Literary Criticism Research Project
For this research project, you will research the available commentary and criticism on one of the novels or plays that we read as a class this year. You
will record your research and process for your research in your Process Journal. After compiling your research, you will give a presentation in which
you teach the class about your findings and your analysis of these findings.
The Process Journal (50 class/homework points)
This is a journal that you are required to use to record your progress as you work on the research project. The process journal is a particularly
useful tool because it helps in the organization and analysis of your research. Your Process Journal will be due the day after your final
You will divide your Process Journal into the following sections:
1. Annotated Bibliography – you will write an annotated bibliography entry for at least 3 articles in this section. For this assignment a
chapter from a book, a journal article, or an original book review may count as an “article.” In each entry, you will summarize the article
and explain what approaches or schools of criticism are used. See the example provided.
2. Research – annotated copies of each short (1-3 pages) critical article, or portions of longer articles (4+ pages), must be kept in the
3. Reflection – you will write at least 10 half-page reflections regarding the progress of your research. You should use the section to reflect
on what you have achieved, any feelings of success or breakthroughs, any obstacles or problems encountered how you might overcome
them and what you need to do next. (Some of these will be completed in class. In the last entry, you will reflect on your final
4. Presentation Plans – create a plan for your presentation in this section. You must include a formal outline and notes/note cards used
during your presentation. These notes may b e attached to your journal after your presentation. Also, include any revisions made to your
presentation plan after your practice presentations.
5. Response & Feedback – You will give a practice presentation to at least 3 people (one must be an adult) and have them evaluate your
presentation. Use the questionnaires that will be provided, and include them in this section.
General Journal Reminders:
Process Journals may be kept in a spiral notebook or a thin binder – make sure you label 5 sections.
It must include a table of contents for each section with corresponding numbered pages.
It should be updated regularly during the development of the research project, and should be used to record progress honestly, containing
thoughts, ideas, decisions, feelings and reflections.
The Process Journal should not be redone as a “good copy” since it should reflect your actual process through the research project.
However, neatness does count, so please be sure that handouts are glued or taped in place, and that work is done in an organized manner.
Each time that you work on the research project, you should spend the last five or ten minutes writing in the reflection section of your
The Typed Annotated Bibliography (20 essay points)
On the day of your presentation, you will submit a typed, MLA formatted annotated bibliography of the sources you use during your
presentation. Bring a hard copy to class.
The Presentation (25 participation points)
You will be required to give a presentation in which you focus on a specific topic of literary criticism regarding your chosen novel or play.
You will use your presentation to illustrate your understanding and your ability to analyze the merit of the criticism. Presentations will
begin on Wednesday, June 3 and will conclude on Friday, June 12.
Your presentation must follow these guidelines:
1. Be 5-7 minutes in length. You have a total of 1 minute to set up before and clean up after your presentation. Over or under time limit
will be severely penalized.
2. Be organized and well thought out. It should be evident that you rehearsed your presentation several times.
3. Cite the sources on which you focus during your presentation.
4. Include an explanation of the criticism. Give an overview of the argument(s) presented in your research, including the school of
criticism/critical approach each author uses. Be sure to discuss any conflicting arguments.
5. Give an analysis of the criticism. Evaluate the merit of the argument(s) based on your own understanding of your chosen work.
6. Cite specific examples from your book or play to support your analysis.
General Presentation Reminders:
Speak loudly and clearly enough for everyone in the room to hear.
Maintain consistent eye contact.
Consider what will be most helpful to your classmates (visuals, handouts, etc.)
Practice saying your presentation out loud several times – this will help improve your final presentation and ease your nerves.
My presentation date: __________________________________________________________________
My Process Journal due date: ____________________________________________________________