The Basics of an English Research Paper
A well-constructed research paper properly synthesizes the writer's views with the outside perspectives and critiques of other authors. Emphasizing both the author's original insights and the interpretations of respected supplementary sources, it should ultimately be an expression of the writer's inquiry into a specific topic of interest. Research paper assignments for the English discipline often range in specificity and length. Nonetheless, there are certain stylistic conventions and expectations associated with the English research paper.
About The Genre
The research paper occupies a category of writing all its own. A research paper demands the author invest time and thought in analyzing outside sources in order to forge his or her own unique vision of the text or to shed new light on past interpretations. A research paper does NOT consist of the writer merely rewording or re-contextualizing the thoughts of other authors, but rather must include the writer's own thoughts and reflections on different perspectives. The goal of the writer is to ENGAGE sources and not to simply RESTATE other interpretations. Therefore, it is neither necessary nor beneficial to only include perspectives which are in agreement with your own.
The Analytical Research Paper
Research papers are generally designated into two distinctive categories: the argumentative research paper and the analytical research paper. Research papers for the English discipline almost always fall under the latter heading. The specific expectations and demands of the analytical research paper are as follows:
Possible Research Question: How should one interpret and respond to Christina Rossetti's poem "Goblin Market?"
Possible Author's Interpretation: Although Christina Rossetti's poem "Goblin Market" is typically viewed as a poem reflecting on the dangerous implications of the material world on morality and, more specifically, female chastity, it can also be read as an expression of Rossetti's adamant belief that the female should be viewed as both a wholly erotic and spiritual being.