The essay exploration paper is your proposal for your course essay. It will help you clarify your initial thinking about your essay and let you know that your essay's focus and research will be feasible. It will also help me understand your focus and anticipate any issues that you may have to address.
Format: double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12pt, Times New Roman.
Length: minimum two pages
The essay exploration essay should include
- The work or works you will be writing about and, briefly, why you chose this work (or these works).
- Your research questions (see the Course Research Essay page) for your specific work or works. Be sure your questions are complete sentences. You can also provide some preliminary answers to these questions, even if these answers might change or be reworked--they probably will be.
- Your initial analysis of your work. Based on your reading notes, what are key themes/ideas? Who are key characters? What about the narrative or speaking voice? For poetry, form and meter? This analysis should be directed by your research questions, but you still can offer a general analysis of your work or works.
- A discussion of some preliminary sources you have found. You should have a minimum of two sources. Indicate the type of source and its author/title. What are the key ideas for each source, based on your notes. How might you use these sources to support your essay's thesis?
As far as the specific formatting for the items above, use your judgment. What is the best way to present this information? We can go over a draft in class.
Please see me if you have questions.