Research Post due
2nd Research Post due
Research and write two “adventures
/ experiments in research.”
exercises must be relevant to our subject matter but should also
reflect your personal and professional interests.
are reports, not essays.
They should be interesting and readable, but
NOT analyses of literary
texts. Instead, they report and explain your
research and findings on a topic
Relate your research to Literature, but
content options include history, anthropology, sociology, religious studies,
women's studies, multicultural studies, etc.
Your topic may grow from a course
text or author, a term or theory in the course
another student's presentation, or relevant material from other courses, personal reading,
or experience, as long as it relates to our course's subject matter.
Your second post may continue the
same topic as your first post, so that your two posts relate to,
build on, or vary each other—or they may be distinct
only absolute stipulation for content is
that the subject must have something to do with American
Romanticism (which is such a big field that
fairly any topic is possible as long as you bend it towards our seminar
exam will assess these research experiments as part of your
essay on your overall learning experience.
Most typical mistake:
Students want to write a personal analysis of texts we're studying or
might study because that's the kind of writing they're familiar with in a
Literature course.That approach is an essay, not a report.
Some primary research
may be involved, but this report requires secondary and background research.
(See primary, background, &
In brief, Research Posts emphasize
gathering and explaining knowledge, rather than reading and
interpreting poems or fiction—though your research may apply to
poems or fiction.
Length: 4-7 paragraphs, plus or
minus bibliographic information
Bibliographic requirements and
information: At least 4 sources, at least some of which should be from
reputable scholarship and not just stray internet postings. MLA style is
expected. Information may be included in text or more completely in listings at
end of posting.
information may be included in paragraphs or more
completely in listings at end of posting.
Posting to webpage:
Email contents to instructor at
Instructor will post to webpage and email notification of posting with a brief
reaction. This may be
all the feedback the student will receive until final grade report. (See
for your entry that will serve as a web heading or link. This title should
indicate the content. The title may take the form of a question.
paragraph: Introduce and frame a question you want
to answer or a topic you want to know more about.
- Explain the source or
background of your interest; what you already knew on the subject, how or where
you learned it or were alerted to it, etc.
- These backgrounds can be personal as
well as educational or professional.
- At some point in this introductory
paragraph, a statement of the question you’re trying to answer should appear.
3rd paragraphs: Describe your search
for answers to your question or topic.
- Identify, locate, describe, and
evaluate at least two sources.
- Your sources may be print, Web, or personal (interview, lecture, conversation, or anecdote).
- If Web, provide links.
print, provide bibliographic information. (MLA style is preferred, but the main
point of all documentation is to enable your reader to find the source.)
“personal,” provide as much contextual information as possible; welcome to
paragraph: What is the answer to your question?
- Your “answer” may take a variety of forms, as long as you demonstrate
- You may find a definite answer to your specific
- Or you may learn that you’ve asked the wrong question, in which case
you could conclude by revising your question.
- Summarize and
evaluate what you have learned.
- Consider what your next step might be if you
continued your research along this line.
These paragraph descriptions are only guidelines,
not absolute rules.
You may write more than 4 paragraphs, but more than 6 or 7
paragraphs may push the assignment too far.
Grading schedule: Grades for research postings are not returned until the
Final Grade Report
Instead of a grade and extended
review for your first post, on receipt of your submission I will send a brief email summarizing
my overall impression of your submission + suggestions for
Your two research posts together receive a single grade,
which appears in your Final Grade Report because your final exam will reference one or both of your Research Posts.
This description may sound tricky, and some students like
their grade outcomes better than others, but in several semesters of such
assignments I've had no direct complaints—only questions, which you're welcome
Research Post grades are based
on readability, interest, quality of research, and learning.
reading and writing distinguishes excellence and competence in Literature
courses--not just covering course materials but
organizing extended analyses into compelling essays. Competence in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and clarity are
taken for granted. Given time pressures, occasional careless errors
won't break your grade, but chronic errors
must be factored. Thematic unity, continuity, and transitions are essential.
- Interest: Not whether I would have chosen the
topic, but how well the report generates and sustains interest. A personal
angle is welcome for starters, but develop for wider appeal.
- Quality of research: Use what you've learned
about academic research. Consult with Neumann Library's reference
librarians. But also take some chances--interview, review a relevant film,
magazine, or commercial site. Scholars in Literature and Humanities combine
work and pleasure--honoring what they must do but redeeming what they want
- Learning: The most consistently redeeming
quality in all research is the sense that the author (and at least
potentially the audience) has learned something valuable. Emphasize what you
wanted to know and why + how your research advanced or changed your
knowledge and understanding.
An author associated with American
A historical event, movement, figure, or cultural development relevant to American
Other artistic, literary, or cultural movements associated
with American Romantic Literature or Culture
Secondary critical research concerning a work, author, or
issue related to our subject. (You would find several critical articles or books
relevant to your interest, then summarize what you gained or learned from
Model Research Posts from 2015
1st post: Romantic
Reading Ladder: Batman to Irving
2nd post: America
and Its Romantic Ideal of the Native
Model Research Posts from 2013
Sarah McCall DeLaRosa
1st post: Politics and tricking the
reader in Edgar Allan Poe's "William Wilson"
2nd post: A
brief study of early Dutch American literature and culture
1st post: Emerson's Greek Connection
2nd post: Emerson's
1st post: Spiritual
Understanding, Beauty, and the Hudson River
2nd post: Beyond
the Hudson: Popularity and Changes of Landscape Art
1st post: What is the Feminine Gothic
and Why Should I Care?
2nd post: Where
is the American Feminine Gothic writer today, what is she doing, and how is she