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For a World Lit 5-page research papers, I am confused which three topics I need to...

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lehcir | Student | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 8, 2013 at 4:12 AM via web

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For a World Lit 5-page research papers, I am confused which three topics I need to cover for Hamlet by Shakespeare so I can create a good research paper. 

I didn't do too good on my first one. Evidently, my paper wasn't focusing on the thesis topics. Instead, I was covering more on the historical background. I have a few options that I could choose from. My first option is Hamlet by Shakespeare, but I can also choose The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, Petrarch, all selections of Machiavelli, and Paradise Lost by Milton. I am a Filipino foreign student who is having a hard time writing essays. So please help me learn how to do this. Thank you for your time.

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM (Answer #1)

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Your first task is to choose a piece of literature from your list that draws you, that intrigues you.  Your next task is to find an arguable or even controversial topic in that literature, an interpretation that intrigues you or that you strongly disagree with.  For example, do you agree or disagree that Hamlet is indecisive?  Next, organize your evidence to support your point of view.  Consult the reference links below for steps of essay construction, but the essence of your work is in the wording of your thesis statement. This sentence will summarize your entire argument: your point of view and the pieces of evidence you will give to support this conclusion. It is advisable to write your thesis and form your opinion after you have already done much planning and collecting of evidence. If you choose a piece of literature that truly captivates you, you will find more and more detailed evidence for your point of view as you dig into the text.  It often helps to read some preliminary material -- introductions, commentay, etc. -- before forming your final thesis statement. A 5-page essay will require careful organization.


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