• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Final Papers and Presentations

Page history last edited by Allie Campbell 8 years ago

Return to Assignments




  1. Due: 4/25/16
  2. Points: 350 (30% of total grade) 
  3. Length: 8-12 pages. MLA format.
  4. Purpose: Use outside research (from the annotated bibliography) to expand upon a close reading of a long primary text in modern American literature (that we did not for this course).
  5. Paper must include a close reading of a primary text, an artifact and FIVE secondary scholarly sources to create an argument. 
  6. Presentation must have an online component (i.e. NOT power point). It should give the main points of the paper with both text and visual elements.
    1. Presentations should be about 5 minutes.
    2. Presentations must be posted below. 
  7. Rough Draft Workshop 4/15/16. 
  8. Conferences 4/18-22/16.
  9. Final Presentations 4/25-27/16. 
  10. Final Project 4/25/16 
    1. RUBRIC (TBA)
  12. Post final papers on your personal roster page AND on TURNITIN 
    • CLASS ID 11454535
    •  Use this ID and password to ENROLL in Turnitin. 
      1. AmLit Final Paper Rubric rev.pdf 
      2. AmLit Final Paper Rubric rev.docx  



Scaffolded Steps 

  1. The Nineteenth Century in Print and Making of America Project: finding an artifact from after 1865. Due 2/24/16.
    1. Find and identify an artifact from online databases above (see the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/)
    2. Find and identify three possible primary texts for your final paper (American literature written before 1865 that is not being studied in class) 
  2.  American Hero: Redefining America. Due 3/2/16. 
    1. Think about the course theme of the American hero in American literature. In 3-5 paragraphs, define this theme/term (or some other theme from the course). What are the criteria for your theme/term? When and where do we see this theme/term being used (and how)?  
  3.  Doing a Close Reading. Due 3/16/16. 
    1. Select one passage from the text and do a close reading (3-5 paragraphs). The close reading should tie into the theme for the paper. 
      1. Here's link describing how to do a close reading if you need a refresher: http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/how-do-close-reading.  
  4.  Making Connections: texts and artifacts. Due 3/23/16.  
    1. Think about the course theme of American encounters. In 3-5 paragraphs, discuss how you see this theme (or some other theme from the course) developing in both your artifact and one of your primary texts 
  5.  Secondary Sources. Due 3/30/16.  
    1.  Create a list of possible sources (5 secondary, scholarly texts) from your annotated bibliography.
      1.  See "Primary vs Secondary Sources" http://guides.library.ucsc.edu/primarysecondary  if you have questions about what constitutes secondary texts.  
  6.  Thesis and Outline. Due 4/6/16. 
  7.  Revising a Paper. Due 4/15/16.  
    1. Write 1-3 paragraphs about the revisions you will make AFTER you complete the Rough Draft Workshop. Be ready to discuss the revision process during conferences.  
  8. Rough Draft Workshop 4/15/16. Full participation in the Rough Draft Workshop is MANDATORY. You will lose 10% of your grade if you do not attend and participate (with a draft of your paper).  
  9. Conferences 4/18-22/16.
    1. Conferences are MANDATORY. You may loose 10% of your final grade on this project if you do not attend conferences (at the scheduled time).  
  10. Final Presentations 4/25-27/16. 
  11. Final Project 4/25/16



For the final research paper, you will choose a theme from the course to explore on your own both through secondary research and in a primary text and artifact (see the example above). The final paper should make an argument (have a clear thesis). Although you should support your claims with research, the argument should be your own. This is not a book report, this is a new exploration into American literature and culture. Since this is a college English course, the research paper should follow standard MLA guidelines. 


The online presentation should convey all the main points of the research paper in an interactive and creative online format. It should include both visual and textual elements. 

Final Paper Resources:


Remember to check out the resources on our Online Resources page. The links and sources there were compiled specifically for this course!



Final Paper: the moves that make good papers


For your final paper, I want you to focus on SOMETHING SPECIFIC (a narrative trope, a theme, a symbol) in a text. Then I want you to create a THESIS and a PAPER that makes four "moves": 

  1. Elaborate on the THING: a) identify the THING (trope, theme, symbol); b) describe a the scene that best illustrates this THING and it's significance (The female body and homosocial/homosexual bonding in Dracula - "The female body is a cite for homosocial bonding that has powerful homosexual tensions in the novel Dracula. This is best illustrated by the male bonding around Lucy's blood transfusions. Through her body and their, these men are connected. They have share something personal, from their bodies and have put it into the same woman. This is a woman who cannot find contentment in one man and knows not which she should choose. This is almost like having the men share their bodies with her and thus, this unifies them intimately.")  
  2. Elaborate on the THING in the text: (i.e. Identify the significant scenes where the female body enables homosocial bonding and explain how these scenes relate to Dracula overarching plot or how these scenes interact with the overarching message of the text, or... make connections from the specific to the whole) 
  3. Connect this THING to literary/social criticism: (i.e. Relate your observations and close readings to other scholars - orient your observations with the scholarly conversation about the text, or the theme, or the genre, or... "Scholars have examined both female bodies and homosocial/homosexual tensions in Dracula, but the role that female bodies play in enabling homosocial/homosexual bonds in this text has not been fully explored.") 
  4. Elaborate on this THING outside the text: (i.e. Connect your THING to cultural context of your text IF POSSIBLE - "It was necessary for Stoker to use female bodies as a catalyst for his most intense homosocial bonds in Dracula because Stoker's Victorian audience was unable to accept overt homoeroticism in fiction.")  


You may find that these four moves blend into each other in your analysis or that one "move" dominates the paper while the other "moves" play supporting roles. Think of these "moves" as SUGGESTIONS, not a series of things to structure your paper. 


Resources for Artifacts and Visual Thinking:



Library of Congress (see Special Collections, including Prints and Photographs and Historic Newspapers)


Outside Sources: 


OUTSIDE SOURCES serve two important functions in a research paper. They establish CONTEXT for an argument and they also construct a scholarly discourse to position the argument.


Outside sources for the final paper are available in SEVERAL places. The histories in the Norton Anthologies are viable sources for CONTEXT. 


SCHOLARLY sources are available through books in the library OR online through library databases (do NOT pay for subscriptions yourself).  

Rough Draft Workshop: Final Paper with Revisions


I have uploaded an example final paper with revisions here (thanks to the brave soul who agreed to be the sacrificial lamb)! Comments deal with:

  1. Reorganization (particularly placing the artifact at the beginning of the analysis to create CONTEXT).
    1. If anyone else is using their artifact to create context for their argument, consider a similar strategy - put it first and relate everything back to it.
    2. Also, consider placing scholarship early enough in the paper to incorporate it into the ARGUMENT (i.e. SPRING BOARD off the scholarly essay/article and ADD TO the current scholarly "conversation" - do not just reinforce/repeat other's work).  
  2. Language/syntax (rewording material to make the argument smoother).
  3. This paper does a GREAT job of close reading (and using that close reading as evidence for an argument)!


Example final paper (with revisions in red).pdf
















  • Strong thesis at the conclusion of the introduction to guide the paper.
  • Thesis connected and supported in all body paragraphs.
  • Thesis makes a strong argument about a single theme or idea using the primary text and artifact.
  • Discussion of the primary text and artifact is coherent and succinct. 


  • Thesis is vague or spread throughout the introduction and the paper.
  • Thesis is not clearly connected to all body paragraphs.
  • Thesis does not make a strong argument about the primary text and/or artifact.




Close Reading


  • Analyzes the theme of the American hero in or through a primary text and artifact.
  • Close reading brings the primary text and artifact together in meaningful ways.
  • Places close reading in conversation with secondary sources.
  • Summarizes and paraphrases evidence from the primary text to support the close reading (only using direct quotes when it is necessary to analyze the language).


  • Does not clearly analyze a theme from American Literature in or through a primary text and/or artifact.
  • Close reading does not relate the primary text and artifact in meaningful ways (although it may discuss both separately).
  • Does not situate close reading among secondary sources.
  • Primarily summarizes the text or quotes it (rather than analyzing it).




Support (Research)


  • Integrates support from secondary sources to support close reading.
  • Creates a clear conversation with secondary sources (without being overpowered by them).
  • Uses strong evidence from secondary sources.
  • Summarizes and paraphrases evidence except when quotations are necessary.


  • Does not integrate support from secondary sources.
  • Argument is either overpowered or disconnected from secondary sources.
  • Evidence from secondary sources is not clearly connected with the argument.
  • Uses unnecessary quotes from the secondary source.






  • Completed all pre-writing activities on-time (including conferences and rough draft workshop)


  • Did not complete all pre-writing activities on-time.





Allie Speak Presentation

Roach: Prosperity, Expansion, Opportunity

Norton: Social Constructions

Amanda Final Presentation

Matthew, Mullins Final Paper - To Kill A Mockingbird



To create a new page for your Online Presentation

  1. Select "EDIT" tab at top left of screen
  2. Once in edit mode, type the name of your page (LAST NAME & TITLE) in appropriate space in roster (example below).
  3. Highlight name and then select ADD LINK button (located in the second row of the Edit Screen Toolbar, far right)
  4. Press Enter (name should turn into blue link).
  6. Click on link (this will take you to a Create Page screen - click "OKAY")
  7. Enter information and SAVE.
  9. Student Example: http://storksprojectfour.webs.com  



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.