write a 2000 word paper using one of the following short stories found in Literature and the Writing Process 11th ed. Failure to meet minimum word requirement will result in a grade no higher than a 60.


A 11 Step Process for A Painless Research Paper

Using MLA documentation style, you will write a 2000 word paper using one of the following short stories found in Literature and the Writing Process 11th ed. Failure to meet minimum word requirement will result in a grade no higher than a 60. Period.

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Raymond Carver

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates

The paper must be based on your own original thesis and must include references to five (5) secondary sources. THESE SOURCES MUST COME FROM THE TJC DATABASES—electronic sources through TJC’s database or physical sources found in the library itself. NO OTHER INTERNET SOURCES WILL BE ACCEPTED. (See Link above for data base instructions).

It is suggested that you work through each of the following steps in order to complete a successful research paper.

Step 1: Prepare

List the major elements of short fiction which we have discussed: plot, character, foreshadowing, setting, point of view, symbolism, style and theme. Write a brief description of each element as it pertains to one or two of your favorite stories. During this process, you will probably home in on one element in one story that seems to stand out to you. Brainstorm, jot down ideas, and choose something interesting to you which has possibilities for a detailed analysis.

Step 2: Select

Choose one story; reread it carefully two or three times.

Make notes as you read.

Look for a focus.

Step 3: Analyze

Write a sentence expressing your interpretation of the theme of the story. You cannot proceed until you have an understanding of what the author is attempting to achieve.

Step 4: Focus

Write a tentative thesis statement. This should include the title of the story and the author’s name. It should also include the one element (see above in bold), which you will focus on in your analysis, and it should relate that element to the theme of the story.

Here is an example of a good thesis from an earlier short story:

In “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson uses simple objects—a box, some stones, some slips of paper—to symbolize the narrow-mindedness and brutality that result from superstitious thinking.

The element to be examined is the symbolism of objects. The theme is the danger of superstitious thinking.

Step 5: Research.

Begin the hunt for five required secondary sources. Secondary sources are (usually) written about the primary source (the short story). TJC’s librarians can assist you with any search on their online database for any electronic or physical source. There are many research tools available to students. Use them! Also, be sure to give yourself plenty of time for research. This is not something done at the last minute.

The best sources are literary journals. These can be discovered through TJC’s database. No internet sources will be accepted. No Wikepedia, Schmoo University or Sparknotes.

When you have found secondary sources, read and study them carefully and select at least five usable ones.

A good thing to note about secondary sources is that every source does NOT have to be directly tied to the story. You may find a source about the author, or even the particular time period. For example, if you discover a source about the treatment of Victorian women and connect it back to “The Yellow Wallpaper.” This would be reasonable! Yet, each secondary source MUST be relevant to your essay’s purpose/thesis. You cannot cushion your essay with irrelevant source(s) simply to meet requirements.

Step 6: Read

Read through your secondary sources and mark important passages whichever way works best for you (pencil, highlighter, etc). A good thing to do is write/type out each source’s citation that way you already have any and all information needed (use notecards or a word doc). This will really help whenever you start writing the essay and need citations for any quotes/paraphrases referenced.

Step 7: Plan and organize

If your tentative thesis still applies, write a rough sentence outline combining your own thoughts with those from the outside sources. This can be vital, as you’ll be needed to utilize each source appropriately. If needed, revise the original thesis statement before writing the outline. Sometimes a thesis can change, and if this happens you need to account for it. (See outline form in Manuscript Format Guidelines in Resources Module)

Step 8: Works Cited

Prepare your Works Cited page. The title Works Cited should be centered on the top line. List the sources from your notes in alphabetical order. Remember to use a hanging indent. Consult MLA link for detailed instructions.

Step 9: Start writing

Begin writing the first draft of the paper.

Try writing the introduction first. It should begin with an interesting lead-in and move smoothly to your thesis statement. It may end with an essay map or forecasting statement briefly naming the main points to be covered in the body of your paper. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence (follow your tentative outline plan), and each paragraph should follow through on the idea in the topic sentence Also, each body paragraph should include evidence, either quoted or paraphrased with clear in text citations (MLA). The conclusion should be strong and should refer to both the lead in and the thesis in the introduction. Be sure that your paper connects from intro to conclusion with no confusion.

When you have finished the rough drafting phase of the paper, remember to let it rest for a while, at least 24 hours. Review the concept of plagiarism before you begin any revision. See Avoiding Plagiarism on pages 81-82. Also, pp 77-80 gives tips about drafting and quoting.

Step 11: Revise

You WILL revise. This is a given. Very rarely is a first draft a final draft.

Check for coherence (smooth flow of ideas in an understandable sequence).

Check for unity (single focus of all material within each paragraph). Rule out any unnecessary or irrelevant information.

Make sure each quote blends in to the flow of ideas.

Eliminate all material that does not support the thesis statement.

Use the Outline Form in Manuscript Format Guidelines for outline form.

Use the Using Materials page above as a checklist for MLA form.

Use the Handbook in the Literature book for grammatical and mechanical rules.
Tip: Read the final draft aloud and listen for a smooth flow.

Tip: Read the final draft backwards (last sentence first) to check for sentence errors.


Step 12: Presentation

Submit your final paper as one document on Turnitin.com in the following order:


Final draft with creative title centered at top

Works Cited page
Textbook with stories:
Literature and the Writing Process

If any info is needed to get the correct sources from the TJC library or anything like that please, please message me. It’s not a problem.

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