson intend for it to influence everyone, or was all his posturing and talk about self-affirmation designed for and about White males only?

A 100-250 word abstract (paper proposal), which details the larger research paper, must be posted on our OpenLab page (ENG3401/E254) by 12/5.

The Final paper MUST be posted to our OpenLab page, AND submitted as a HARD COPY in class, on 12/18.

Paper should weave source discussions that we have uncovered while researching these texts, including any laws, statistics, and philosophical principles.

Throughout the work, feel free to introduce any supporting Films or literature we have examined this semester that will support your argument.

Paper must establish an argument and defend it, based on the statements above.

Paper must have a working thesis statement that controls the flow of the paper’s body paragraphs.

The criticism must address every component discussed above, but the format—the structure of the paper—belongs to you, the critic.

Secondary sources—sources not listed in the above assignment—are required (at least six).

Paper must have quotes throughout that support the writer’s argument.

Do not forget that the paper must conform to MLA’s documentation style.

This paper cannot be less than eight FULL pages or more than twelve (this does not include Works Cited page).

Any paper suspected of plagiarism will result in an automatic F and be forwarded to the Division Dean.