John Gay

 Description Research 1. Biography (please note that this aspect of your research is limited) 2. Reading of the writer’s work(s) 3. Information on the literary movement occurring at the time the writer wrote 4. Critical information on the identifying features and themes of the writer’s writing 5. Information on writer’s contemporary impact and/or influences Paper The majority of your paper should be about the author’s writing. It should not be an “encyclopedia article” on the author’s life. There must be a thesis. The thesis must make a point. On the most basic level, you will be trying to determine and support an assertion as to why your writer does (or does not) “fit” in his/her literary period based on the characteristics of the time period in which he/she wrote (which you will learn in class). Actual passages, word-for-word, from the writing of your poet/author are required as evidence to support your assertions. These passages should be cited using MLA citations. Your biographical information will be presented in a section of your paper separate from the main text. You will title this “Biographical Preface.” No matter how long it is, this preface will not count as more than one page of your required four pages. Failing to meet the page requirement could have a substantially negative effect on your grade. The order of your paper is as follows: Biographical Preface Main Text Works Cited Page Basic Requirements In your final paper, you must use and cite from at least four (4) different sources according to the following restrictions: • No GENERAL encyclopedias—Wikipedia, for example • At least two scholarly journal articles (consider searching the Literature Resource Center database via the NCTC Library) • Any “web page” must be academically based (should end in .edu or .gov; .com and .org should be avoided) • Any source, online or book, that includes excerpts or essays within it counts as a single source, no matter how many of the excerpts or essays you use. • Direct quotes from the author’s work(s) – No matter how many of the author’s works you reference in your paper, works by the author will only count as one of your required four sources) To summarize, you must use two scholarly journals and direct quotes from the author’s work. That satisfies three of the four required sources. The type of source you use for your fourth required source is up to you, but it cannot be a general encyclopedia or a website that ends in .com or .org. It should be a scholarly source. You must have at least six (6) citations in the paper. Obviously, these would have to come from at least four different sources based on the guidelines above. Any citation in the Biographical Preface does not count towards your four required sources, as biographical information is typically considered common knowledge. Avoid writing a paper that is quote heavy. There should be a balance between your source material and your own voice.

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