Research on “The Piano Lesson”
Fall 2015 Research on The Piano Lesson
Be sure to review the syllabus statements relevant to the research paper (for information such as length=2,000 words), including Academic Integrity and Plagiarism statements. See Plagiarism Policy in Course Information.
This paper is a traditional research paper using a primary source (the play The Piano Lesson) and secondary sources (specifically, the definitions/descriptions of Folklore from the Resource websites from the American Folklore Society on our Bb site in Course Information).
Read the sample research paper in our textbook on pages 1897-1905 for aspects such as the following:
*how to incorporate primary source examples *how to incorporate secondary source material
WHAT TO INCLUDE: Your introductory paragraph should briefly state the definition(s)/description(s) of Folklore which you will focus on from the American Folklore Society website. Throughout the paper, you should have a balance between direct quotes and your own words (paraphrase) with appropriate documentation. The bulk of the research paper should discuss all the specific ways/instances/examples of how the play The Piano Lesson illustrates and exemplifies Folklore, according to your focus. Above all, this paper is NOT biographical. In other words, there should not be anything about August Wilson’s background, nor his personal life, etc. The paper deals solely with the play The Piano Lesson and the ELEMENT of folklore. Overall, be sure to have a fairly even balance between the following:
*examples from the play (brief quotes and paraphrases-documented)
*secondary source material (those definitions/descriptions, etc.)—4 or 5 of these (documented)
Avoid SparcNotes, CliffsNotes and other similar “lightweights.” Consult with me about sources if you need to.
*your own assessments and conclusions about the play as related to Folklore
If there are places in your paper where you can effectively use any of the ELEMENTS we have studied this semester, such as aspects of characterization, irony, drama, antecedents etc., then you should include them. Do not “force” the use of these ELEMENTS, but weave them into the discussion.
DUE DATE Wednesday, October 28, 11:00 P.M. Central Time 10 point deduction per day for late papers; submit as document through SafeAssignment
Everything related to documentation, Works Cited page, etc. should follow MLA (Modern Language Association) style. One reliable site is owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01
*The Norton Introduction to Literature
Kelly J. Mays