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ENG 209 Essay 2: Research Essay (Jordan)

This step-by-step guide will help you complete Ms. Jordan's Eng 209 research essay.

2. Explore Your Topic

After thoroughly examining your assignment, now it's time to look for some initial background research on your topic.  Try a search in the following database to learn more about your topic.

Analyze Your Topic

Once you have chosen which works you will be writing about consider the general elements that make up those works.  Use the questions below along with those posed in your assignment to gain a thorough understanding of the works and begin to put together your thesis. Depending on the particular work only some of these questions may apply.

Magnifying Glass

When and where did the story take place? (place and time)

What is the atmosphere? (historical / sociological)

How is the story told? (narrative / point of view)

What language is used? (style, tone, and irony)

Who are the main characters? (protagonist / antagonist / others)

Are there symbols used? (symbols)

How does the plot help the reader understand the theme?

What is the dramatic moment?  What is the conflict?

What is the moment of climax? (turning point / illumination / understanding)

How does the story end? (resolution)