English 550
Dr. Morillo
Romantic Period Literature


Research Paper Proposal & Final Paper Assignments

Proposal due Friday, March 31, by noon as emailed file.

2-3 pages, double-spaced typed/printed text. Standard margins (top & bottom 1" margins; right and left 1.25" margins). If you have any other format questions, ask me.


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 of this period, using the articles we’ve read as a guide to the current field.  In one or two pages pose a question, explain why you find it interesting, and propose a preliminary hypothesis about it. Each proposal will end in a preliminary bibliography of at least 4 sources, 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 8 format for a Works Cited page. Please refer to the latest edition (8th) of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers to learn how to cite works correctly in a bibliography.

Final Paper due Friday, May 5, by noon as emailed file.

12-15 pages including Works Cited

The final paper will be 12-15 pages, including a Works Cited of 6-10 relevant sources.

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 paper).

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.

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