Research Paper on Shakespeare Hamlet

OPIC: Write a literary analysis (with research) on either Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Sophocles’ Oedipus or any other of the plays included in the Drama sections of our textbook: Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, for example.  Don’t take an overly broad or generalized approach, but focus instead on something particular, like the Ghost in Hamlet or verbal irony in Oedipus. Sustain an effective thesis.

FORMAT: Follow your college handbook/style-manual closely and use the new MLA-8 style to the letter; if you do not have a handbook as a reference guide, access online resources; for instance, the Amherst College or Purdue OWL site. Look also at the examples in both the Literature text and official MLA site. In future courses, you may be asked to use a style other than MLA, so learn by example: rely heavily on the sample research paper in the textbook and the sample essays in our D2L Unit 9.

LENGTH: A minimum of 1500 words, or 5 typed, double-spaced pages….  Find and use sufficient research materials while sustaining a specific focus.  Quality is privileged over quantity; professional journal articles are the preferred sources.

SOURCES:  Your final draft must include no less than FIVE sources in your Works Cited (including the primary work itself along with the secondary sources).  Use as much variety of research as you can (books, magazines/journals, audio/visual, on-line databases), if possible.  Cite liberally from the primary work itself while also referring to secondary material.  Eight to twelve sources are preferred.  Use, libguides, Gale, and other professional databases as well as any available print materials from our (or another) college library.

ARGUMENTATION: At some point, approach your topic from a few diverse critical directions and phrase a clear thesis that is interpretive and thus argumentative (where you not only present research but emphasize your own ideas on the issue).  Vigorously support your argument/interpretation throughout the discussion, relying both on the primary and secondary sources..

DOCUMENTATION: If you fail to demonstrate a basic understanding of MLA-8 documentation so that you plagiarize or your citations and/or bibliography are incomplete, then you will fail this paper.  Study the textbook example (Literature, Appendix I & Appendix II).  Look also at the Purdue OWL site and University of Wisconsin site for MLA-8 updates. A letter-grade deduction is standard for persistent punctuation mistakes in documentation; a disqualification (or failing grade) for a major misunderstanding of documentation methodology.

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