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Writing The Multicultural Research Project

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  • 1. English 102
    Deanna Dixon
    Writing the Multicultural Research Project
  • 2. Introduction and Thesis
    Try to come up with an attention grabbing start to the paper. You might pose an interesting scenario, ask a thought-provoking question (which you will answer in the paper), or give a quote from the novel that introduces your point.
    Make sure to give some background on the setting/culture you plan to explore. Briefly introduce the audience to some of the issues you will be focusing on in the body of your paper.
    Your thesis statement should include the WHAT (the settings/cultures you plan to compare/contrast and the novel you are writing about, the HOW (the points of comparison/contrast), and the WHY (what’s the overall point you are trying to make in the paper; what does the novel’s portrayal of the setting/culture reflect/teach us?).
  • 3. Organization of the Body
    You may choose either the block pattern or the point-by-point pattern for comparison/contrast
    Point-by-Point Pattern
    Introduction
    Point 1 of Comparison/Contrast
    A. Novel
    B. Real Life
    Point 2 of Comparison/Contrast
    A. Novel
    B. Real Life
    Repeat Previous Paragraphs with Points 3,4,5, etc.
    Conclusion
    Block Pattern
    Introduction
    Culture/Setting of the Novel (multiple paragraphs)
    Culture/Setting of Real Life based on your research (multiple paragraphs)
    Paragraph of Analysis (What do the points of comparison/contrast say? What point are you trying to emphasize with these points?)
    Conclusion
    Make sure to include your analysis of the points within the paragraphs.
  • 4. Conclusion
    Do not merely restate the introduction or give a summary of the paper.
    You should use this paragraph to further explain the overall point of your paper (the WHY in your thesis).
    Leave your reader with a thought-provoking point or question (that you’ve already provided the information necessary to answer).
  • 5. Transitions
    Don’t forget to include your transition words/phrases! Transitions can come in between sentences, paragraphs, or sections.
    Sometimes a single word or phrase will be enough to successfully transition (e.g. Similarly, In addition, For instance) between points.
    However, at other times (especially at the end of paragraphs) it might be helpful to briefly summarize what you’ve just stated and connect it to the point you are about to make.
    Words/Phrases that Indicate Comparison: also, in the same way, just as ... so too, likewise, similarly
    Words/Phrases that Indicate Contrast: but, however, in spite of, on the one hand ... on the other hand, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, in contrast, on the contrary, still, yet
  • 6. Incorporating Sources
    Each paragraph (aside from the introduction and the conclusion) should include a paraphrase or a direct quote from an outside source.
    When you quote directly, make sure that you LCE—lead-in, cite correctly, explain!
    It’s important to use sources that back up the points you’re a making, but don’t let them overshadow your own analysis/opinions.
    LCE !
  • 7. Use MLA Documentation Style
    Every quote must include a parenthetical reference, or in-text citation!
    EVERY source used in the paper must be represented by a properly punctuated bibliographic reference on your “Works Cited” page.
    The last page of the paper must be your “Works Cited” page where you list all of your sources, according to MLA style, in alphabetical order.
    If you need a refresher, please see the links to the TCTC library handouts from the blog.
  • 8. Don’t forget to proofread/revise!
    Before you turn in the paper, read through it thoroughly for punctuation/spelling/grammar mistakes.
    Look at the revision questions I will be posting on the blog. Answer them for your own paper. Ask a family member or friend to answer them for your paper as well.
    Make sure that you follow ALL of the requirements given in the handout and in this presentation.

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