Research Paper on the story The Things They Carried Written by Tim O’Brien

Research Paper English Composition 1102 Online

Write a research paper answering one of the questions listed in below. If you choose to do the two shorter papers option as described in Length of the Paper, you may use the same question but different texts for both papers or two different questions.

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Remember that a research effort is where you find sources to answer your question, you read and understand the sources thoroughly, and you think about an answer to your question in consideration of the sources. You don’t write the paper first and then look for proof. That one-sentence answer to your question is the thesis. Then, your body proves the thesis. There should not be anything in the body that does not prove the thesis. The concluding paragraph sums up the proof and restates the thesis. Review Essay Organization, the link in this folder.

Length of the Paper: For the research component, you can choose to do one long paper of 1,000 words or two short papers of 500 words each. If you choose to do the two short papers, put one right under the other in the same file.

Sources: You must find four sources for the paper not including the stories themselves or the textbook, all of which you may use in addition. If you do two short papers, find two sources for each. The sources must be an article, a book, or a website ending .edu. You can use a dictionary or encyclopedia or our literature textbook as a reference, but only in addition to the articles or books you find, not as a replacement for them.

The literature textbook may be used as a source in two ways: the story itself and/or the explanatory material. If you are using a story, the source is the story, and in the body of the paper, you should refer to the story by the last name of the author of the story. You would not have to continually mention the last name of the author of the story as you would for another source when it is clear you are talking about the content of the story. The Works Cited listing should follow the format for a story in a collection. If you are using the explanatory material, the source is the editors of the text (Kirszner and Mandell), and the format to follow is the edited collection itself which has a separate example for a Works Cited listing. If you are using both the story and information from the explanatory material, you would have a separate Works Cited listing for each.

You may not use Wikipedia,, SparkNotes, Cliffnotes, Yahoo Answers, Any site that sells papers, or any other website. Wikis and websites are where anybody can post information; they are not necessarily reviewed by experts in the field. You may use an article from a scholarly journal that may be posted in such sites – but you should READ the article you are citing not just an abstract or summary of it posted on a website. One of the sources must be from a database in LINCC – Electronic Library Resources. The literature databases will be particularly helpful. You can reach it through by clicking on the “Electronic Library Resources” tab to your left. Papers that do not comply with the instructions for sources will not be accepted. You cannot pass this course unless you submit a research paper that complies with these instructions and that uses proper MLA documentation.

There are Literature databases in LINCC. Search for the story or the author of the story for articles along with searching on your particular topic. It’s not unusual for there to be information about setting, for example, in an article on the author. The Librarians are fantastic resources to help you with your research and you can talk to them electronically.

Do Not Use a Tool or Copy and Paste. At best, the MLA tool in Word or any other tool is only as good as the information you put in. So, for example, unless you use quotation marks, italics, and capitalization as the style system requires, the tool is not going to do that for you. Unless you accurately put in the names of the authors using the proper protocol and the title of the article, the tool cannot do that. If you add an author’s degree or title which should not be included, the tool is not going to remove it. The tools also do not have all the options for the various types of sources such as for academic databases.

I have never seen a listing of a source in proper format when students have used these tools. For example, some sources listings will include the name of the subscription service and not place periods properly in front of end quotation marks.

Some of these tools and citations from sources are not even updated in the current MLA format.

This is why you have to learn to follow a sample. The list I posted from the PHSC library page was created and is continually updated by PHSC faculty and librarians.

Page Setup: Set up the page as per MLA Page Format
(Links to an external site.)
link in the folder for this assignment. You should double space the entire paper using Page Layout. . All new paragraphs must be tabbed in ½ inch. Be sure your settings in Paragraph follow the instructions in MLA Page Format
(Links to an external site.)
in order to have proper double spacing. At the end of your paper you should Insert a Page Break to get to the top of the next page for the Works Cited. That page should have the heading “Works Cited” centered at the top

MLA Documentation: A research paper is your paper, not just all information from sources. The paper is supposed to be a blend of information from the sources with your analysis (not using first person “I”). Use a variety of ways to incorporate: quote a word or a few words, quote a whole sentence, and paraphrase. If you are quoting more than four lines of text, then you must indent ten spaces from the left and don’t use quotation marks. Remember that you must tell the reader where the information came from when you include information from a source whether you are actually quoting or just paraphrasing – putting the information into your own words. Read the ‘how to cite sources in the paper” and “how to create a Works Cited page” files. Be sure to review all the files posted in this week’s assignment. Remember that there must be a Works Cited page for your paper. If you have two papers, then you will have a Works Cited page at the end of each paper.

Organization of the Paper: This research paper should be organized in the same way you would organize a college essay: an introductory paragraph with background information followed by a thesis at the end, body paragraphs which prove the thesis, and a concluding paragraph which sums up the proof and restates the thesis. The thesis is a one-sentence answer to the question you choose. The first thing you do to get ready to write is to create a thesis. Then, jot down at least three reasons why that thesis is right if you are doing the 1000 word paper or at least two reasons why if you are doing the 500 word paper. This should give you a good framework to get started. I recommend creating an outline to work from. Do not write a book report in response to any of the questions. You should be arguing your answer not merely informing your reader about what happened in the text.

Grammar and Language Use: Do not use first person (I, we, me, our) or second person (you). Grammar, punctuation, and spelling count so proofread, proofread, proofread.

Grading: Be sure to look at the rubric
BEFORE you write and submit your paper. This rubric tells you exactly how I will evaluate the papers. (It is a hyperlink – click on the word rubric)

Questions: Select one question if you are doing the 1,000 word paper. Select two if you are doing the two shorter papers option. You may use the same question for the two shorter papers working, of course, with different stories.

1. Choose two of the short stories that were assigned. Are the settings important to the stories? To answer this question, you should research the setting. Setting is not only the place or geography including climate. It is the weather as well that is described in the story. Setting is also the cultural setting including religion which varies during different time eras. Here are a couple of samples of a possible thesis statement: The setting in “Paul’s Case” is somewhat critical to the story, while the setting in “The Darling” is not. The settings in both “A Civil Peace” and “The Drunkard” are both critical to the stories. Remember that there are no 100% right or wrong answers for these. The strength of the paper depends on how well you present your interpretation.

2. Select two characters from two different assigned stories. Compare and contrast them in detail. Here are a couple of samples of thesis statements: Paul in “Paul’s Case” and Paul in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” are very similar. Edie in “How I Met My Husband” and Olga in “The Darling” are both women looking for love, but they are very different characters. (These are not necessarily assigned stories.)

3. Select an assigned story and describe how irony is used. You will have to use incidents from the story. You will need sources that talk about irony in the story or how the author uses irony. The literature databases in LINCC would be very useful.

4. Select an assigned story and describe how symbols are used. You will have to use incidents from the story. You will need sources that talk about symbolism in the story or how the particular author uses symbolism. The literature databases in LINCC would be very useful

5. Select an assigned story and describe the theme. You will have to use incidents from the story to support your position.


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