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English 1302 Research Paper Topic

Instructor: Professor Belz




Your research paper is a comparison/contrast paper and you will be comparing two characters from two different stories utilizing the “outsider” theme we have discussed at length in class. The stories you may choose from are the following:

· Story Choices:

Sherwood Anderson’s “Hands”

Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral

William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”

Langston Hughes’s “Salvation”

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”

One of your goals is to define how these characters are outsiders. You may focus on the similarities and/or differences between the characters, but the organizing feature of the paper will be connected to the outsider theme. The above stories have many characters to choose from, so give some thought to the angle you would like to take in your analysis. In

other words, you may wish to choose two characters who are outsiders based on the same reasons or characteristics. Therefore, your definition of “outsider” might apply to both characters. Or, you may wish to focus on characters who are outsiders based on different criteria. In this case then, you would have to define the two different approaches (i.e. you would include two different definitions of outsider in your work).

Some of the above characters have chosen to extricate themselves from society by their own free will while others have literally been cast out of society for various reasons. Some of the characters have been shunned by society based on their behavior. Your “outsider” definition needs to outline the specific reasons these characters are not able to function within the boundaries of society. You may wish to ask yourself the following questions to brainstorm for this topic: Why is the character so different from the other people in society? What has the character done, if anything, which makes him/her so unacceptable? What rule(s) has the character broken? What are the expected norms of society this character has violated? Does the character look different from other people? Does this character think differently from other people? Is this character’s gender a contributing factor to his/her becoming an outsider? Has the character broken the law? Does this character speak differently than other people? Is the character mentally unstable? Is the character a victim of discrimination? What cultural influences are at work in this character’s ostracism? Is the character torn between two cultures? Does the character have identity conflicts based on cultural background(s)? Does the character’s social class contribute to marginalization? What role does poverty play in the character’s position of isolation in society? Does the character have conflicts with authority figures and/or parents? Is the character an outsider in his or her own family? Is the character a misfit in his or her cultural group? *B

Porter 1

Ann Porter

Professor Belz

English 1302

June 6, 2022
Outline – Research Paper – Ultimate Outsiders

I. Thesis (this should be your preliminary research paper topic/full introduction paragraph written out completely—cut and paste it here)

II. Define outsider in general (use a topic sentence to

introduce the topic of the paragraph here)

utilize dictionary definition you obtained from the online dictionary (type out quote with source reference word for word as it appears in the original source) *remember that names of websites are typed in italics [example:]
B. Explain how there might be different kinds

of outsiders based on your specific topic

Present one of the outsider characters in one of the stories – mention name of character and how he/she is an outsider here (this should be in topic sentence format)
write out quote from text (one of your 2 primary sources/one of your 2 chosen short stories) to support this idea/definition {be sure to include the author’s

last name/ Example: “Quote word for word” (Baker).}

use secondary source (online journal article you obtained from the HCC library online database) quote to further explain idea
Present the other outsider character from the other story and discuss how he/she is an outsider (topic sentence format)
write out quote from text (primary source) to support this idea/def.

B. use secondary source quote to further explain

this definition/issue—write out quote here
V. Discuss one similarity between the two characters

(topic sentence format)
utilize textbook (primary source) quote

utilize secondary source quote
VI. Discuss one difference between the two characters

(Topic sentence format)
utilize textbook (primary source) quote

utilize secondary source quote
VII. Conclusion Paragraph – Write a paragraph discussing potential solutions to the outsider problem; use a modern day example; insert a short personal example related to the general topic; or, give your personal opinion about the topic.

Please note – the above sample is a detailed guideline for your research paper rough draft you will complete. Nevertheless, you may alter the ideas to conform to your essay topic. For example, you may wish to create body paragraphs where you use only one quotation instead of two; you may want to focus on more than one difference or similarity between characters; etc. Feel free to make changes to the general content, but be sure to utilize proper ‘full essay’ structure with well developed paragraphs. You are required to type out your quotes in full with the author/critic’s last name and the page number. In other words, when you cite the journal articles, you need to include the author’s last name and the page number.

example: (Baker 237)

Remember that your two chosen stories from the approved research paper readings are ‘el

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