Research Essay Assignment
ENGL 377: American Renaissance
Length: 1,800 words, plus Work Cited section
Due: Canvas upload in .doc or .pdf format
Critically interpret “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Your subject should involve a significant idea or problem, formal dimension, technique, or question regarding Romantic literary meaning. Through close analysis, the essay must make a claim about how and to what end the author develop and use this idea or device, or the way they arrive at an observation or conclusion about their concerns.
Your main source of evidence for this assignment the text itself, but you must also incorporate at least three secondary sources of peer-reviewed scholarship, and in at least one paragraph in your essay you must skillfully employ the PIPE paragraph format (see “Analytical Discussion Guidelines” document attached). Use MLA format to cite both primary and secondary sources.
To carry out the assignment tasks, you should study the work carefully, develop an opinion of their content and/or form that strike you as prevalent and significant, and read closely to identify the strongest supporting evidence for your thesis about Romantic craft and meaning. Don’t be surprised if you have to adjust, revise or even reconsider your thesis somewhat as you get more deeply into the topic. Then, formulate a thesis and compose your analysis. Your supporting points and evidence will provide the framework around which you craft the body of your essay.
Criteria for evaluation
• A suitably informative title, including author and work and an indication of your subject.
• A clear statement of your thesis.
• An organized, formatted analysis. Each paragraph should focus on a main idea, and each main idea should support the thesis. Paragraphs should be well developed.
• Analytical writing. Avoid statements of summary when possible, and avoid over-quoting. Instead, lead with analytical claims, and then go into textual support.
• Effective use of evidence. Each paragraph of textual analysis should contain, as a general rule, one or two pieces of specific textual evidence (quoted and accurately described). It should be clear that the evidence supports your point.
• Effective engagement with secondary sources, which should be fully relevant to your subject and approach, and should be used to inform and help orient your analysis. Do not use secondary source information as a substitute for your own analysis and critical thinking.
• Grammatically correct, college-level prose. Avoid sentence-level errors that interfere with a reader’s appreciation of your ideas and writing. Avoid conversational styles of tone and expression. Avoid first-person point of view in your analytical writing.
Research Essay Assignment