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Research Essay – The Turn of the Screw

Your step is to explore Henry James’ work further. In college, the way that we do this is by completing additional outside reading on a topic. Once we have chosen that topic, we begin a more focused reading of works that have already been written about it as with Literary Criticism for literature (or, any research articles from that discipline or field). Alternately, with literature or other disciplines in the Humanities, we could also research a topic related to its subject, time-period, author, genre, etc. This research allows us to formulate deeper, more educated observations on that topic.

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From this research or “independent study” you can then create a paper that discusses, not just what you have learned from the research, but also how this learning can be used to re-interpret some aspect of the original set of knowledge (in our case, The Turn of the Screw). This is NOT a report on what “everyone else says” but an integration of your ideas in response to “their ideas.” You will join the “conversation” by using your research to create your own original ideas about some aspect of the novel.


Don’t see a topic? That’s right! This is one of your first exercises in research! My only limitations are these:

The topic must relate to The Turn of the Screw and/or Henry James
You must apply your research knowledge to some aspect of the novella and discuss this in the paper
Your paper must quote and or paraphrase from each one of your Three (3) Peer Reviewed Sources AND from the novella
Topics and drafts will be submitted to Moodle as part of the process work
Because I know you will ask. . . In the past students have successfully researched in the following areas; but do not be afraid to digress:

DRAFT ESSAY & RESEARCH GUIDELINES – See Schedule at the end of this assignment

Essays – To receive professor comments you must meet or exceed the minimum length and you must have two Peer Reviewed sources from the databases. Drafts that do not meet this requirement will be returned ungraded.
Length MINIMUM of at least 2-3 Full pages, double-spaced, plus Works Cited all in MLA 8 format – See Purdue OWL for MLA Style Guidelines
Works Cited – Must include Works Cited in MLA format to receive comments – If you don’t have good sources, you won’t have a good paper. Your draft should include at least two (2) of your three (3) peer reviewed sources; you must also cite from the book!
Works Consulted – Include the list of sources that you may have consulted for your own understanding, but that you did not include in the paper because they are not Peer Reviewed (see IMPORTANT below)
Completion of Process Assignments will be considered in the final essay grade as well as in the Process Writing category for the class
IMPORTANT! Wikipedia, and aggregate sources (such as Critical Controversy) should not be used as sources for this assignment. They can be used for ideas, but not as the actual sources used for your paper. However, these sources must be included in a separate list of “Works Consulted” which should follow the Works Cited

IMPORTANT! Please remember that this paper should be an integrated discussion of your ideas, supported by your research. In other words, it will reflect what you have learned and applied to your reading of TOC—NOT just what “other people write” (which is a common mistake that students make on this assignment). DO NOT FALL INTO HIGH SCHOOL REPORT MODE; this is NOT a “report.”

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