Engl 385: C Dickens & JK rowling
Proposal Guidelines for Collaborative Project

For the course collaborative group project, each group will write a 5-6-page essay (not counting the works cited page) and give a 10 minute presentation (during our finals week period) that compares and contrasts (examines similarities and differences) one Harry Potter novel and the one Dickens novel--David Copperfield.  (You cannot base your paper on Dickens or Rowling novels outside of our course reading, although you can reference these in your essay.  Since this is a short research essay, you will use secondary sources (see below) to support your thesis. 

The research paper will require a minimum of three secondary sources + two primary sources.  (The novels are primary sources.) One source must be for a David Copperfield and one for the Rowling novel you choose.  Of these three sources, only one can be a website, although you do not have to use websites.  Groups will most likely use journal articles and essays from an (thematic) essay collection.  Although you can use the introduction in the Penguin edition of David Copperfield as a source, it does not count towards the minimum three sources. Also, dictionary definitions do not count toward the three minimum sources.  If you use more than three sources, they can be any type of source.

In preparation for the collaborative research essay and presentation, each group will submit a project proposal.

Proposal (20pts)

1. What two novels are you writing about (comparing and contrasting):  DC + HPSS or HPGF

2. State your topic and the main issue or question your presentation and reserach essay will address.

3. State your working thesis (as specfically as you can), even though you will revise this thesis statement as you draft and revise.

4. In a reasonable paragraph or two, indicate, at this point in your thinking, some of your main evidence--your main supporting points.  Include a few examples from the novels along with two key quotations: one from each novel you are writing about.

5.  Give two secondary sources you will use, one from each novel.  Give the complete citation for each source using the citation style from the MLA Handbook, 9th ed.  Give a brief summary of the source's thesis and main points.

6.  Each group with turn in one proposal.  Formatting: 12pt, TNR.  Put names of all group members on proposal

Due Date:  See syllabus

Conducting Research

Begin by conducting a search for articles (library databases--MLA International Bibliography/JSTOR) and books (library stacks).  Then find these source and preview them. If they will be fruitful, then read them carefully and take notes.

On the bottom of the course website home page is a helpful resource page for your essay: Online Research Guide (see page for Engl 385).  This page has a plethora of suggestions and tips for conducting research.

Be sure to search the library book catalogue as well as the all of UW-System libraries. Use universal borrowing for books our library does not have. For journal articles, use MLA International Bibliography, JSTOR, Academic Search Elite (EBSCO) as well as other relevant humanities indexes. See me or a librarian for help. You can also request articles using universal borrowing.

Academic websites can also be used. Here, though, credibility is very important. Check authors and sponsoring organizations of sites (-edu? -org? -com?). See the websites I have listed on the course website (under "British Literature" link). Remember, an effective bibliography achieves balance in terms of the current dates of sources and the variety and types of sources.

See me early in the semester if you have questions.