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Mueller - Literary Analysis - Spring 2020: Home

Your assignment

Research Assignment Overview


Students will submit a proposal for approval of their topic and plan. An annotated bibliography will be submitted demonstrating appropriate sources for the given topic and caliber of work. A research article supporting the student’s thesis statement should also show command of having met student learning outcomes practiced throughout the semester.

Selecting a Topic

The time period during which a writer creates a work often contains qualities that are true of that time period. Values, beliefs, ideas are often reflected in the work as well as the author’s opinion of those concepts. Select an author whose works we have studied and create a 5 page research based article on a thesis you propose. Explain the author’s use of symbols, satire, irony, and/or other techniques/elements the author uses to construct the text, and how that then conveys a theme which reflects an idea from the time period.


Be sure your thesis is specific enough to show depth of understanding, but broad enough to show breadth. As you research, always be open to refining your topic and adjusting your thesis statement as needed.

Purpose of the Assignment

In English 102 students are expected to develop a claim through the application of literature resources and engage in academic conversations about one or more specific piece of literature in a way that demonstrates a thoughtful engagement with literature. Having spent much of the semester deconstructing text and analyzing multiple authors’ works of various genres, each student should demonstrate those skills learned by writing at length about a specific work and the topic they’ve chosen.



Students are writing for the college classroom and should argue their points while maintaining a formal style of writing.


Students must use Westchester Community College’s online database and services. Particularly useful will be Literature Resource Center, LitFinder, and Magellan On Literature. Students must use at least 5 relevant and reliable sources.


Students will use Modern Language Association (MLA) in-text and end-of-text documentation.

Integration of Quotations

Students must have enough integration of quotes to support their argument, but not so many quotes that their voice is not heard. Quotes must be adequately framed.

The Essay: Organization of Parts/Development of Claim

Students must organize their research article in a way that most strongly persuades the reader. Many times, the strongest point is made last allowing the argument to build up to that point; however, the thesis must express what the student is claiming to be true at the beginning of the article in the introduction.


How the Assignments Will be Graded

All instructors need to assess the essay using the standard Humanities Rubric.

Nina Levine's picture
Nina Levine
LIB 121