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ENGL 239 - Women Writers (Russell)  

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Last Updated: May 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Small Island


Research Groups

Topics for Research:

  • Overt and Covert Racism
  • Colonialism
  • Women's Roles During and After the War
  • Immigration
  • Small Islands

Research Essay

You will choose one of the above general topics for your annotated research essay. Then, in groups, you’ll work to find a focus within your general topic for your own research.  Just remember that the novel is the center of your paper. Devise a claim or working thesis that is focused, concrete, and specific (and addresses just ONE topic or issue within the novel). Remember-your thesis may change as you work.

My suggestion is that you outline your own ideas then find sources that would support your focus.

For the paper, you will turn in an annotated bibliography of at least 6 sources (see calendar). Again, you’ll turn in your first paragraph with thesis plus an outline of your paper (see calendar). I will accept no final papers if these two steps have not been completed.

Your paper must use MLA format-correct headers, your name on every page. Use at least three of these sources in your paper, but you may use no more than 75 words of direct quotation. Other use must be paraphrase or summary. Remember that you must cite the latter or your paper may be considered plagiarized. Sources must be from Pierce’s data bases.

  • Parenthetical documentation and works cited are required.
  • This is an analysis, not a review or critique.
  • You’ll receive extra credit if your paper is written in 3rd person.
  • Again, do not write “I believe” or “in my opinion,” etc.
  • You’ll each do a short presentation of your paper, the research you did, information you found, etc.

If you don’t have a grammar handbook, you may refer to OWL-Purdue. Our library also has a Web page with MLA information. Handouts are also available in the library. If you get stuck, ASK A LIBRARIAN. That’s one of the reasons they’re there.


Special Resources

These resources will are very specific to this research topic, and are highlighted here so you can use them in your research!

BBC World Book Club

  • an interview with Andrea Levy about Small Island, where she answers questions from readers about the cultural/social aspects at play in the novel and some of the symbolism in the novel.  Download a MP3 file of the podcast

In A New Land eBook

  • an electronic book (viewable online) with 2 chapters that look at the Jamaican immigrant experience in England (compared with US)

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