Mr. Coursey’s English 1
Research Paper Project
The House On Mango Street
The Research Process and Proposal
• brainstorm, consult with others, decide upon a
topic, and formulate a major research question to
address the major research topic.[20A]
• formulate a plan for engaging in research on a
complex, multi-faceted topic.[20B]
• follow the research plan to compile data from
authoritative sources in a manner that identifies
the major issues and debates within the field of
How do you write a Research Paper?
• Writing a research paper is a process.
• There are seven steps…
7 Steps of the Research Process
3. Gather Information
4. Sort & Shift
What is writing a research paper
really all about?
• Coming up with well-focused
• Providing solid, well-documented
What’s the first question you need to
answer in a research project?
• What is my TOPIC?
For this research project, I’m
providing the topic…
• “How does an author use literary
elements such as character,
conflict, imagery, setting and/or
irony to develop a theme in a
• (Write this down on the “Topic” line of your
Research Proposal sheet. We’ll develop talk
about this more in a few minutes.)
After we settle on the topic, we still
• The topic in itself is much too broad.
• Further questions help us establish the
focus of our research.
• Once we establish our focus, other parts
of the process begin to fall into place.
What are research questions?
• In the research process we seek to answer
two types of questions:
• Essential Questions
• Subsidiary Questions
What are Essential Questions?
• Essential Questions are the “big”
• Questions that are complex; questions
that seem to raise a number of smaller
questions as you seek to find an answer.
• Questions that have multiple parts.
Here’s an example of an
• “How does Sandra Cisneros
use Esperanza’s name, her
language, culture, and
neighborhood to create a
theme of ‘the outsider’ in The
House On Mango Street?”
Essential Q = Complex Q
• See? That’s a big, complex question; it’s
a question with several parts that must
• It’s a question with multiple parts.
• There’s no single, quick, easy answer.
• So we develop further, more tightly
focused smaller questions called
What are Subsidiary Questions?
• Subsidiary Questions are the
smaller questions —
• The tightly focused questions that are
raised as you seek an answer to the
Here’s an example of a
• “How does Sandra Cisneros
use Esperanza’s name, to
create a theme of ‘the
outsider’ in The House On
• Subsidiary Questions address the multiple
parts of the Essential Question
• ONE AT A TIME.
• On the next slide I’ll provide FOUR Essential
• Choose ONE of the four to use as the Essential
Question for your Research Paper.
• Copy the one you choose onto your Research
Proposal in the blank after “Essential Question.”
(NOTE: Be sure and copy the part at the top.)
• After that, break down the Essential Question to
Subsidiary Questions in the spaces provided.
How does Sandra Cisneros use…
1. Figurative language to express emotionality and
the author’s point of view?
2. Figurative language to create complex,
3. Her name, her language, culture, and
neighborhood to create a theme of “the
4. The characters in The House On Mango Street to
illustrate a theme of self-determination vs.
• Sense of place—houses
• Home as a place of freedom vs imprisonment
– Windows (looking at life through a window rather than living it.
Women in traditional Hispanic culture are “ventaneras”—women by
• Emotionality created with figurative language
– Similes and metaphors, etc.
• Theme of the outsider because of
– Her name, her language, culture, neighborhood, poverty
• gender roles in a patriarchy vs freedom
• Self-creation vs cultural determination
• Personal dreams and goals vs the dictates if cultural values