One of the themes in Staples’ “Black Men and Public Space” is the impact of the American cultural value of masculinity on young
RESEARCH PAPER (THIRD ESSAY)
Your third essay is a research paper that makes use of both primary and secondary sources. Hence, in order to make a coherent, cohesive, cogent, and persuasive discussion, it requires the acknowledged and relevant use of expert opinions and explanations from at least four scholarly secondary sources. The length of this essay is between six and ten typed double-spaced pages (not including the Works Cited page). Choose one question from either the causal prompts or the process prompts based on our primary sources. Your thesis statement is a clear and specific answer to any one of the following questions. Articulate either a causal or a processclaim by the end of the introductory paragraph.
Please highlight the prompt question of your choice and attach (a copy of) the relevant page to your essay, or copy and paste it before beginning or after finishing your essay.
- Rawlings discusses orphanhood and the condition of orphanages in the early twentieth-century USA in “A Mother in Manville”. What is the impact of orphanhood or of the living conditions of an orphanage on a young orphan of the time as Rawlings shows in her story? Or why does Jerry make a story about having a mother in Mannville? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
Rawlings (“A Mother in Mannville”) discuss the plight of an impoverished child. What is the psychological impact of physiological impoverishment on a child as he or she struggles to belong in society? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- Staples (“Black Men and Public Space”) discusses racial discrimination in his narrative essay. What is the cause OR the effect of prejudice against the minority individual as Staples discusses the topic? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- Maupassant discusses the French bourgeois world of materialism in “The Necklace”. What is the cause OR the effect of the absorption of bourgeois values on a woman in the nineteenth-century Western world, as Maupassant discusses the topic in his story? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- As Maupassant discusses the difference in bourgeois and working-class values, what is the effect of the loss of the borrowed necklace on Matilda Loisel in “The Necklace”? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- Chopin discusses Mrs. Mallard’s awakening in “The Story of an Hour”. What is the effect of a nineteenth-century American woman’s awakening, as Chopin discusses the topic in her story? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- Why does Louise Mallard die at the end of Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- Kanafani discusses the Palestinian experience of the loss of home in “The Land of Sad Oranges”. What is the cause or the effect of Palestinian homelessness, as Kanafani discusses the topic in his story? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- Gansberg discusses the disturbing phenomenon of neighbors watching the murder of an innocent young woman, Kitty Genovese, without any attempt to alert the police. What causes this senseless apathy or the complete inability of her neighbors to make an attempt to save her life? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- In “Han’s Crime,” Shiga suggests that Han suffers from an antisocial personality disorder (psychopathy or sociopathy) or narcissistic personality disorder. What is the effect of such a disorder, as Shiga discusses it in “Han’s Crime”? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- One of the themes in Staples’ “Black Men and Public Space” is the impact of the American cultural value of masculinity on young black males. As Staples discusses the topic, what change does the impoverished young black American male experience as he imbibes the culture of masculinity, and what stages lead to this change? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- One of the themes in Staples’ “Black Men and Public Space” is the hegemonic role of prejudice. As Staples discusses the topic, what change does the young minority male experience as he encounters racism and ethnocentrism, and what stages lead to this change? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- One of the themes in Rawlings’ “A Mother in Mannville” is the psychological change in Jerry as he longs for an emotional bond with the Narrator. As Rawlings the topic, what change does Jerry experience, and what stages lead to this change? Or discuss the process that leads Jerry to creating the fiction of having a mother who lives in Mannville. Develop your discussion by making relevant use of the study of the human need for affection and the psychological conditions related to the quest for affection. As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- The predominant theme in Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is the suppression and repression of women in a patriarchal society. As Chopin discusses the topic, what change does the nineteenth-century American woman experience as she becomes a wife or a widow, and what stages lead to this change? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- The predominant theme in Kanafani’s “The Land of Sad Oranges” is the traumatic experience of dispossession and displacement of the Palestinians when they lose their homeland to Israel in 1948. As Kanafani discusses the topic, what change do the Palestinian people experience as a result of dispossession and displacement, and what stages lead to or reveal this change? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- One of the themes in Maupassant’s “The Necklace” is the plight of a nineteenth-century French woman, Matilda, in the patriarchal world of the bourgeoisie. As Maupassant discusses the topic, what change does the woman experience as she falls into the snares of the bourgeois values, and what stages lead to the change? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
- One of the topics in Shiga’s “Han’s Crime” is the psychological condition of psychopathy. As Shiga discusses the topic, what is the change that occurs in the Judge as he listens to Han, and what stages lead to this change? As you develop your argument and discuss your primary source, make use of relevant secondary sources.
Please remember that you will need to add at least four scholarly secondary sources to your discussion of the primary source. As you collect research material, keep in mind that I encourage you to use any discipline that is relevant to your discussion. For instance, psychology, history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, politics, etc., are particularly useful disciplines that touch upon the readings of our third unit.
Relevant research topics for Rawlings’ story
Orphanages in early twentieth-century and contemporary USA
Poverty in early twentieth-century and contemporary USA
Child labor in early twentieth-century and contemporary USA and other countries
Psychological condition of orphans
Adoption and the family in twentieth-century American homes
Relevant research topics for Staples’ essay:
Racial divide in USA
Racism and ethnocentrism in USA
The relationship between ethnicity and identity
Prejudice against black American males
Marginalization of American minorities
The cultural value of masculinity
Frantz Fanon on racism
Michel Foucault on power
Poverty in urban America
The vicious cycle of poverty and violence
The relationship between race and class
Relevant research topics for Chopin’s story:
Patriarchal values in USA
Husband-wife relationships in upper- and middle-class American families
The role of emotion
The individual’s need for freedom
A woman’s search for her human identity
The relationship between body and mind
Relevant research topics for Maupassant’s story:
Socioeconomic classes and identity
French bourgeoisie of the nineteenth century
The relationship between materialism and vanity
Worldliness and ownership
Patriarchal values in nineteenth-century France
Relevant research topics for Kanafani’s story:
The 1948 Israeli-Palestinian war
The Palestinians as refugees
The effects of dispossession and displacement
The effects of war
The Palestinian sense of alienation
The Palestinian struggle against the threat of annihilation
Relevant research topics for Gansberg’s article:
Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Studies
Bystander Effect/ Genovese Syndrome
Culture of violence
Good Samaritan Law
Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”
Ric Burns and James Sanders’ “New York: An Illustrated History”
Relevant research topics for Shiga’s story:
Antisocial personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder
Patriarchal values in East Asian cultures
Gayatri Spivak on the subaltern’s silence
Like any other essay, the research paper should be about a specific topic. Your topic is already suggested by the prompt question of your choice. Do not write a summary. Do not generalize. Like any other essay, the research paper requires a thesis statement (the main point, which is your argument). Avoid using words that are vague. Because your aim is to be clear and concise, you have to choose your words well. Be economic with your words but not miserly! Do not be repetitive, digressive, or redundant. When you write, keep in mind that you are sharpening your ability to analyze and explicate in a relevant and coherent way. Do not pass off someone else’s words or ideas as your own but acknowledge all your sources. Always remember that plagiarism is an unpardonable offense. Also, keep in mind that you use research material to gain knowledge on a specific topic. A research paper is not an annotated bibliography or a cluttering of quotations. As Diana Hacker states in A Writer’s Reference, “[y]our research paper is a collaboration between you and your sources” (83). Indeed, your idea grows from the ideas of expert readers, and it is this synthesis between their ideas and yours that you need to clarify and establish in your research paper. Try to show the contribution made by certain expert readers on the topic of your choice, and try to add an insight of your own to this body of information. Work on connection. At the end of your essay you may have a section for notes if you wish to add some information that does not belong in the body of the essay. Make use of articles from journals and books for your secondary sources. If you use internet resources, use them sparsely and warily, and restrict yourself to online journals. Do not use any sites that do not provide the writer’s name. Encyclopedic references are permissible but such a source is not acceptable as one of your four secondary sources. If you are unfamiliar with library resources, take the help of librarians. Each of these sources has to be relevant to your primary source. Follow the latest MLA guidelines for format and citation of sources. You must provide in-text citations and, at the end of your essay, a “Works Cited” page. Also, your research paper must be typed in 11-point Calibri or 12-point Times New Roman font, and the lines must be double spaced. I encourage you to develop an interdisciplinary approach. Make use of historical, psychological, philosophical, sociological, and anthropological sources relevantly and thoughtfully.
Do not use the second-person pronoun in expository essays.
In the introduction you should introduce the subject matter and work your way from the motivator to the thesis statement. Try to begin your motivator in an interesting way so that your reader is motivated into reading your essay. The first part of the motivator is the broadest section of your essay because you introduce the broad subject first. Then you narrow down the scope so that you can lead your reader to your limited subject. After this you are ready to state a claim about your limited subject. Mention your primary source (the author’s name and the title of the text) in your introduction. If your topic comes from somebody else’s expert opinion (a secondary source), mention that as part of your motivator. The thesis statement is not a question but rather an answer to a significant question about a topic. A specific answer to the prompt question of your choice is your thesis statement. It is a precise point about a limited subject matter. Hence it should not be a “fact”. Nor should it be a claim that is exactly what someone else has claimed. When using someone else’s claim as part of your main point, make sure of adding something of your own to come up with your own specific claim. You must construct either a causal or a process argument as your thesis statement. State your thesis by the end of the introduction. The thesis statement shows significance by answering the “so what” question. If your main point does not answer the “so what” question, it is not a complete thesis statement. 3 prongs do not make a thesis statement unless they are clearly connected to one main point.
Then comes the body of the essay (all the paragraphs here are called central paragraphs). As the introduction is the “claim” part of your essay, so the body is the “support” part of the essay. Here you explain your main point through sub points and specific support. In short, you show what you tell in the thesis statement. You may choose different methods of development (patterns of organization) for this part of the essay: examples and illustrations that come from your interpretation of the primary source and somebody else’s expert opinion, definition, comparison and contrast, process, cause and effect, classification, etc. Every quotation you cite should be relevant to your main point, and hence should be in support of the sub point for which you are using it. The number of your paragraphs here will depend on the number of sub points you provide to back up your main point. Each of the paragraphs in the body of the essay should explain only one sub point and provide specific support for that sub point. Whether or not you make use of secondary sources for your main point, you certainly must do so for your sub points. And all these sources must be given credit through thorough documentation. Quote or paraphrase your sources relevantly and accurately. Do not use a secondary source to make reference to a “fact” of the primary source. All borrowed language must be within quotation marks, and all quotations must be documented accurately. When paraphrasing or summarizing a source, or when borrowing an idea from a source, you must include a citation. Each sub point, whether or not it grows out of somebody else’s expert opinion, should be connected with the main point. Begin each of these paragraphs with a topic sentence. (A topic sentence sums up a sub point. In other words, it provides the point of the paragraph.) Develop your sub points logically. Show a gradual development of sub points. Don’t jump from one point to another (or even one sentence to another). Make your sub points flow logically from one to another. That is, don’t move from one point to another without having adequately developed that point, and try for a smooth transition.
The last paragraph is the conclusion. You can summarize your main point and sub points, but don’t repeat the exact words of your introduction. Sometimes, the last sub point can work as the conclusion. Try to throw in a clincher in your conclusion. Think of the clincher as a fresh way of adding insight to your discussion. If that doesn’t come, don’t worry. Try to say something that may develop from your main point but don’t say something unconnected or contradictory to what you have established in your essay.
Your purpose in writing the research paper is to gain knowledge and develop your understanding of your main topic (which is in the prompt question of your choice). Insert points that you find in your secondary sources in a coherent, logical manner. You may use secondary sources to come up with your argument (a causal or a process claim). If you use an expert’s idea as part of your argument, or as one of your sub claims, point out clearly exactly what is borrowed and what is your own. You can use your secondary sources for evaluations and definitions of your main and sub topics, and for a comparison or contrast with your primary source.
Prepare a schedule so that you have sufficient time for all the stages:
(1) gathering sources
Do not spend too much time gathering sources. And try to keep a photocopy of your secondary sources with you, for I may request you to turn them in, if I have a question.