Romantic Period Literaature
Research Paper Proposal & Final
Proposal due Friday, Nov. 4, by noon as emailed
2-3 pages, double-spaced
typed/printed text. Standard margins (top & bottom 1" margins;
left 1.25" margins). If you have any other format questions, ask me.
Final Paper due Monday, Dec. 5, by 5pm
as emailed file.
12-15 pages including Works Cited
Your proposal should articulate a research question about Romantic
literature of particular interest to you, and
workable in a paper of 12-15 pages. You should choose a
topic that engages with some issue(s) relevant and current to the study
period, using the Cambridge Companion
as a guide to the current field. In one or two pages pose a
why you find it interesting, and propose a preliminary hypothesis about
it. Each proposal will end in a preliminary bibliography drawing
on relevant works from the resource resources on the syllabus or works
of your own selection.
You may choose any of the works on the syllabus, or new works by
authors on the syllabus.
The last page of your proposal will be your preliminary bibliography.
Works will be listed alphabetically and in proper MLA format for
a Works Cited page. Please refer to the latest edition (7th) of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Papers to learn how to cite works correctly in a bibliography.
Final Research Paper Advice
Develop your proposal idea into a paper. Although 12-15 pages might
seem long, it in fact is only enough to make a limited number of claims
backed by sufficient evidence, and it is about half the length of the
manuscript of a typical published essay.
Give yourself enough time revise and redraft ideas, and to proof your
work with your eyes and brain, not just your spellchecker. As the key
work in a professional program your papers are the main evidence for
your professional skills, so show that you care about your work. The
clearest mark of academic written work that is becoming professional is
a correct and accurate bibliography and use of citation (MLA for this
It is highly unlikely that your idea will be so blazingly original that
nothing else is published on or close to it. Aim instead to complement
and perhaps challenge the current state of knowledge by being informed
enough by the thoughts of others while developing a sense of your own
voice and style and its place in ongoing collective debates about
historical texts and contexts.