I'm really having trouble in deciding a thesis for my research paper. Currently I have decided to write about either on Harry potter the series or J.K. Rowling.
I know there are many things to write about on either topics, like I could write about Harry Potter and its success, or on the characters of Harry Potter; J.K. Rowling greatest writer of all time? Or the criticism of J.K Rowling's writing... etc.
In your opinion what would you pick and write about? Which would be the best route?
P.S. My paper is required to be 5 - 7 pages long.
I'm not a moderator, I'm just a member like yourself, however if you're interested I have some advice. First, what is the class subject and focus, ex: History of Europe or creative writing, literature, et.
>I would try to pick a topic that relates to the class and that I have a BIG interest in.(passion for me is a major motivator)
>something you already know a bit about could help you decide your approach and helps you figure out your research strategy
5 pages is around 1500 words, if double spaced with 1 inch margins font size 12 & Times New Roman, taking that into consideration you should do some research first before you commit yourself to 1 topic that way you know you'll have enough information to analyze and reflect on.
I've found that little information= little paper, lots of info= lots to write about and you don't have to sit around trying to figure out a new research strategy.
Also, while you research take some notes, they don't have to be extensive, and write down some issues or questions you would like to explore in that subject.
Just finding a lot of material DOESN'T guarantee you'll get a lot from it.
It's very frustrating to be halfway into your research and you find that there not much to talk about and you have too little time left to start over.
so explore 2 or 3 things you wouldn't mind reading lots about and compare notes for each, that should help you figure it out.
I don't know much about Harry Potter books or Rowling but you could look up the authors writing motivation or inspiration, the audience that is most drawn to it and why, the messages ex: honesty, friendships, integrity, family values, etc.
I hope this is helpful!
Again, I'm not a moderator here but I hope I helped some.
I'm a history major (switched from secondary social studies education right after I started my third year), and I pretty much read, analyze, and write for about 40+ hrs/wk.
Good luck :-)
Thanks for replying
This is for my English 100 research paper, my final essay before course ends.
The subject is pretty much anything we want it to be. I thought I'd would choose something a little different or interesting. She even gave us several suggestion to write about: South Park, Simpsons, ape language, global warming, the Bible, and other things along those lines.
Even so, I'm still finding it difficult in deciding, and as you said I should pick a topic that is more broad I suppose... but it definately be more interesting if i chosed a unique topic *heh*
At first I was going to do it on J.K Rowling life before her first published Harry Potter book, and the struggle and steps toward a successful writer. Or how she is sort of a Hero figure to not just children and teenagers but even adults. But as you said, very difficult to stretch to 5-7 page and not enough info.
I have thought of other subjects, but the same problem hits me, say I have the general subject, but I dont know what to write about specifically. If I were to choose passion as my subject, what and how would I write it? How it affects people? Or What is passion? Which appropriate type of writing structure do I use for a research paper?
Sorry for all the questions, and any input would be greatly appreciated
P.S. I still prefer writing about Harry Potter or J.K. Rowling *hehe* But if I cannot find help or any input on my thoughts; it sadly seems though I have to reconsider.
If you prefer Harry Potter and JKRowling, I'm sure it might be do-able you should start the research imediately though. I don't know much about it so I don't have too many suggestions on sources or approach but you might want to see the librarians near you, especially in the childrens section, they can help with key words and research technique.
Only, MAKE SURE you find some sources that you can work with and if you skim through it, I read the first couple paragraphs and skim through the rest of the chapter and read the last, this helps me get an idea about what the source is about and how it approaches the topic.
When I said passion, I meant if you feel passionate about a subject you should try it out the more interested you are the easier it will be to work on it extensively. I think passion itself is too too broad, for me at least, and sometimes that is just as bad as having a topic with limited info.
JKRowling AND Harry Potter could give you a good research topic, few pointers...
1. start the research IMMEDIATELY (can't stress that enough), go to the library and speak to librarian tell them what you're up to
2. after lightly skiming through at least 2 sources, take some notes try to get about a page worth for each source
3. come up with a theory, point, question, something you want to persuade about or something you want to explain
4. then using those sources think about if persuading, answer how & why your arguement is true or important
or if explaining try to follow all angles, who, what, where, when, why, & how; more important is the what, how and why... for your body
following the essay organization:
1. intro for topic, thesis, points to be looked at, and concluding statement or arguement confirming thesis.
2. the body is the "meat" or sustenance, it is a focus and elaboration of the main points and how that connects to or confirms your thesis
3. conlusion, sum it all up reflect briefly on the main points and how they answer the question.
If you do a page for each that should cover your paper ex: 1pg intro, 1pg for each point = 3pgs total (get at least 3 reason for or important info about thesis/topic), and 1pg to sum it all up
You could look at each point or important info as a simple 1 page essay that helps to stay on topic and cover all the basis for each point which makes up the body, again the important part.
questions about who, where and when help fill in the void and helps make it a thorough research paper.
Harry Potter and J. K. Rowlings is a good topic and you obviously like it (try it out it might workout really well, your interest in it is a motivator for the paper and will help inspire your writing, just make sure you have sources to answer your questions, the story for writing the book and how its affected her, how the public sees it pos&neg why its good for children, the issues it addresses regarding moral...
I just typed key words: influential children's tales -- in google and got this...
very 1st website: indiana.edu/~deanfac/blfal03/eng/eng_l3 90_2228.html
> This course will focus on children's stories, ranging from fairy
tales to contemporary fiction, television, and film. The course
will emphasize the ways in which stories express and give shape to
basic wishes and basic fears. We will also emphasize the strategies
by which stories either convey or subvert prevalent cultural
values. We will address such questions as: why do stories fascinate
children (and others)? What is the relationship between the
structure of stories and the emotions and values they convey? How
does children's literature address central issues such as the
relationship of adults to children, the ambiguities of growing up,
and the experience of death? To what extent are stories gender-
coded (and how might we respond when they are)? How has the notion
of childhood changed over time, and what do the changes imply
culturally? What is the role of magic and the imaginary in
children's books and films? What should an adult (parent, educator)
do about a children's story whose values are different from his or
her own? Why is the analysis of a children's story a useful adult
As you can tell this is from a syllabus but the questions here could be extemely helpful...
I don't typically google for sources only for hints, perspectives, and inspiration... try to keep to library and database sources, which include publications, such NYTimes, or other serious newspapers and magazines, this will impress your prof.
library help desk can help you find and access databases go in there and pretend you know nothing they might hint to key words for your searching, they would be glad to help and give advice, always ask question no matter how ridiculous or stupid you think they are trust me you'll get a lot more by doing so and everyone likes being helpful, you can get a whole lot of stuff with just a few hour there with a librarian's help.
sorry this is so lengthy but this should get you going right now that way you know if you can do Harry Potter and JKRowling (do it as a combo, at least for now, you'll get more info, which will give you ideas about what you want to say and why)
Good Luck!! :-)
Thank you for the help! :) Your reply really helped me.
Also any more input is appreciated as well
Marlene is giving you excellent advice! All her points are valid and useful--especially the advice about getting started NOW and asking help from librarians. I have worked in a library and helped many patrons, and I can testify to what Marlene says: they WANT to help!
Of course, the first step is deciding on your topic. Marlene's right on track there, too. Dig around a little through sources, including the Internet, and see what's out there. I personally can remember reading several magazine articles about J.K. Rowling over the years, so I know there's material available concerning her personal life and why she invented Harry Potter. There has also been some controversy about the occult nature of her books; some fundamentalist groups objected and went so far as to say her work was inspired by the devil. Now THERE's an interesting topic!
I would use caution if you choose to write about the content of the books. You want to do more than just summarize plots and describe characters. If you have another book or series of books that you like a lot, you might do a compare-and-contrast kind of thing--what do the books have in common, what's different, what points did each author try to make, etc.
It sounds like you would do well with Harry Potter/Rowling because you enjoy them so much. That's a real asset when you have to get down to the nitty-gritty and analyze something. Just get to that library or get on that computer and see what's out there. I'm sure inspiration will strike! And be sure to let us know how you do!
Thank you Marlene and Sarah
Your advices have been extremely helpful! I can't even start to express how helpful it really has been.