research assignment 

pick novel :  

Mark Twain’s Puddnhead Wilson which , published in 1893,

Pick one of the novels or stories that we have read.  Look up its original publication date.  Then look through at least three years of articles straddling that date in a magazine published during the period.  You can venture beyond a three-year range, but should start with issues close to the original publication date.  Some magazines are The Atlantic Monthly, The North American Review, Arena, Ladies Home Journal, Harpers, The Nation, and Scribner’s Magazine.  You can access many of these journals through the library site under the “E-Journals A-Z” link on the library home page.  You can also find some of them through the Making of America web site.  The URL is (链接到外部网站。)链接到外部网站。.  Click on “Browse” to access the journals.  Look through the article titles to get a sense of what was being written about during that year and read through a few (3-5) of the articles that interest you and that seem relevant to the novel or story that you originally picked.

The written section of the assignment has two parts.

  • Write a 2-3 page summary of what you discovered. What was being written about?  What articles did you read?  Did you discover anything interesting about this time period?  Did you notice any trends?  Did anything surprise you?  Be sure to include some specific details from the articles that you read through.  Your summary should also be organized.  You should provide clear summaries of at least three articles, and each article should have at least a paragraph dedicated to summarizing and reflecting on it.  The articles that you choose to summarize should be somehow related to the literary text.  You will be evaluated on the clarity of your summaries, the relevance of your selections, and the quality of your reflections.
  • Write a 2-3 page description of how you might use this historical material in a research paper on the novel or story that you initially picked. How does this historical material relate to the literary material? What would you want to investigate further?  What questions does the historical material raise about the literary material?  While you do not need to present a thesis for this part of the assignment, you will need to present your ideas in an organized manner.
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