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Languages & Literature Project Guidelines

Honors projects in the general area of languages and literature should make an original contribution, however small, to the field. Honors majors in languages and literature are urged to read extensively in journals related to their specific area of interest in order to discover what kind of research is typically published in this field. Moreover, the published articles of scholars should serve as models for the honors thesis not only in matters of content but also in such matters as format and style.

General Types of Studies Suitable for Honors Projects

1. Analysis of a literary work that contributes to or expands understanding of the author or work and that includes a careful examination of scholars' opinions on the subject.

2. Studies of the background of or influences on a literary work that connect matters outside the work to elements within it and that contribute to or expand understanding of the author or work.

3. Annotated editions of unpublished works with an introduction detailing background, method, research, and the like and with critical textual notes.

4. Creative work, such as a short story or a series of poems, based on research and prefaced with an introduction detailing background, method, and research and connecting this work with others works of the same type.

5. Linguistic studies of slang, dialects, semantics, novel grammatical structures, and the like based on original research but firmly grounded in research in the field of linguistics and prefaced with an introduction detailing background, method, and research.

6. Studies of teaching methodology related to literature, language, or writing and based on original research as well as research in the field of teaching methods.

Average Length: 15-25 pages, excluding bibliographies and attachments

Style manual for documentation and format: the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

Proposal:

Average Length: 8-15 pages, excluding bibliographies and attachments

Style manual for documentation and format: the latest edition of the MLA Handbook

Contents: Though no outline or description will cover all situations, these elements are included in most proposals:

1. Introduction. Describe briefly and generally what you propose to do, and explain why this needs to be done (e.g., has never been done before; has been done improperly; will contribute something).

2. Review of Research. Discuss who has said what about the subject of your project. This review should include all publications read as general background research as well as studies (articles and books) similar or related to the proposed subject.

3. Procedure. Explain how you plan to accomplish what you propose to do. This explanation should include the scope or limits of the project.

4. List of Works Cited cited in the proposal.. On a separate page list the works actually Make sure that the form used for each item listed is correct according to the MLA Handbook and that the information given in each item is accurate.

5. Bibliography. On a separate page list any works you have read or plan to read on the subject of your paper, excluding those cited in the proposal itself. Check each item listed for accuracy and correctness of form.

6. Appendix. If a questionnaire is to be used, include a copy of it in an appendix. Any other illustrative or supporting documents may also be included in an appendix, though these are not usually necessary.