Criticisms focus on the context in which a literary work was created and how that context affected the work. The critique may examine the author?s social, political and intellectual surroundings or may concentrate on the author?s own biography; his or her life experiences or psychological makeup.
What is it in Andre Malraux?s history that led them to write Man?s Fate. Dig into the Chinese Revolution of 1927; give background on the time and the players, or search out the history of Catholic repression in early 20th Century Mexico. Find examples, if they are there, of real martyrs that the authors may have used in developing their characters.
Make sure that you use the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers for your guide. Your paper must be approximately 2000 words
(8-10 double-spaced pages) with a Works Cited Page at the end that lists all of the sources you use in writing the paper. See your MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers for the proper format and style.
I want a minimum of 10 outside sources, half from the internet and half from library sources (books, journals, newspapers, magazines, videos, etc. Do not list encyclopedias, i.e., Encarta, Comptons, Britannica, etc. as sources. They can be used as initial background information only. You cannot cite encyclopedias in your paper.
Use in-text citations to give credit to your sources, i.e.,
?Steinbeck almost reversed his early extreme liberal views
while covering Vietnam. He became highly conservative?
(White 224). You can cite a source three ways:
(1) Summarize a book, chapter, long passage, etc. in a sentence or two; (2) Paraphrase a long passage, i.e., put it in your own words, or (3) Quote the sources. At any rate, you must give credit in your paper to the source of ideas not your own!
Folks, the Historical
Criticism constitutes the largest part of your final grade (40%), so be sure to make sure you do enough research and that you present the paper in the proper MLA format. Be sure to write at least 2000 words and make sure that you give proper credit to all of the outside sources you use. Be focused; papers of more than 2500 words will not be accepted!!! Each of the sources that you list on the Works Cited page must be cited within the paper. You have a month to gather your material and write the paper, so read the both novels before making your decision. Be sure that it is original; we have ways of tracking plagiarism, and it is a serious offense.
MOST COMMON RESEACH PAPER ERRORS!!!
The following is a list of the most common mistakes that I found in your Modern Language Association (MLA) format research papers. Take some time to review them so that your future presentations will be that much better. It?s discouraging to receive a well-written paper only to reduce your grade because of rule errors and proofreading mistakes that cost you a grade or two. If you master these rules, your presentation will always be more professional!
1. Format Errors ? Make sure that you follow The MLA Handbook for
Writers of Research Papers. There is no cover page on your papers; see Page 320. Also, check Page 321 for the correct format on the Works Cited Page.
2. Numbering Pages ? Each page must be numbered in the top right hand
corner with your last name followed by the page number, i.e., Jones 1,
Jones 2, etc. all the way through the Works Cited Page.
3. Double Space ? The entire paper is double spaced throughout! Do not
space more between name and title or title and body of paper. From top to bottom, the paper is to be double spaced!!!!
4. Title ? Always have a title on your paper!! Use something catchy, i.e,
Malraux?s Fate or The Glory Prevails, etc. Also, titles of books, magazines, newspapers, movies, plays, etc. are underlined or in italics.
Ex: Man?s Fate or Man?s Fate
5. Quotes ? Avoid stringing long quotes!!! Too many papers had long quote after long quote. Use a quote only to give your words credibility.
This is your paper, not your source?s paper.
6. Using Sources ? There are three ways to use your sources: (1) quote
directly from the source; this is used to provide an example of a point
you are making; (2) paraphrase ? put your source?s words into your
own for clarity; this can be as long as the original information, and
(3) summarize ? shorten the source?s information into a sentence or two.
This could be an entire chapter when you want to give the essence of
what is said. In all three cases, you must give the source credit by citing at the end of the quote, paraphrase or summary. If your source?s information comes from a book, give the source?s last name followed by the page number(s), i.e. (Meyer 234). If your source is from the internet and you don?t have page numbers, put the sources last name (D?Souza)
7. Citing ? Remember that all sources listed on your Works Cited Page
must be cited within your paper.
8. Verb Tenses ? Remember, when referring to the author?s work, write in
the present tense, i.e. ?The Whiskey Priest realizes that he is flawed, but
he is true to his religious beliefs to the end.?
9. Flow ? Make sure that your paragraphs flow naturally from one topic
to another. Too often, paragraphs are abrupt and go from one subject to another without a smooth transition. Remember, only one topic in
10. Wordiness ? When I mark you for wordiness, you have used too many
words to say something, i.e., don?t say, ?In the book Man?s Fate??; just
say, ?In Man?s Fate,? or ?At the age of 16??; Just say, ?At 16??
Be ?lean? and direct in your writing!!! This is best done on your final
proofreading before you send your paper!!
OTHER COMMON ERRORS
1. Spacing ? Always skip two spaces between each sentence! Also, indent
five spaces or tab for each new paragraph! When you quote more than
four lines, indent 10 spaces from the left margin or tab twice; there are
no quotation marks before or after quotes of more than four lines.
2. Using Names ? Once you fully introduce someone, use only the last
name in subsequent references; do not use the first name, i.e., ?Andre
Malraux,? the first time, but only ?Malraux? from then on. Do not use
3. Capitalizing - Capitalize ideologies, i.e., Communism, Capitalism, etc.
Capitalize the first word of each quotation.
4. Commas - Although content is the most highly weighted aspect of
your papers, punctuation errors usually costs a student a grade or two.
The most common errors, of course, are comma errors. If a student has
a few, I?m not concerned. When it becomes apparent that the student
doesn?t know any comma rules, it greatly affects the grade. I?ve
attached a list of the comma rules; review them and learn them; it can
make a difference in a good and excellent paper; we want to hand in the
most professional paper possible.
5. Sentence Fragments ? Only write in sentences!!! There are too many
fragments showing up!! To be a sentence it must have a subject, verb
and complete thought!!! Catch this in your final proofreading!!!
6. Use of ?who? ?that? and ?which? ? Always use ?who? when you are
referring to people, ?He is the one who was arrested?? NOT ?He is the
one that was arrested?? or ?He is the one which was arrested.?
8. Awkward Sentences - In your proofreading check to see if your
sentences are too long and awkward. Break up lengthy thoughts and
sentences when the meaning becomes garbled.
8. Combining Like Clauses ? On the other hand, if you have two clearly
related thoughts, use a coordinating conjunction (and, or, nor, but, yet,
for or so) to combine them into one sentence, i.e., ?Greene was
converted into Catholicism. He was not an avid believer in many of its
rituals.? Put in the coordinating conjunction ?but,? and it flows much
better, i.e., ?Greene was converted in Catholicism, but he was not avid
believer in many of its rituals.?? Always make sure that you have a
comma before the coordinating conjunction!!
9. Avoid Certain Words ? Don?t use the impersonal ?you,? i.e., ?You know
that if you look closely, you will see that the Whiskey Priest is basically a
good man.? Only use ?you? when you are talking to a specific person,
as I am to you. Also avoid, ?very? when possible! It?s wordy and
doesn?t add anything, i.e., ?The Lieutenant was very intent on capturing
the Whiskey Priest.? Just say ?intent?; that is sufficient!
10. Proofreading ? I held this until last because it is the last thing you
should be doing before you send in or print out your paper!!! Set your
paper aside for a day or so, and go through it carefully to check your
MLA format/style, the sentence structure and all of the possible
errors I have listed above, particularly the punctuation. Use this paper
as a checklist if you wish!
I hope this helps you in your next paper as well as any subsequent papers you have to write in the MLA format. Remember, all good writing is in the re-writing, so spend a lot of time shaping your paper into the most professional presentation you can make it. After all, your name is on it, and that means something!
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