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ENG 246 Assignment Playbook

Assignment: Literary Research Paper

For this assignment, you will write a literary research paper. You have two choices:


Choose ONE short story from the syllabus (or you can choose the novel Revolutionary Road) and ONE critical perspective you learned in class, and write about how that perspective would interpret the work you chose.


  • For this choice, you can choose modernism or postmodernism.
  • The texts to be used for this choice are:
    • "The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock," by T.S. Eliot
    • The U.S.A. excerpts by John Dos Passos
    • Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates
    • "Recitatif," by Toni Morrison


  • The final draft of the paper must
    • be 6-8 pages
    • use a minimum 5 reputable sources
      • a minimum of 3 of these must be scholarly  (this means they must be peer reviewed -- that is, they must come from peer reviewed journals, or from books published by university presses).


Your instructor will provide you with a comprehensive assignment description -- make sure you read this several times, and if you have questions about it, contact your instructor for clarification.


How sourcing works: an example

  • Students often try to find sources with information that they can basically repeat on their essays and speeches, or sources that prove the same exact points they're trying to make. This is an ineffective and incorrect way to use sources, and may constitute plagiarism.
  • To use sources effectively, tie them to points/arguments you make in your speech or essay. Each source supports or provides information for something you will be saying in your speech/writing in your essay.  See the example below.

Essay/Speech topic: Cricket (the sport)

Examples of How To Use Sources:
What I want to say/discuss/write Source I will use
I want to define what cricket is I will get the definition from this article, which comes from Gale eBooks.
I want to explain how the game works

These two sources contain descriptions of the game, and I will take some information from each for my speech.

I want to talk about women in cricket.

This source has information about women in cricket:

  • For the Love of Cricket, by Graham Tarrant
I want to add some statistics about women in cricket

I will get my statistics about women in cricket from this source:

I want to discuss cricket in the USA

These two sources have information about cricket in the USA. I will take some information from each of these.

I want to mention how cricket can be a force for good, so I will discuss the outreach program "Cricket for Good"

This site contains information about "Cricket for Good"

I want to argue that playing cricket is more than just fun; it also provides many other benefits. 

This source contains information about the benefits of playing sports. I will apply this information about sports in general to my topic of cricket.