- Does George really care about Lennie, or is he using him for any benefits that come with his disability
- the paper needs to be 6 pages, with the 6th being the citations page. the essay needs to be 5 pages long with 4 references from Gale literature resource center and one citation from the book itself. backing the point that George does in fact care about Lennie. the references need to be included into the paper, no more than one block quote in the entire paper.
English 102 Research Paper Assignment
Completion of a satisfactory research paper (a grade of “C” (70) or above) is one of the requirements for successfully completing English 102.
- Choose a book from the list given to you (due second week of class).
- Read the entire book (due by week six of class).
- Choose a topic (due by week six of class).
- Have your topic approved by me.
- Complete worksheet #1 (due by week seven of class).
- Flesh out a working thesis statement (worksheet #2), which might change slightly as you progress (due by week seven of class).
- Make a working outline (worksheet #2) (due by week seven of class).
- Conduct research in the library for your secondary sources (due by week seven of class).
- Make a Works Cited page (due by week nine of class).
- Write a rough draft (due by week ten of class).
- Get paper revised by classmate, Learning Center tutor (twice), and me.
- Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!
Reading List for English 102 Research Paper
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Sula – Toni Morrison
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
A Lesson before Dying – Ernest Gaines
Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
The Awakening – Kate Chopin
The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry
My Antonia – Willa Cather
Emma – Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
The Good Earth– Pearl S. Buck
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Crime and Punishment – Feodor Dostoevski
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Text: The research paper is a documented prose work resulting from an organized analysis of a subject. Your paper will examine a particular writer’s work. The book you have chosen to read will be the focus of your research paper. It is not a biographical sketch of the writer; however, you may include biographical information if it relates to your thesis. It is not a plot summary; I can read the book or play for that. Primarily, you are going to take a position about the work and use specific events or quotes from the work to support and explain that position. Your thesis statement will be based upon this position. In addition, you are going to examine what literary critics have to say concerning the work. You must read the work prior to beginning your research.
Format: Research papers must be typed and formatted according to MLA documentation style. This includes using Times New Roman, 12 point font. You will be expected to list each of your sources in proper MLA format on the Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. You will also use proper MLA parenthetical internal documentation throughout your paper. The New McGraw-HillHandbook or an MLA guidebook is an absolute necessity. You cannot pass the research paper if your format is wrong!
Length: A minimum of five full pages of text (double-spaced). In addition, you will include a Works Cited page.
Sources: A minimum of five (5) sources is required. You must have four (4) secondary sources quoted directly in the body paragraphs (there should be at least 1 secondary source per main point). You cannot pass the research paper without including four secondary sources.The literary work you have chosen (novel or play) will count as a fifth source, the primary source. There are many sources available for literary research, and I expect you to use a variety of sources. You should use at least one article as a source, and you can have only one Internet source. Masterplots, Cliffs Notes, Spark Notes, eNotes, Grade Saver, Wikipedia, and Classic Notes DO NOT count as a source.
Process: You will be expected to follow a guided process in your research and writing. I have designed the course to make it easier for you to write a research paper step by step. On the course syllabus, I have indicated dates when topics, thesis statements and outlines, and rough drafts are due. I will be maintaining a file which will indicate whether or not you have completed these steps. Any student who fails to follow these steps in a timely manner and does not indicate a work in progress will not be allowed to turn in a research paper.
Other guidelines to consider:
- DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE and expect to do well on the research paper without having read the book.
- Your first two assignments (worksheets #1 and #2) will be completed as we start our library time and will entail your getting to know your author, what critics say the themes of your novel are, and setting up a tentative thesis and outline.
- Ultimately, your paper will focus on the themes within the novel. It will not be a biographical study or a summary of the plot.
- Your two biggest enemies will be disorganization and procrastination.
Organization-Have the following materials with you at all times: research packet, handbook, primary source, photocopies of secondary sources
Staying on Schedule-You have been given a calendar with all due dates clearly marked. As you are working on your own in the library, you must be responsible enough to work at a steady pace. No late work will be accepted or checked for any reason. Early checks are always possible.
- I will be in the library with you and available to help you when you need it. Openly communicating with me when you are having problems is essential. Ask me if you need help BEFORE you get behind.
- On library days, you will check in with me at the beginning of the class and work the entire class period. DO NOT LEAVE EARLY. If I do not see you, you will be counted absent. During these “meetings,” I will remind you of due dates and other changes that may alter the schedule.
- Don’t forget to bring your BPCC student ID every day that we are meeting in the library. Without it, you will have extremely limited use of the library’s resources.
- Research papers (both the rough draft and the final draft) must be typed. Computer labs are located on the 2nd floor of the college library and on the 2nd floor of Building G. Because computer classes are taught in the computer labs, you will need to go by the location most convenient to you and find the posted available times for student use. Save your work on your disk. Computer problems and printer problems will not be accepted as an excuse for late work.
- If you are concerned about your paper, I will be happy to check rough drafts more than once (I must check yours at least once in order for you to be allowed to submit a final draft). However, I will not check any research papers the week before they are due. If you want me to check the paper, you must see me before that deadline.
- You have the option of reading a longer book for bonus on your research paper. If you read a book that is longer than four hundred pages, every fifty pages over that four hundred pages will earn you one bonus point added onto your final score. I must see the book to award any bonus points.
Tentative Thesis and Outline
- The thesis is one complete sentence that addresses the themes, underlying meanings, and messages of the novel which can be proved using primary (the novel) and secondary (critical commentary) sources as evidence.
- Your preliminary outline must contain at least three major points, which will have at least two subtopics per main point. The more detailed an outline you can produce before starting your focused research, the easier your research will be.
- You must have at least As and Bs for each topic (these will be your subtopics). If at all possible, make the As and Bs on your outline parallel to each other. This parallelism helps in the organization of your paper and adds to its structural strength.
- Preliminary reading in critical sources is essential to this assignment. Ask yourself the following questions: Does your character(s) undergo a change as the novel progresses? From what to what? What causes the change? People with whom he/she comes into contact? Events that occur?
Thesis: The Great Gatsby clearly depicts the death of the American Dream through the characters of Jordan, Daisy, Nick, and Gatsby himself.
- Death of Dream
- Death of Dream
- Death of Dream
- Death of Dream
Where Do I Begin?
As you search for material for your paper, keep in mind what your author wishes to relate through his/her writing. Focus on this message and apply the message to your interpretation of the theme (the main idea) of the work.
Below is a partial list of common themes found in literature. Survey the list to see if any of these themes apply to the piece you have read.
Civilization versus Nature
Order versus Chaos
The Hero’s Journey
Rite of Passage (Separation/Transformation/Return)
The Epic Paradigm
Appearance (Illusion) versus Reality
The Role of Women
The Role of the Scop/Bard/Author
Freedom and Responsibility
The Role of Nature
Literature as a Reflection of Society
Power Struggles/Who is in Control?
How Do You Decide What to Write About?
Brainstorming! Think about these things:
- First, did you like the book? Hate it? How did you feel about the characters? If you hate them, it can be even more fun to analyze them.
- Do their actions reflect the words (in other words, are they consistent)? Or, do their actions reveal something more about their “true” character?
- Do they reveal insecurities/fears?
- Remember that people who seek to control others usually act this way because they are very insecure-they have to control their environment as much as possible because they feel a loss of control over their own lives.
- Can you compare/contrast 3 or more characters in the book?
- Is the author’s life reflected in his/her writings? Do the author’s fears, insecurities (consciously or otherwise) come out in the characters?
- Do the characters discover/possess some forbidden knowledge-is there power in the secret? Who knows the secret?
- Are characters who appear to be weak really the strong ones-the ones with the most power? Is there some sort of irony in who actually has the power?
- Is there some discrepancy between appearance and reality?
- What about archetypal motifs or images in the story?
- A “wise old man” who appears just in time to help the hero (like Obiwan Kinobe)?
- A “trickster” who serves as a foil to the hero (Satan in Paradise Lost)?
- A “good mother” (Glenda the good witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz, Snow White, etc.)?
- A “terrible mother” (the queen in Alice in Wonderland)?
- Is there a “Hero Quest” (Braveheart, Disney movies)? A male protagonist who
- Goes on a long journey
- Experiences battles (real or symbolic)
- Manipulates language (lies, jokes, motivates others)
- Sacrificial death (real or symbolic)
- Is there a “Hero Initiation”? A Rite of Passage story, a movement from innocence to experience? Forbidden knowledge?
- Is anyone playing a game (real game, word game, mind game, or joke)?
- Are any women characters empowered? How do the women manipulate the “man’s” system in order to survive?
- Portrait of women: Are they seen as male, as well as other female characters, as “virgins” (above reproach) or “whores” (evil by nature)?
- Are the men in the story held to the same standard (whether good or evil) as the women?
- Is there anything unusual about the structure of the work? Are there stories within stories? Does it begin and end at the same place? Does it begin in medias res (in the middle of things) then return to the past?
Writing the Rough Draft
- Do not begin writing your rough draft before you have completed reading your primary and secondary sources. You must have read your secondary sources and highlighted any information you intend to use in your paper.
- Make certain that your thesis and outline are working for you before you start writing.
- Make certain that you have all sources in front of you as you are writing.
- Your introduction should be one paragraph long. A research paper introduction and conclusion are a bit different from those in an essay in that they should not be imaginative. See the following page (page 10) for more information.
5 As you write, remember that your As and Bs (or 1s and 2s if you have them) will determine your paragraph breaks. Also, remember that each paragraph must begin with a topic sentence that corresponds with your outline and your thesis.
6 Each major idea (each paragraph) must have at least one critical source (one quote). Do not, however, end your paragraph with a quote. Also, remember that every quote has some method of introduction.
7 Discuss the events that occur in your novel in present tense. Anything that happened before the novel’s events is history and should be discussed in past tense.
8 Do not overuse any source. Five sources must be used, and they should be used as equally as possible.
9 Parenthetical documentation form must be exact. Page references in documentation must be accurate.
10 Direct quotes must be exact. Quote accuracy is of the utmost importance. If a quote’s wording seems odd, double check it.
11 Plagiarism is a failing offense, and it is against the law. Avoid plagiarism by documenting (giving credit) and using quotation marks when you use the exact words of a source or when you use an original/unique idea of a critic even if you’ve put it in your own words.
12 On your Works Cited page, include only the sources from which you have actually quoted (cited) or paraphrased. In other words, the names on your Works Cited page must correspond exactly to the names within your parenthetical documentation.
Research Paper Outline Suggested Components
- Introduction Paragraph (1 of these)
- Introduce your story and argument
- Briefly discuss what influenced your author to write the novel you read
- Discuss the critical or public acceptance of the novel at the time of publication
- Explore your theme
- End paragraph with thesis statement: must be a clear, specific argument (in one sentence), that includes three main points you will explore in the body paragraphs
- Body Paragraphs (2 per main point-at least 6 body paragraphs total) FOR EACH MAIN POINT, INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
- First body paragraph
- Begin with a topic sentence that introduces your main point
- Introduce a quote from your primary source (the book itself)
- Give the specific quote and correctly cite the page number
- Argue how this quote reflects/supports your main point
- Second body paragraph
- Introduce a secondary source quote (from a critic, not your book)
- Give the specific quote and correctly cite the page number and author (if you haven’t introduced critic’s name in the introduction of quote)
- Argue how this quote reflects/supports your main point
- First body paragraph
- Closing Paragraph (1 of these)
- Restate your thesis in different words but including your three main points
- Discuss the impact of the novel on literature
- Comment on the effectiveness/success/timeliness of the novel because of the elements you’ve discussed in the paper
- Comment in its place in and impact in the literary world
Checking the Rough Draft
1 Your completed rough draft is due ___________. On this day, you will revise a classmate’s paper as well as get help with your paper.
2 A completed rough draft consists of the following: five pages body and your works cited page. The body of your rough draft must be typed; I will not check a handwritten copy.
3 You will conference with me on the day and at the time for which you sign up.
4 If you have your entire paper completed and typed, I can help you with form as well as content.
5 If your paper is not totally complete and your outline and works cited are handwritten, it will affect your rough draft grade, but I can still give you some help. If you do not bring an outline and a works cited page, the help I can give you is greatly reduced as several of the things I am going to check involve your outline and works cited page.
6 If your draft is not complete and/or you are late for your appointment, I cannot guarantee that I can give you many suggestions to make your paper satisfactory.
7 Do not be late for your appointment. We have only fifteen minutes to work together, and I want to give your paper a thorough check. If, however, you are late, you will be allotted only the time left for your appointment.
8 If you miss your appointment, you must call me and explain why. If I can reschedule you, I will try to do so, but you will receive a zero on your rough draft grade.
9 I must see a rough draft by _________________________ or YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TURN IN A RESEARCH PAPER.
10 Understand the purpose of this check: to check for errors that will cause you to get an unsatisfactory grade on your paper (a D or F). This check, however, does not guarantee that you will pass your research paper with a satisfactory grade. It is ultimately up to you to do well on this paper. I will not be proofreading or editing for mechanical errors (spelling, grammar, sentence structure). These aspects of your paper are your responsibility.
11 Bring the following with you to your conference with me:
a two clean copies of your rough draft
b any questions you had as you were writing
c your research packet
d all copies of your sources
d a pen or pencil and additional sheets of paper
TYPING THE PAPER, MARKING PHOTOCOPIES, AND TURNING THE PAPER IN
A Outline: Center the word Outline at the top of the page. Use a sentence outline, not a topic outline. Therefore, periods should be used. Align Roman numerals and As and Bs as shown. Capitalize only the first word of each topic and subtopic unless a proper noun is involved. Double space everything.
B Page One: Type your last name and page ½” from the top on the right hand side. Skip an additional half inch and type your heading on the left side. On the next line type your title centered on the page. The title of your paper should contain either the title of the novel or of a main recognizable character. It should also convey the aspect of the novel on which you’ve focused. A colon works nicely for this:
The Grapes of Wrath: Biblical Principles in Action
The Member of the Wedding: A Study of Adolescence
The Great Gatsby: Chasing the American Dream
Religious Symbolism in The Grapes of Wrath
Ethan Frome’s Sin
You will use a 1” left margin, a 1” right margin, and a 1” bottom margin. Double space everything.
C Subsequent Pages: Name and page ½” from the top on the right; come down an additional ½” before beginning the text. Use a 1” left margin, a 1” right margin, and a 1” bottom margin. Double space everything.
D Works Cited: Name and page ½” from the top on the left; come down an additional ½” and center the words Works Cited. Do not underline, italicize, bold, or change font of these words. Follow these rules also: alphabetize entries, use a hanging indent, double space everything, list only the sources cited in the paper. NOTE: The form must conform exactly to MLA format.
A Typos count against you. Proofread again and again. Have someone else proofread for you.
B There should be no written-in corrections. Nothing should be written in.
C Neatness counts. Show me that you care about this project.
Copies must accompany every source that you use in your paper. There should be at least one secondary source per main point. You cannot pass the research paper without including four secondary sources.Likewise, you cannot pass the research paper without including copies of your sources exactly as I specify below.Highlight quotes on copies. Staple each source separately. Guidelines for copies of sources:
Primary Source (the novel or play that is the focus of your paper) – copy only the title page and copyright information (usually found on the back side of the title page).
Secondary Sources (literary criticism of the primary source):
Gale Group, Infotrac, or Internet Source – print out the entire article
Printed article (includes reprinted articles in reference books such as Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, forewards or afterwards, and books that have individual chapters written by different authors) – copy the entire article and the title page and copyright information from the reference book it is in
Book – copy the title page, copyright information, and only the page or pages you have used (cited) in your paper
IV TURNING THE PAPER IN
A Buy a new pocket folder. On top left corner of the folder, write the MLA heading you use for all essays:
B Put your PAPER-CLIPPED FINAL COPY in the right pocket in the correct order (paper, Works Cited, outline).
C In the left side, put the following in this order starting at the back of the folder:
1 Graded thesis/outline
2 Graded Works Cited
3 All rough drafts you have stapled separately (the revision your classmate did, the TWO rough drafts you got checked in The Learning Center, and the rough draft I went over with you)
4 Copies of your sources stapled separately
D Submit paper to Blackboard BEFORE class.
Baker, Virginia L., and Robert Cole. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Spokesman for the Jazz Age. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993. Print.
Benet, Stephen Vincent. “Fitzgerald’s Unfinished Symphony.” The Saturday Review of Literature 22.3 (1941): 15-27. Rpt in. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 55. Ed. Marie Lazzari. Detroit: Gale, 1995. 192-3. Print.
Cowley, Malcolm. “Fitzgerald: The Romance of Money.” Modern Critical Views: F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Chelsea, 1985. 49-72. Print.
Eble, Kenneth. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Boston: Twayne, 1985. Print.
—. Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1978. Print.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner’s, 1993. Print.
Kisker, George W. The Disorganized Personality. 3rd ed. Cincinnati: McGraw Hill, 1977. Print.
Maxwell, Catherine. “Richard Wright and the African-American Experience.” The English Journal 60 (1993): 43-9. Galenet. Web. 10 Oct. 2008.
Mitchell, Seth L. “Mitigating the Issues: A New Perspective on The Grapes of Wrath.” Bloom’s Critical Views. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Penguin, 1972. 49-63. Print.
Turbin, James. Introduction. The Great Gatsby. By F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Scribner’s, 1993. xi-xiii. Print.
Additional Works Cited Information
Here is an example of an article that has been reprinted in a reference book such as Contemporary Literary Criticism. Essays found here were originally published in literary journals. You may also find where sections or chapters of books have been reprinted in a reference book. You must give the original author credit for his/her writing. Look below the articles (sometimes it is at the beginning), and you will see his/her name and the original venue for the essay’s publication. (Use this form for Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Novels for Students, and World Literature Criticism.) It should be documented like this:
Benet, Stephen Vincent. “Fitzgerald’s Unfinished Symphony.” The Saturday Review of Literature 22.3 (1941): 15-27. Rpt in. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 55. Ed. Marie Lazzari. Detroit: Gale, 1995. 192-3. Print.
Benet is the original author of the essay. Next, you’ll include the title of the article, the name of the original journal, the volume number (and issue number if there is one), and the original year of publication. After that, you’ll add the reprint information—the essay has been reprinted in (Rpt. in) TCLC (the reference book)—then include the volume where you found the essay, the editor’s name, and the publication information for the reference book. Then, list the page or pages which the article encompasses. Do not just indicate the page you are using; give the pagination of the entire article. Finally, conclude with the medium (print).
Articles reprinted in an Internet database like Literary Resource Center or MLA Bibliography will look like this:
Maxwell, Catherine. “Richard Wright and the African-American Experience.” The English Journal 60 (1993): 43-9. Galenet. Web. 10 Nov. 2008.
Notice that, once again, the original publication information is listed first. The “60” indicates an original volume number. Next are original date and page numbers. Finally, list the database information, starting with the title of the database in italics (Galenet), the medium (print), and the access date.
For books, check the title page and table of contents to ascertain if it is an edited book that contains different essays by different authors. Notice that page numbers are included in this format. You will have a separate entry for each essay that you use as each essay is considered a separate source. (This form is used for Dictionary of Literary Bibliography, Critical Survey of Long Fiction, and most books you will use from the reserve shelves.) Your entry will look like this:
Lewis, Leon. “The Great Gatsby: Novel 1925.” Beacham’s Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction. Vol. 3. Ed. Kirk H. Beetz, Ph.D. Osprey: Beacham, 1996. 562-70. Print.
Bibliographic Form Guidelines
You will be going to the library to look for sources for your research paper. When you find a possible source, list the following information to use later in your Works Cited entry for that source:
For Books: For Periodicals:
Chapter or Part of Book Title of Article*
Title of Book* Name of Periodical*
Editor or Translator Volume and Issue
Number or Edition Date*
Name of the Series Page Numbers of the Article*
Place of Publication*
Date of Publication*
Pages of Chapter Used
*Items marked with an asterisk are required for each citation. Other items may be needed for some books.
Guidelines for Creating the Works Cited Entry
- Use reverse or “hanging” indention for each entry. The first line of each entry begins at the left margin. Second and subsequent lines are indented five spaces from the left margin.
- Place a period after each of the three main parts of an entry: author, title, publication information. Leave only one space after each period. If the author’s name ends with a middle initial, one period after the initial is sufficient. If the title ends in a question mark or exclamation point, do not add a period.
- Give the author’s full name as it appears in the work.
- For a work by two or three authors, cite all names but give only the first author’s name with the last name first: Gove, Michael R., Walter Hughes, and Michael H. Geerken.
- If a work has four or more authors, give only the first name listed, followed b a comma and the Latin abbreviation et al: Baugh, Albert C., et al.
- Italicize titles of books, magazines, newspapers, plays, movies, works of art, and computer software.
- The Bible and books of the Bible are not underlined.
- Place quotation marks around titles of articles, essays, newspaper articles, lectures, poems, short stories, chapter titles, TV or radio episodes in a series, songs, and speeches. Place the period ending the title part of the entry INSIDE the quotation mark.
- Capitalize the first and last words of a title and all other words expect articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) and prepositions of fewer than six letters. Follow this rule even if the title is not capitalized in the source.
- Include a work’s subtitle as part of the title, also italcized and preceded by a colon, even if there is no colon on the title page or in the reference source used. Always capitalize the first word of the subtitle, even if the first word is an article, conjunction, or preposition.
Example: Children and Television: A Look at Images in a Changing World
- Indicate a work in its second or later edition, or in a revised edition, by adding the appropriate information after the title.
Example: The Growth of American Thought. 3rd ed.
- Give the city of publication (followed by a colon), the publisher’s name (followed by a comma), and the date of publication (followed by a period).
Example: Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1997.
- Cite only the city of publication, not the state.
- Give only the first city listed on the book’s title page, even if several cities are listed.
- If no place or no date appears in a book, write n.p. or n.d. in the appropriate place in the entry. If there are no pages listed in an article, write n.p. in the appropriate place in the entry.
- Give the most recent copyright date provided on the copyright page.
- Use the shortened form of publisher’s names. Omit business abbreviations (Co., Inc.) and descriptive terms (Press, House, Publishers).
- If the publisher’s name includes several surnames, cite only the first name.
Example: Prentice Hall becomes Prentice
- If the publisher’s name is one person’s name, cite only the surname.
Example: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. becomes Knopf
- Shorten university press names as follows:
Harvard University Press becomes Harvard UP
University of Chicago Press becomes U of Chicago P
Plagiarism is intentionally or unintentionally giving the impression that words or ideas from another source are your own. In other words, plagiarism is academic dishonesty and carries severe penalties in all colleges and universities. Students who plagiarize will, at minimum, receive a zero on that paper. On the second offense, students will fail this course and can also be dismissed from the institution. Also, state and federal laws impose severe fines and/or imprisonment for plagiarism.
How can you avoid plagiarism?
This is a simple process if the writer is aware of what should be documented or what does not have to be documented. Note the following:
- Common knowledge items do not have to be documented. To be common knowledge, information must be well-known to a general audience. For example, America claimed its independence in 1776. This is a well-known fact; therefore, it needs no documentation.
- Original ideas do not have to be documented. Many times during research, a student will formulate an original idea or opinion concerning a topic. When this happens, the material needs no documentation.
- Critical comments must be documented. These are ideas and theories taken from other writers. They do not originate with the writer of the paper.
- Direct quotes must be documented (even if it’s only a few words). It is often necessary or appropriate to use material or statements verbatim from a text. This material must be put in quotation marks and documented. It is essential to copy the quoted material exactly as it appears in the text.
- Paraphrased statements must be documented. When the writer uses the ideas of another writer and puts these ideas in his or her own words, the material must still be documented. IMPORTANT NOTE: Simply rearranging the order of the words or replacing one or two words with your own still constitutes plagiarism.
- Statistics or numbers must be documented.
- Direct quotes must always be documented, NO EXCEPTIONS! Document as quickly as possible after the quote without interfering with the smooth reading of the sentence.
- Three ways exist to incorporate quotes into your paper:
- Quote the entire sentence and identify the author:
Paul Gannon, author of Huxley and His Times, states about Huxley’s handicap: “His blindness acted as a stimulant rather than a depressant” (92).
- Use a portion of the quote to complete your thought:
This period of Huxley’s life “acted as a stimulant rather than a depressant” (Gannon 92).
- Paraphrase the entire quote, but credit the author with the original theory or viewpoint:
This time in Huxley’s life seemed to stimulate him to work instead of having it defeat him (Gannon 92).
- NEVER have an entire quotation stuck in the middle of your paper with no identification or no words of your own leading into the quotation:
Incorrect: Huxley had difficulties accepting his handicap, but he was productive nevertheless. “His blindness seemed to act as a stimulant rather than a depressant” (Gannon 92).
- Always use present tense verbs when introducing quotes:
Travers says, “………….
Boykin writes, “…………
**Use varied verbs to introduce your direct quotes:
According to Melville…
Raymond Weaver sees…
One critic argues…
R.W. Lewis declares…
Other useful introductory words: adds, affirms, believes, thinks, verifies, states, reveals. DO NOT use the word quotes as an introductory word.
- A quote of more than four typewritten lines is a block quote and must be set off from the text in the following manner (DO NOT use more than two block quotes in a five-page paper):
- Introduce the block quote just as you would any other quote.
- Double space throughout the quoted material.
- Indent each line of the quote ten spaces (two tabs) from the left margin, but keep the right margin even with the rest of the text.
- Use a period before citing critic and page number.
- The long quote does not go in quotation marks.
Buck’s portrait of the Chinese peasants presents universal happenings with which the reader can identify:
Not only does the particularity of the wedding day loom on a general level of credibility, but several other events ring true, surpassing mere time and locale: the expectation and joy over the birth of the first child, the suffering induced by poverty and sickness […] the difficulties caused by war and the catastrophes of nature. (Doyle 31)
- Use ellipses to omit material from a direct quote. If you are omitting an entire sentence, four spaced periods are used:
Doyle claims, “The novel considerably elevates the character of Wang [….] He receives dimension and a satisfying solidity, and becomes vivid to the reader” (30).
If you are omitting words within the sentence, three spaced periods are used:
Doyle states, “He receives dimension […] and becomes vivid to the reader” (30).
- Use brackets to interpolate (add) material to a direct quote or make any changes needed. This may be necessary if you need to change the tense of a verb or make a pronoun reference clear:
Buck’s life meshed with those of the peasants and “past link[ed] with present and present link[ed] with future” (Doyle 28).
Doyle asserts, “She never attempted to rewrite it [her first novel], and no trace of the original exists” (28).
- If the quote you use contains a mistake in spelling or grammar, an interpolation is necessary to assure the reader that the quote is accurate:
Pound dissuaded him: “The thing now runs…without a break. That is nineteen pages, and let us say the longest poem in the English langwidge [sic]” (Adams 53).
Sic is a Latin term that means “thus” or “so.”
- If you are using a quotation that did not originate from the author of the work you are using, it should look like this:
Armstrong confided to a friend that Glaser’s death “broke [his] heart” (qtd. in Bergreen 490).
- Material that has quotation marks in the work you are using (dialogue of characters, an author quoting another critic’s work), the quote should look like this:
Huck says, “‘Don’t go a-messin’ wi’ Jim. He’s my best friend!’” (Twain 67).
The author asserts that Pecola “is ‘an unnatural choice’ for the protagonist” (Smith 12).
- Internet sources (not databases, just Internet) should be cited according to whether or not an author is listed.
- If the author is listed but there are no page numbers, cite the quotation using the author’s name:
According to one critic, “Sam uses her power to overwhelm other characters” (Burcham).
Burcham uses Sam as a character who “overwhelm[s] other characters.”
- If no author is mentioned, do the following:
According to the article “Huck and Jim: True Friends,” “Huck uses Jim as a stepping stone to grow and mature as a character.”
One critic claims, “Huck uses Jim as a stepping stone to grow and mature as a character” (“Huck and Jim”).
- Other rules to follow when quoting:
- Do not quote the critic quoting your novel.
- Do not quote the critic discussing obvious factual events that occur in the novel.
- The first time you use a critic’s name in text, use his or her full name. If you use his or her name again in text, use only the last name.
- Do not overuse any quote introduction method.
In order to avoid plagiarizing, a student must learn to paraphrase. A paraphrase precisely restates in YOUR WORDS the written or spoken words of someone else. A paraphrase is your wording but not your thinking. A paraphrased idea must be documented even though it’s not quoted directly.
Guidelines for Writing Paraphrases
- Say what the source says, but no more.
- Reproduce the source’s order of ideas without having the source in front of you.
- Use your own words, phrasing, and sentence structure to restate the message.
- Read your sentences over to make sure they do not distort the source’s meaning.
- Document carefully. You are required to give the source of any paraphrase, just as you do for quotations.
The following example badly plagiarizes both the structure and the words of the original quotation by Jessica Mitford in Kind and Unusual Punishment:
ORIGINAL: The character and mentality of the keepers may be of more importance in understanding prisons than the character and mentality of the kept.
PLAGIARISM: But the character of prison officials (the keepers) is more important in understanding prisons than the character of prisoners (the kept).
The next example is more subtle plagiarism because it changes Mitford’s sentence structure, but it still uses her words.
PLAGIARISM: In understanding prisons, we should know more about the character and mentality of the keepers than of the kept.
AVOIDING PLAGIARISM IN PARAPHRASING
The plagiarism in the above examples can be remedied two ways: Mitford’s exact words can be placed in quotation marks, or correct paraphrasing can be used.
QUOTATION: According to one critic of the penal system, “The character and mentality of the keepers may be of more importance in understanding prisons than the character and mentality of the kept” (Mitford 9).
PARAPHRASE: One critic of the penal system maintains that we may be able to learn more about prisons from the psychology of the prison officials than from that of the prisoners (Mitford 9).
Form and Punctuation for Documentation
After a direct quote:
…in the lives of Daisy and Tom” (Eble 319).
…in relation to Fitzgerald’s career (Poupard and Persons 146).
After a long quote set off from the text:
…according to the history of the Jazz Age. (Turbin xii)
When critic’s name is mentioned in text:
Malcolm Cowley strongly suggests that this is true “when discussing Gatsby and his relationships in relation to the American Dream” (50).
When you use more than one book by the same author:
…as Nick comments throughout this incident” (Eble, F. Scott Fitzgerald 14).
…which is Gatsby’s particular brand of dishonesty” (Eble, Hemingway 85).
When you use a book by two authors:
…and had a profound effect on his life” (Baker and Cole 138).
When you use a book by three or more authors:
…are bound to produce new forms of subjectivity” (Henriques et al. 275).
Verbs used to help weave quotations into your writing are sometimes called “tag words.” A number of these words have rather specific meanings, while others are appropriate in most situations. Choose the ones that fit your context from the following representative word list:
- offers another view
- points out
- takes exception