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How to write a research paper on a novel?


Alex0713 1 / 2  
Feb 22, 2007   #1
Hello everyone. I am new to the forums and in need of help.

I am a high school student, and my current assignment is to write a research paper on a novel that was earlier assigned to us. How do I go about doing this? I wouldn't imagine it to be like a normal research paper, on a solid topic where you would find information and write it down. (With citations, or course.) :)

Do you use information you've researched as a guideline and not actually use any information from it? The sample papers I was given are somewhat bleak. It seems that the writer used the criticisms and interpretations from recourses on their book then matched it with quotes from the actual novel. But I am most likely wrong.

I am in a panic. Any input would be very appreciated.

P.S. The novel in question is [I]The Sun Also Rises[I] by Ernest Hemingway if that makes any difference.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Feb 23, 2007   #2
Greetings!

It would be helpful if I knew how your assignment was worded. What is it that you are "researching"? Reaction to the book? Literary criticism of it? Interpretations such as "what are the themes presented in the book?"

From what I can tell, the samples you were given would be the correct approach, that is, research how others have interpreted and critiqued the novel, present their arguments, then support or refute their interpretations with quotations/examples from the book.

If you'd like to tell me how your assignment was worded, I might be able to be more helpful.

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Alex0713 1 / 2  
Feb 23, 2007   #3
I would say it's interpretation of themes presented in the book. We had to write a thesis statement before hand, and the main part of it was to include the main themes.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Feb 23, 2007   #4
Greetings!

With such a famous novel, you should have no trouble finding books and articles that others have written exploring the themes presented. Do some internet searches and read what others have done; this should give you a better idea of how to approach the research paper.

You asked, "Do you use information you've researched as a guideline and not actually use any information from it?" That wouldn't really be a research paper; were you not given specific instructions? Your instructor should have told you what type of citation form to use, as well. If you don't have a hand-out with detailed instructions, maybe you could check with a classmate to find out if you missed anything, or, if all else fails, ask the teacher! It would be a shame to put a lot of work into it only to find out that it was not done the way the instructor wanted it.

Good luck!

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Alex0713 1 / 2  
Feb 24, 2007   #5
Thank you very much for the help. I was a little worried at first that I may not find enough information, but what you said about it being a famous novel really comforted me. I checked with a classmate; it turns out I was on the right track.

Thank you again for the help. =)


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