April 28, 2008 Archives
A presubmission report is a working document that asks you to focus on whether you have all the components of a good paper, before you launch into churning out the paragraphs.
You may find, as you work on the presubmission, that you need to adjust your thesis or otherwise shift your approach. That's fine -- you don't need to ask my permission to make such changes; that's what this assignment is for.
Remember that you might not find an entire article or book on the subject that you're researching; or, a book that you think is important may not be available in the time-frame you have left. These are the realities of research, and the best way to respond is to adjust your thesis so that you set out to prove something that you can, in fact, prove with the evidence available to you.
Your presubmission report is a word processor file, uploaded to Turnitin.com.
Also, bring a copy on Monday for your informal peer presentations.
2. Thesis statement (with topic, a precise but non-obvious opinion, and a blueprint for the paper)
3. Quotations supporting your thesis
4. Quotations supporting alternate or opposing arguments
5. Preliminary conclusion
6. MLA-style Works Cited list (demonstrating your knowledge of the correct format)
7. Format the presubmission as an MLA-style paper (title block, pagination, etc.)
I can give very useful feedback on just 2 pages, but the more you give me, the more helpful I can be.
Please don't write out the whole paper first, then "look for quotes" to support the opinion you reached before you did any research.
In small groups, you will give an informal presentation on how the sources you have found in your research are helping you to develop your thesis statement.
Focus on finding peer-reviewed academic articles and scholarly books. Note that you might not find a whole book or article on your chosen literary work. If so, you will need to look for brief references to your chosen work in publications on related subjects.
Wikipedia, SparkNotes, and other online study guides are not appropriate sources -- they simply summarize what you can find by reading more credible sources directly. Everything you learned in STW about finding peer-reviewed sources applies in English, but note that I will expect you to draw on literary scholarship. It's OK to use an article published in an education journal, or a criminology journal, or even (if you have a good reason) a scientific journal; but your thesis should be an argument about a work of literature, not about an educational theory, or a government policy, or a fact about the natural world.