• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Final Paper

Page history last edited by Abigail Heiniger 9 years, 7 months ago

Return to Assignments


Final Paper

  • Due: 11 December 2014
  • Points: 300 points (30% of total grade).
  • Length: 8-12 pages 
  • Final Paper Rubric: 
  • Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to do a close reading of one long work of fiction or three short works of fiction (read in class) exploring the course theme of literary quests. The text(s) must be paired with a work of art or artifact.   
    • Paper will be developed through journal assignments throughout the semester.  
    • Papers should included a thesis that guides the analysis and close reading.
    • Analysis should be based on the primary text(s) but should also include supporting research from at least three outside sources (two scholarly article and one contextual sources is also acceptable).
  • Final Paper Rubric.pdf
  • Final Paper Rubric.docx  



For the final paper (8 - 12pp), students will do a close reading of one or more of the texts read in class. The text must be paired with an artifact that students locate on one of the Making of American or Detroit Institute of Arts or Victoria and Albert databases. Students must develop a thesis guide their analysis and close reading based on the course theme of literary quests. This thesis will also be supported with research from at least three outside sources (including two scholarly, secondary source). Students will work on and revise this paper throughout the semester. Specific guidelines and due dates can be found on Assignments and (and here).The final paper should rely PRIMARILY upon your close reading and analysis of the primary texts, but you should also support your thesis with secondary research from at least three scholarly sources, including cultural context for the texts you are analyzing. The paper must be 8 - 12 pages long (MLA style - 12 point, Times New Roman, Double Spaced). The page length does not include the Work Cited Page. 


Scaffolded Research Paper Steps:

All of the scaffolded steps for this research paper will be completed through the JOURNALS for this class.  

  • Journal One: post three texts to you are considering for your final paper. Include links to text summaries. 
  • Journal Two: post an art work that you relates to the course theme (literary quest).  
    •  Summarize the art work you have chosen.
  • Journal Three: Choose one of the elements of visual rhetoric to analyze the art work you have chosen in a paragraph. 
    • Do not summarize (you did that for the last journal) 
  • Journal Four: identify the topic you are considering for the final paper.  
  • Journal Five: List of three scholarly secondary text on topic/text (post to roster page) 
  • Journal Six: Working Thesis 
  • Journal Seven: Do two paragraphs of analysis on one of your texts.  


  • Rough Draft - 11/25
    • Conferences (sign up here) 
    • Rough drafts will be discussed in conferences. 
  • Final Draft - 12/11


Remember, the sort of close reading and ANALYSIS you do in your paper is THE SAME SORT OF CLOSE READING AND ANALYSIS we have been doing IN CLASS. Think of class lectures as PRACTICE (or models) for papers.  




Final Paper: the moves that make good papers


For your final paper, I want you to focus on SOMETHING SPECIFIC (a narrative trope, a theme, a symbol) in a text. Then I want you to create a THESIS and a PAPER that makes four "moves": 

  1. Elaborate on the THING: a) identify the THING (trope, theme, symbol); b) describe a the scene that best illustrates this THING and it's significance (The female body and homosocial/homosexual bonding in Dracula - "The female body is a cite for homosocial bonding that has powerful homosexual tensions in the novel Dracula. This is best illustrated by the male bonding around Lucy's blood transfusions. Through her body and their, these men are connected. They have share something personal, from their bodies and have put it into the same woman. This is a woman who cannot find contentment in one man and knows not which she should choose. This is almost like having the men share their bodies with her and thus, this unifies them intimately.")  
  2. Elaborate on the THING in the text: (i.e. Identify the significant scenes where the female body enables homosocial bonding and explain how these scenes relate to Dracula overarching plot or how these scenes interact with the overarching message of the text, or... make connections from the specific to the whole) 
  3. Connect this THING to literary/social criticism: (i.e. Relate your observations and close readings to other scholars - orient your observations with the scholarly conversation about the text, or the theme, or the genre, or... "Scholars have examined both female bodies and homosocial/homosexual tensions in Dracula, but the role that female bodies play in enabling homosocial/homosexual bonds in this text has not been fully explored.") 
  4. Elaborate on this THING outside the text: (i.e. Connect your THING to cultural context of your text IF POSSIBLE - "It was necessary for Stoker to use female bodies as a catalyst for his most intense homosocial bonds in Dracula because Stoker's Victorian audience was unable to accept overt homoeroticism in fiction.")  


You may find that these four moves blend into each other in your analysis or that one "move" dominates the paper while the other "moves" play supporting roles. Think of these "moves" as SUGGESTIONS, not a series of things to structure your paper. 


Resources for Artifacts and Visual Thinking:

Making of America (UofM)

Making of America (Cornell)

American Memory

Votes for Women

The Nineteenth Century in Print

Detroit Institute of Arts Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

Library of Congress (see Special Collections, including Prints and Photographs and Historic Newspapers)


Outside Sources: 


OUTSIDE SOURCES serve two important functions in a research paper. They establish CONTEXT for an argument and they also construct a scholarly discourse to position the argument.


Outside sources for the final paper are available in SEVERAL places. The histories in the Norton Anthologies are viable sources for CONTEXT. Gale Encyclopedia (in the WSU Library Online) is another viable source for CONTEXT. 


SCHOLARLY sources are available through books in WSU OR articles (recommended) available on WSU search engines such as JSTOR and PROJECT MUST (Proquest also has some literary sources).  

Final Paper with Revisions:


I have uploaded an example final paper with revisions here (thanks to the brave soul who agreed to be the sacrificial lamb)! Comments deal with:

  1. Reorganization (particularly placing the artifact at the beginning of the analysis to create CONTEXT).
    1. If anyone else is using their artifact to create context for their argument, consider a similar strategy - put it first and relate everything back to it.
    2. Also, consider placing scholarship early enough in the paper to incorporate it into the ARGUMENT (i.e. SPRING BOARD off the scholarly essay/article and ADD TO the current scholarly "conversation" - do not just reinforce/repeat other's work).  
  2. Language/syntax (rewording material to make the argument smoother).
  3. This paper does a GREAT job of close reading (and using that close reading as evidence for an argument)!


Example final paper (with revisions in red).pdf


Explaining Your Ideas

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.