Identify which question below you want to discuss as the topic of your research paper. The 4 topics below take the form of a series of questions. These questions are meant to guide your thinking as you do research and are not to serve as your outline. In each case, you will have to “narrow your topic” in order to give your paper focus. Your focus then enables you to organize your thoughts.
1. Writing about the past.
Marcel Proust, Bessie Head, and Leslie Marmon Silko are all in one way or another writing about the past, or with the past in mind. How do each of these authors gain access to information about the past? What influence does the past have on each of their literary works? In what ways are these works similar with regard to treatment of the past? In what ways are they different? Do you feel that the past had an influence on any of these authors in their ability to be creative? Explain.
2. A reality check.
Much of modernist literature challenges a typical view of reality – a view that is said to be obtained by a sense of objectivity. In the stories by Franz Kafka and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and in the descriptions given in Andre Breton’s poem, what does the real world look like? In what ways is the world they describe different from the world you live in? In what ways is it similar? What motivates these writers to represent a world that is so different from the one we experience? Explain.
3. Going to the Theater.
In the three plays you read (Bertolt Brecht, Luigi Pirandello, and Samuel Beckett), the subject matter had a moral and ethical content (though Beckett might have been talking about the complete lack thereof). What were each of these dramatist’s methods for portraying moral and ethical issues? What are the similarities and differences between these methods? Which method was most effective? Explain. Would you agree or disagree that the stage is better suited than a work of fiction for portraying moral and ethical issues? Explain.
4. Who am I?
Many of the works of literature you’ve read portray an individual on the horns of a dilemma. Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang), Bertolt Brecht, and Leslie Marmon Silko show characters struggling to make very difficult choices. What is the nature of these choices? What are some of the artistic means used by these authors to portray the fact that the character is facing a difficult dilemma? Taking these three works together, is there a common message about the self in the modern world? Explain. With regard to the individual (or self), are these works an example of modernist literature? Explain.
Steps to Narrow Your Topic
As you read over the questions that are raised for each of the above topics, you should attempt to answer them. You will find that some are factual questions that can be answered by looking at the primary source (i.e. the original work of literature under study). It is a good idea to write down where in the literary work (page, paragraph) you find these answers because you will probably need to cite them later in your paper. Other, more critical, questions will require you to draw your own conclusion. These questions will require research that you can once again cite in your paper later in order to support the conclusion you draw.
Begin thinking about your thesis statement. A thesis statement should be reduced to a single sentence that reflects the research you have done on the topic. Then begin to rough out a tentative outline. Examine the findings from your research and try to arrange them in such a way that best makes your case. It is typical to have done more research than you need to make your point. You should be discriminating with your research and use only what you need.
It may be a good idea initially to select more than one topic from the list, and then dive into your background reading and research. You might find that you are more comfortable with one topic than another after you have begun to do a little research. On the other hand, sometimes it’s possible to know right away what you want to write about! Note that if you want to adjust or add to this list of topics, you must receive approval from your instructor.
Note: There is nothing to turn in this week, but you need to get started!
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more