RESEARCH PAPER INSTRUCTIONS
In preparation for the Research Paper and by completing your textbook readings, you will be
equipped to objectively respond by compiling information from a variety of sources to compose
a paper that allows you to write a persuasive analysis of a literary work; follow standard usage in
English grammar and sentence structure; proceed independently through the various stages of
research and integrate sources accurately and effectively; identify the theme and structure of
each literary selection as well as the significant characteristics or elements of each genre studied;
and evaluate the literary merit of a work (Syllabus MLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F, G and Module/Week
8 LOs: 1, 2).
In Module/Week 8, you will write a 1,500-word (5–7 pages) paper that addresses 1 of the plays
from the Drama Unit. A minimum of 6 citations, including the primary source and at least 5
secondary, scholarly sources, is required for this assignment. Before you begin writing the paper,
carefully read the guidelines for developing your paper topic that are given below. Review the
Research Paper Grading Rubric to see how your submission will be graded. Gather all of your
information, plan the direction of your paper, organize your ideas by developing a 1-page thesis
statement and outline, draft your paper, and compile sources used. Format the thesis/outline, the
draft, and works cited/references/bibliography using current MLA, APA, or Turabian style
(whichever corresponds to your degree program). You are required to submit your thesis, outline,
rough draft, and works cited/references/bibliography by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of
Module/Week 7 for instructor feedback.
The Research Paper is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8 and must include a
title page, thesis statement, and outline, followed by the research paper, and your correctly
documented sources page.
Note: Review the Sample Essay on Drama in the Module/Week 6 Reading & Study folder.
Guidelines for Developing Your Paper Topic
Chapters 42 and 43 of the Kennedy and Gioia textbook (Chapters 44 and 45 in the eText)
provide helpful pointers for writing about plays and for developing research papers. Be sure to
review both chapters thoroughly before you begin doing any further work for this assignment.
Choose 1 of the prompts below to address in your paper:
1. Write an essay explaining how Sophocles’ Oedipus exemplifies or refutes Aristotle’s
definition of a tragic hero. Review Chapter 34 in your textbook (Chapter 36 in the eText)
for the background and overview of Aristotle’s concept of tragedy/the tragic hero and
drama. This chapter also contains critical information on Sophocles and the play Oedipus.
You may use any of the critical material as a secondary source, but remember to cite it
correctly. A video performance and an animated lesson on the play Oedipus are available
in MyLiteratureLab Multimedia for you to watch.
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2. Discuss William Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice as a tragedy. As defined by
Aristotle, is it correct to label Othello a “tragic hero” and to classify the play as an
Aristotelian tragedy? Review Chapter 35 of your textbook (Chapter 37 in the eText) for
the background and overview of Shakespeare’s Othello, the Moor of Venice, and drama.
This chapter also contains critical information on Shakespeare and the play Othello, the
Moor of Venice. You may use any of these critical materials as a secondary source, but
remember to cite it correctly. Also, read the overview of Aristotle’s concept of
tragedy/the tragic hero on pages 904–907 (pages 857–859 in the eText) as well as the
sample Student Essay on Othello (pages 1112–1115 of the eText and page 1024 to view
the Student Essay). A video performance and an animated lesson on the play are also
available in MyLiteratureLab Multimedia for you to watch.
3. Use evidence from Sophocles’ Oedipus, from Shakespeare’s Othello, Moor of Venice,
and from secondary sources to explain why you agree or disagree with this statement:
“The downfall of Oedipus is the work of the gods; the downfall of Othello is selfinflicted” (Should you choose this option, you need to read both Oedipus and Othello in
4. Discuss the author’s perception of death and the treatment of death in Everyman.
Finding Scholarly Sources
For your papers, you are only permitted to use academic sources. Resources such as 123Essays,
Spark Notes, Cliff Notes, and Masterplots (or similar resources) are not scholarly and will not be
permitted in your papers. To find appropriate sources, access the Liberty University Library
through the Services/Support link on the course menu. From there, you can use the Library
Research Portal to find peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. The Literature Resource Center is an
excellent resource for these types of papers.
If you need additional help finding the right sources, you can receive help from a librarian in the
Liberty library by emailing your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also free to visit
your local library or do some research on the Internet; however, make sure that you have credible
sources. If you are uncertain, email your source to you instructor in advance.
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