Research Project

Research Project

Proposal—Due Oct. 16.

Annotated Bibliography—Due Nov. 4.

Presentation—Dec. 9.

Final Project—Dec. 16.


Over the course of the semester, you will work on a research project related to your larger biography or memoir project. To some extent, the form of the assignment will be shaped by the requirements of larger project of which it is a part. You may want to research a portion of a biographical subject’s life or historical context for a biography or memoir, for instance.  However you structure it, you should identify a central research question you want to explore.

Proposal—1-2 pages, typed and double-spaced. Due Oct. 16.

Identify your research question and explain how it relates to your larger project. Note what types of sources you expect you will use, such as archival material, secondary sources, or newspapers, including what specifics you know. You should have already done enough initial research to know that some of the resources you need are available. You may not end up following your plan exactly, but the proposal should sketch out what you think you can accomplish over the course of the semester and how you will approach the research.

Annotated bibliography. 2-3 pages, typed and double-spaced. Due Nov. 4.

The annotated bibliography should include at least 10 sources you are using in your final project. Depending on your project, you may be listing secondary sources, including earlier biographies, monographs on historical context, journal articles, archival collections, and digital humanities projects, among other material. Cite the material, using either MLA or Chicago Manual of Style. In 2-3 sentences per source, explain underneath each citation how the source is relevant to your research project. You may not have done a thorough analysis of each source by the time the annotated bibliography is due, but you should be familiar enough with the sources to explain how they are relevant to your project.

Presentation. 5 minutes. Due Dec. 9.

For our final class, each student will present a brief overview of their research for the semester. Make sure to pay attention to time, so all students will have a chance to share their work.

Final Project: 7-10 pages, typed and doubled-spaced. Due Dec. 16.

Your final project should answer a research question related to your biographical or memoir project. Your introduction should explain your argument—what is the answer to the research question you asked. The paper should development the argument, using the evidence you have accumulated over the semester of research to explain how you have come to your final conclusion. This paper can be a formal academic paper, a personal essay, or a slice of a biography or a memoir. No matter what form you select, your research should be at the heart of the project. You must cite all your sources, using Chicago Manual of Style or MLA; there should be in-text citations/footnotes and a bibliography/works cited page.