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Monsters and the Monstrous   Tags: blake, english 52, monster, monstrous, mythology, paranormal, research paper  

Last Updated: Aug 3, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Your Assignment Print Page

Fact or Fiction?


What You Need to Know

Understanding Your Assignment

Before you begin looking for information you should make sure you understand your assignment. Some good questions are:

  • How many pages?
  • How many sources?
  • What kinds of sources?
    • Books
    • Articles
    • Websites
  • What format?

Your professor is your best resource to answer these questions.

image of student with her hand raised


Professor Blake - ENG 100 - Summer 2016

Project #4: Research Portfolio

The purpose of this assignment is to research an issue based on the readings and class discussions of your choosing and make an argument in which you take a specific stance. Ideally, you will investigate an issue that interests you, and you want to know more about. Keep in mind that research writing is a journey that begins with questions. The answers to these questions you will discover through research and ultimately use to support the arguments that you make in your paper. A question about diseases and how they are monstrous. Is it possible for a werewolf to be created? Why have monsters exploded on the scene – why are they so popular now? What current cultural, social, personal, religious, and/or political events have brought about and/or influenced the popularity of monster culture? It must have something to do with the topic of monsters and don’t forget the areas of focus we have read and discussed as a starting point if you need/want some guidance.

Project Guidelines: (2000-2500 words)

  • Make an informed argument about an issue of your choice that you have read about and discussed in class
  • Support your thesis through research in which you synthesize (cite) a minimum of SEVEN (7) sources, where one    must be a text that we have read in class and two must be hardcopies, such as books, journal articles, textbook,  newspaper articles, etc. The other minimum four can be credible websites, articles, interviews, personal narratives,  news articles, charts/graphs, etc.
  •  Write to a specific audience, with a specific purpose
  • Include a MLA formatted correctly works cited page

Research Basics - Step by Step

Breaking Down The Research Process  

  research process image

The following outline gives a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.

  1. Choose a topic - or have one assigned
  2. Understand your topic
    • Background reading
    • Consider a main focus
    • Refine your topic
    • Make a list of your keywords and concepts
  3. Search Sources
    • Find Books
    • Find Articles
    • Find Websites
  4. Write your paper - Informative, Analytical, Argumentative, Critical
  5. Cite your sources

            The Thesis Statement

            Although you probably started with only a broad idea of what you wanted to write about, after testing your topic and doing background reading you should be able to narrow your focus and write your thesis statement. Here are two examples of narrowing a broad topic to come up with a thesis statement:


            • Vampires in Popular Culture
              • The "undead" figure prominently in popular media, including literature, film & TV
                • Vampire stories reflect changing societal attitudes about sexuality

            The Monstrous

            • Terrorism
              • Psychology of terrorists and the motivation for terrorist acts.
                • Suicide bombers are mentally unbalanced



            ENG 100 Worksheet

            Use this worksheet to find a few sources now.


            Talk to a Librarian

            Need Help 

            The Cerritos College Librarians can help you with your research in a variety of ways:

            Librarians are available during library hours to answer your questions by phone or chat.
            (562) 860-2451 x2425


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