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English II Research Paper: The Great Gatsby

Throughout the year, we have delved into texts that cover many important topics such as the human experience, gender equality, racism, identity, and poverty among many others while picking apart the effects of an author’s intent, characterization, symbolism, motifs, themes, and more. In this paper, you will write a literary analysis of The Great Gatsby that synthesizes the ideas of other critical minds in order to support your argument.

Research Paper Goals:

Students will demonstrate mastery of

· The synthesis of multiple perspectives on a topic

· The inquiry process

· The advancing of an explanation or analysis of a topic

· The use of evidence to support claims

· Proper quote integration

· Proper MLA format and citation

PROMPT:

Choose one of the following

1. How do the characters in The Great Gatsby define themselves as individuals? How does that compare to American society’s views at the time? You might consider limiting your analysis to 1-2 characters.

2. Analyze the portrayal/progression of one or more of the characters in the novel. How do they/don’t they change over the course of the text, and what is Fitzgerald attempting to suggest through their portrayal? You could choose to focus on one character, characters in contrast, or the various female characters for instance.

3. Select one symbol and examine how that symbol functions in the work and what it reveals about the characters or themes of the work as a whole.

4. What is Fitzgerald suggesting to readers in regards to modern society? The American Dream? The focus on the past? Or another topic of your choice? Through his presentation of particular characters, events, symbols, etc., what is Fitzgerald attempting to tell his readers in regards to this concept?

5. Make up a prompt of your own – this must be approved BEFORE class on Tuesday, March 15, so you can move on with the next parts of the assignment with the rest of the class.

A Few Notes on Research:

*You must use 1 secondary source. You will synthesize the arguments made in this source with your own analysis, thus ADDING TO the overall conversation about the book in a meaningful way. Your sources are used to facilitate your argument, not stand in place of your own analysis.

*You should focus your research on Database sources (EBSCO, Gale Virtual Reference Library, JSTOR - see Lane Tech Library Page for more). Minimal Internet use is encouraged from credible sites only.

· If searching outside of a Database, use Google Scholar. Sources that end in .com are generally not appropriate and should be avoided (there are minimal exceptions to this general rule).

· While your usage of websites may be limited, you are welcome to use ebooks at your own discretion.

Troubleshooting your paper:

Problem: Your thesis and topic sentences are too limiting.

Solution:

1. Establish a debatable, specific, and intellectually stimulating thesis statement in your introduction

2. Make sure you can articulate the guiding principle, or logic, behind your organization

3. Subtopics of your essay develop analysis and argument in a logical way

4. Clear away the stifling fluff

Problem: There is no life in your paper: incoherent paragraphs, wavering support, decontextualized materials, and flickering research.

Solution:

1. Establish unity by finding the “key” word in the topic sentences of the paragraphs. If everything in the paragraph does not somehow relate back to that “key” word, your paragraph lacks unity.

2. Establish coherence by using logical transitions and connections through coordination of ideas

3. Illustrate specific incidents from sources (like the film) instead of summarizing the plot.

4. Use direct quotations, summary, and paraphrase wisely by working evidence from your sources into nearly every page of your paper.

5. Synthesize your research throughout your essay and avoid dividing your paper up by source

6. Make sure you choose, read, understand, use, and explain quality sources.

Problem: Your diction is uncontrolled throughout your paper.

Solution:

1. Read your paper to someone who doesn’t know your topic and who you know won’t be “nice” to you. Is there understanding the same as you intended?

2. Extract all linking verbs, passive voice, and lame transition words.

Problem: Silly mistakes are weakening the presentation of your hard work.

Solution:

1. Polish your MLA format

2. Proofread for grammar, mechanics, and usage

Requirements for Final Draft:

· MLA format

· 2-3 pages long

· 1 credible secondary source used

· MLA parenthetical citations and a works cited page

· All quotes embedded effectively

· An argument is developed with a line of reasoning

Timeline:

Assignment

Points

Due on GC or shown in class

GG Quotes for chosen topic

10

Tues, March 15 (BOC)

Secondary Source chosen

5

Friday, March 18 (BOC)

Secondary Source quotes chosen

5

Fri, March 18 (EOC)

Secondary Source Quotes Analyzed

10

Fri, March 18 (EOC)

Rough Thesis Statement (Revise what you have)

10

Monday, March 21 (BOC)

Revised Thesis Statement and 1 Body Paragraph

10

Tues, March 22 (EOC)

Final Draft

100

Wed, March 30 by 11:59pm

**BOC=beginning of class; EOC=end of class

Warning about PLAGIARISM:

The teacher reserves the right to give any student a failing grade for plagiarism on any of these assignments at their own discretion. They are NOT required to allow you to make up or redo plagiarized work. If you have questions about plagiarism, please ask BEFORE any assignment deadline passes.

Rubric:

Effective (4)

Adequate (3)

Inadequate (2)

Little Success (1)

CC.9-10.W.1 Argument (20%)

Student effectively writes an argument in an analysis of The Great Gatsby, using valid reasoning from both TGG and secondary source.

Student adequately write an argument in an analysis of The Great Gatsby, using valid reasoning from both TGG and secondary source, but may be oversimplified or lack sophisticated depth.

Student writes an argument in the analysis of The Great Gatsby using reasoning from one or all sources, but may not answer the prompt sufficiently or completely.

Student may fail to write an argument in the analysis of The Great Gatsby by doing one more more of the following:

-doesn’t answer prompt

-states a fact not an argument

-argument cannot be found

CC.9-10.W.9 Primary Source Usage: The Great Gatsby (20%)

-Student effectively draws evidence from The Great Gatsby to support analysis, reflection, and research of all sources.

-All quotes are embedded in a sophisticated manner.

-Analysis of TGG consistently supports thesis

-Student adequately draws evidence from The Great Gatsby to support analysis, reflection, and research of all sources, but may not consistently choose the best possible quotes or portions of quotes. -Some quotes may not be embedded in the most effective way.

-Analysis may be occasionally be inconsistent, but for the most part soundly supports thesis.

Student inadequately draws evidence from The Great Gatsby to support analysis, reflection, and research of all sources by doing one or more of the following

-does not embed quotes

-uses long chunks of text instead of carefully selecting quotes

-quotes selected seem irrelevant to topic of paragraph

-analysis may not support thesis on multiple occasions

Student fails to draw evidence from The Great Gatsby to support analysis, reflection, and research of all sources by doing one of the following

-TGG is not quoted

-TGG quotes do not support analysis, reflection, and research of all sources

-analysis does not support thesis

-TGG is simply summarized

CC.9-10.W.8 Secondary Source (20%)

-Student effectively gathers relevant information from 1 authoritative secondary source;

-Student effectively uses each source in answering the entire prompt;

-Student effectively embeds information into their analysis selectively to maintain the flow of ideas.

-Analysis of secondary sources consistently supports thesis

-Student adequately gathers relevant information from 1 authoritative secondary source;

-Student adequately uses each source in answering the entire prompt;

-Student adequately embeds information into their analysis selectively to maintain the flow of ideas.

-Analysis may be occasionally be inconsistent, but for the most part soundly supports thesis.

-Student inadequately gathers relevant information from 1 authoritative secondary source;

-Student inadequately uses each source in answering the entire prompt;

-Student inadequately embeds information into their analysis by either not being selective enough or not embedding into analysis.

-Analysis may not support thesis or student may simply summarize their secondary sources.

-Student fails to gather relevant information from 1 authoritative secondary source;

-Student fails to use each source in answering the entire prompt;

-Student fails to embed information into their analysis.

-Incorporation of secondary sources may not be present, may be used to sparsely, or may be simply summarized

CC.9-10.W.4 Language (20%)

Student effectively produces clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to the topic, purpose, and audience. This includes the intro paragraph, topic sentences, transitional elements, and a conclusion paragraph. The essay is obviously polished.

Student adequately produces clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to the topic, purpose, and audience. This includes the intro paragraph, topic sentences, transitional elements, and a conclusion paragraph. There may be some inconsistencies, but mostly the language is sound.

-Student inadequately produces clear and coherent writing

-The development, organization, and style may not be appropriate to the topic, purpose, and audience.

-Intro paragraph, topic sentences, transitional elements, and conclusion may need work or are not consistently present

-Distracting errors in language/mechanics may be present

-Student fails to consistently produce clear and coherent writing

-The development, organization, and style is not appropriate to the formalness of the paper.

-Intro paragraph, topic sentences, transitional elements, and conclusion may need significant work or are rarely present

-Lack of proofreading is distracting

MLA Format and Citations (20%)

CC.9-10.W.8

- 2-3 pages long

- Times New Roman

-12 pt font

-Double spaced

-Proper -Heading/header

-1” Margins

-Works Cited Page is properly formatted

-Plagiarism is consistently avoided following MLA format for parenthetical citation

-A few MLA errors are made, but for the most part, the correct professional format is present and said errors are not distracting from the content of your paper.

-Plagiarism is consistently avoided.

-Several noticeable and/or distracting MLA errors are made affecting the professionalism of your paper

-Plagiarism is not consistently avoided through the use of parenthetical citations.

-Drastic MLA formatting errors are made

-The look of the student’s paper is unprofessional and unpolished.

-Plagiarism is not avoided through the use of parenthetical citations

Total Points: ________/100

*Failure to complete this assignment will result in a 0, which will drastically impact your semester grade.

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